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.

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10 Days In Dominica: Day 8

Does your spouse like it here?

Why, yes.  Yes he does.  Although Charlie spends most of his time studying, he loves the island and all the adventures it has to offer.  He loves all the hiking and swimming.  He’s a beach guy at heart, so when he has the chance to enjoy Dominica, he feels right at home.  When he’s not busy studying all of this…

He loves doing things like this…

And this…

And this…

I know Charlie is looking forward to spending more time enjoying the island {and some time with me!} after his test on Tuesday.  We’re planning for a fun afternoon together — an outdoor adventure of some sort, followed by a lobster dinner at Sunset Bay.  Can’t wait!!!

10 Days In Dominica: Day 4

Day 4: What has been your favorite trip?

There have been so many good ones, but I think that my all-time favorite trip has been the Seven Waterfalls hike, which I have been on twice so far, once each semester, and I hope to continue the trend!  This five-hour hike is difficult and is the perfect combination of difficulty,  astonishing beauty, adrenaline-pumping jumps into waterfalls, and refreshing icy swims in the waterfalls pools.  I know I’ve mentioned the hike before, but I absolutely love it.  When you finish, you are exhausted, but so proud of how far you’ve hiked, trekked, and adventured.

The fact that you see seven “official” waterfalls, plus several more if it has rained recently is just awesome.  Swimming in the waterfalls is the best part of all, and you can swim in about five of them.

What is really cool is how different the same waterfall can look, just a few months later, based on the weather and amount of rainfall.  Check out the photos below of the same waterfall, taken in February (during the dry season), and in June (during the rainy season).

The waterfall was so much bigger in June, that looking back at my photos from my first trip, I had a difficult time matching up the two.

Although I’ve been lucky enough to go on this trip twice (once with strangers, once with friends), I am still dying to do this hike with Charlie.  He’s also been wanting to go on this adventure, so we’re hoping to make it happen this semester… we’ll keep you posted!

Things We Love

  • Caribbean Vacations.  More specifically, our recent vacation to the tiny island of Canouan in the Grenadines.

  • Hotel upgrades from a beachfront room to a beachfront suite.  Yes, please.

  • The Jaden Sun, the “fast ferry,” that we took from St. Vincent to Canouan.  Fast, air conditioned and nicer than an airplane.
  • The fresh coconut water we just had with breakfast from the freshly picked jelly coconut our landlord just gave us.  Thank you, Mrs. Coll!

Pre-exam study zone.

  • Charlie’s hard work paying off and moving right along to semester 3, but not before a well-deserved break.
  • Relaxed Charlie.
  • My fabulous island friend, Katie, who designed this blog’s fabulous new header and created the awesome C Squared button at the bottom of the page.  Isn’t she talented?
  • Mail from friends and family.  We love emails and comments on our blog, too.  Thanks for making us feel so loved!  We love you, too!
  • Seeing our cutie pie little puppy this morning (the one we found a home for).  Her owner’s boyfriend lives next door, and she’s hanging out on the porch there this morning.  She is getting big and healthy and is still as sweet as ever.  Plus she has a new gigantic Rottweiler best friend and that makes me smile.
  • Doctors who help me treat my ringworm (not actually a worm).  (Even if they are grouchy and even if it requires getting 3 vials of blood drawn and tested to make sure that I don’t have liver or kidney problems so that I can take the very intense oral anti-fungal medicine.)

Read the bottom row! (Click for a close-up view!)

  •  The September issue of Town & Country Magazine called Sewanee “the new Hogwarts.”  I love Sewanee!  I love Hogwarts!  I love that Sewanee is the new Hogwarts!!!

  • Caribbean beer.  Each island brews their own.  Dominica: Kubuli.  Bahamas: Sands and Kalik.  St. Vincent and the Grenadines: Hairoun.
  • Hilarious people.  Last week I was walking down the road wearing as the friendly trash men were hard at work.  I happened to be wearing a bright green dress.  “Hello Green Lady,” one of the men said.   “How are you today?”  I responded, “I’m fine, thank you, how are you?”  The guy’s response was classic — he gave me a huge gappy smile and said, “Not as good as Green Lady.”  Goodbye trash men.  Goodbye Green Lady.

C Squared cliff jumping at Bense Pool.

  • Living on the nature island of Dominica.  Where else do you get to spend an afternoon with your husband and friends doing stuff like this?

Second semester, going strong!


I know I’ve been a stranger, but with exams last semester, moving to a new apartment, our trip home, my extra time in the U.S. to attend Frannie’s college graduation (you go, girl!), Frannie’s visit to Dominica, and my trip with Frannie to St. Maarten, it has taken me a little while to get settled back in to life here on the island.

Charlie has been working hard to master neuroanatomy (my worst nightmare!) and is studying night and day in preparation for Mini 1, the first huge test of the semester. He has also gotten to do a little bit of work outside of the classroom, diagnosing a standardized patient, and playing dominoes with the older generation of Dominicans at a local senior citizens center. I think it was a nice break to step out of the classroom for a little while! As always, he is working and studying like I have never seen. His dedication is amazing, and I know it will pay off!

The kittens, just a few days old. Please focus on them and not my grungy, sweaty appearance, which sadly is inevitable in this insane heat... We're talking boiling heat with 70% humidity. I was so hot and flustered the other day on my walk home that I choked on my own spit and almost passed out on the road. No joke. It's so hot you can't even breathe properly!

I have been busy volunteering with CALLS (the alternative high school) and In.Light.In (a ministry working with local kids on Friday afternoons), serving on RSO’s (Ross Spouses Organization) board helping with fundraising, and mainly just trying to stay cool. It has been unbelievably (unbearably) hot lately, so just trying to maintain a functional body temperature has been a task in and of itself! I’ve also spent lots of time with friends, mostly hiking, swimming, having game nights, and hanging out in the air conditioned coffee shop. My friend Brandi’s cat just had 7 kittens, so I spend as much time as I can watching those little cuties (I actually saw the mama cat give birth to 2 of them… CRAZY!). And I am looking forward to a fun day with Charlie after his test next week!!!

Contrary to popular belief, this is NOT how Charlie spends his days. (Only after a big test!)

This, however, is how I do spend mine!

Sisters at Frannie's graduation from Sewanee

Enjoying a hike and swim during Fran's visit

Our fabulous porch view!

P.S. — I apologize if this post has the lame sound of a holiday Christmas letter, updating you a little too chipperley on our fabulous life and the many accomplishments of our 4 amazing children (all on the honor roll!) and their little league championships.  (As I proofread this myself, that’s the vibe I got.)  Luckily, I spared you from having to read about the accomplishments of our 4 amazing children since we have none.