Sistahs

Have I ever told you how cool my little sisters are?  Well, they are really, amazingly cool!

Margaret is in her junior year at Sewanee: The University of the South where she is a history major.  She is currently spending her spring semester studying abroad in Rome, Italy.  She is loving it, and spent last weekend visiting friends in Nice, France for Carnival.  Pretty awesome!

Frannie graduated from Sewanee last May with a B.A. in Global and International Studies and a minor in Spanish.  Frannie spent her summer working at A BarA Ranch in Wyoming.  A few weeks ago, Frannie joined the U.S. Peace Corps as a Community Education Promoter in the South American country of Guyana.  She will spend the next two years there, and is jumping right in to her experience – eating chicken feet and taking bucket baths!  She is brave and so impressive!

In addition to being world travelers, they are also smart, hilarious, and very artistic.  Frannie has traveled to Ecuador, Haiti, and Honduras and is fluent in Spanish; Margaret speaks French and is learning Italian.  They both have awesome fashion senses, and I love to steal borrow their clothes and get fashion advice from them when I’m home.  They are also gorgeous and adventurous… be sure to check out their blogs (click on their names, above)!

So there you have it, the world traveling sisters, currently all living in three different countries.  Thanks, Mom, for passing along your adventurous streak to us!  Fun fact: my mom, Katrina, lived in Germany for two years after college.  She has some awesome stories!

Wednesdays at CALLS

{One of my favorite afternoons at CALLS - we walked to Purple Turtle Beach to sketch and enjoy snacks. I love these kids, even though they are trying way to hard to look tough in this photo!}

For the past year, I have spent nearly ever Wednesday at CALLS, the local alternative high school.  For my first two semesters in Dominica, I tutored students and recent graduates, working with them on homework, reading, and math skills (aka maths), in addition to mentoring them and just chatting with them about life.

I have worked mainly with the boys, which is pretty rewarding and entertaining, but also, often frustrating, since many of them have a hard time in school and come from difficult backgrounds.  A few of the students I have tutored have left school and dropped out, which is  really disheartening.  I am always so impressed by the students who stick with CALLS and complete the two-year program.  CALLS provides job training and vocational skills, so even for students who don’t excel in a traditional classroom setting, CALLS can teach them a great deal.

Last semester, I joined my good friend Mary, a Peace Corps Volunteer here in Dominica, and helped her teach art classes at CALLS on Wednesday afternoons.  It is always interesting – some days good, some days bad – but overall, I love being part of the school and getting to know the students, even though they aren’t always thrilled about art class.  In a few minutes, I’ll head to Portsmouth for my first art class this semester.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we have a good afternoon!

 

Dominica: a beautifully kept secret in the Caribbean

{Photo of Calibishie by C Squared}

It was pretty cool to discover an article on Dominica in yesterdays Lexington Herald-Leader:

“The bright spot was my final destination: the beautiful island of Dominica. Not to be confused with the Dominican Republic, Dominica (pronounced DOM-i-NEE-ka) lies between the islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe in the southern Caribbean.  Of the 103 countries I have visited, this is one of the most beautiful.”  -Patti Nickell

In five days, travel writer Patti Nickell explored a good portion of the island and went to many awesome spots, places that Charlie and I would definitely take visiting family and friends or recommend to visitors.  It was fun to read about our island home and some of our favorite places here.  The article also just gives a really nice overview of what Dominica is like and how beautiful it is.  You can check out the article in its entirety here.

Sunset Sundays

I always take photos and have taken over four thousand since we’ve arrived in Dominica, but I am obviously never able to share all of them.  Since we have the most spectacular view of the water and mountains from our porch, Charlie and I have managed to capture some really beautiful sunsets.  So, Sunset Sundays is my new weekly feature where I will post one of our sunset photos every Sunday.  Enjoy!