Settling in

Today we have been busy exploring the island, getting student IDs, dropping off computers to get configured to the campus network, etc.  We woke up this morning to find that when we turned on our faucets, the water barely dripped out and then stopped running altogether.  We checked with some friends and learned that when it rains a lot here (it has been raining for the past 2 days), the water automatically cuts off, because when the water table gets too high, the water gets all kinds of funky stuff in it.  Or something like that.  So, no water today.  No washing hands, dishes, or ourselves.  Ick.  We walked around all day like grease-balls.  When we finally came home later, the water was back on, so Charlie and I were both excited to take much-needed showers.  Charlie showered successfully, but when I hopped in the water cut off again, mid-soap.  I rinsed off the soap with a water bottle.  Very fun.  This reminds me of Ann’s recent bathing adventures in France, which she and Monsieur J call “playing Little House on the Prairie.” This is exactly how we felt today.  At least I am now quasi-clean.  The water was the not-cool thing of the day.

But there were some cool things:  Hiking up a “road” called Moo Cow Trail (we saw at least 3 wandering cows, 6 egrets, 12 sheep, a few lizards, and one teeny, tiny, inch-long lizard who I dubbed Kareem Abdul Jabbar because of his insane jumping skills) to a beautiful vista until we were scared off by a pack of angry dogs;  Checking out the black sand beach with its super smooth, round pebbles; Scoping out the Seaside Deck where they hold yoga classes (it’s as cool as it sounds!); Filling up at least 8 water bottles from the purified water on campus since we aren’t supposed to drink our tap water; eating delicious curried potatoes/lentils and chicken kabobs from a local cook at one of “the shacks” (the shacks are right next to campus and are a bunch of little shacks/stands that serve all different kinds of food); playing with a really cute kitten who I may have to steal.

Right now Charlie is at his first session of orientation, and I am off to meet him shortly to hear a local historian tell us all about the island.  Coming soon:  our barrels (filled with kitchen supplies, books, clothes, food; arriving Wednesday Thursday);  photos of our apartment (inside).  For now you can check out a few more photo of our first few days in Dominica.

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