Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Grenada: Lori and Kelly's Big Adventure

Captain's Log: Day 6, Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Mackenzie's neighbors- goats

Today, we went to visit Mackenzie's school, the Peace Corps office and ate a typical Grenadian lunch. We hopped the bus and went to the school first, school is not in session but the classroom teacher met us and showed us around. I was struck most by the contrast of looking the same but yet being so different. Same types of things you would see on the walls, same little desks, outwardly visible likeness. But after talking with the teacher, that is almost where similarity stops. Although like many American teachers, Grenadian teachers have to provide many of the resources and materials for their classrooms. But where in America, although limited, some things are provided. Here for instance, if a teacher wants poster board, she has to buy it, and the strangest thing to me was.......the classrooms have internet but no computers are provided, the teacher must come up with it on their own. The ministry of education provides some things, but not really per pupil aid like the US. The main thing they provide their teachers is chalk.....plenty of chalk. So the teacher copies the worksheet problems to the board and the students copy it in their saddle-stitched two staple booklets that fall apart after the first few months. It is like having one foot in the present, and one foot back 50 years ago.....very strange.
They have a copier in the office that was provided however they cannot afford to replace the toner, so it sits. They do not have a pencil sharpener, not even the crank kind, so they try to keep pencils sharp by using those little plastic sharpeners.
Mackenzie and Chantal


Then there is the whole distraction of coming to school and not having eaten since yesterday. Sometimes the choice might be to pay to ride the bus (which they have to pay every day to ride) or which is more important? The teachers often cook extra to provide snacks or breakfast for some of the children. Lunch is the one meal that is provided to the students. It might be the same thing for days in a row but the children are glad to have it. While we were there the PE teacher was busy trying to freshen the paint on the outside of the school to make it more inviting when the children return. The play yard was going to be mowed and cleaned up for them also. They don't have fancy jungle gyms and soft sandy areas to land on when they fall...they play where they can using their little imaginations to think up games and I'm sure they laugh and giggle just as much as if they had the fancy equipment.

Mackenzie and Flint at Peace Corps office

Kelly and Lori wearing left over Carnival outfits

We left there and took the bus into town to visit the Peace Corps office, met the do everything girl, Marcea and rested in the air conditioning for a bit.......woo of the only spots we've encountered it here other than a few stores.

Then we went on further to meet another volunteer and have lunch at B's Roti Shop. Now, when they first started talking I thought they were calling them Roadies.....and I was envisioning a road kill burrito.......I was thinking cup of soup was sounding awesome. But when I saw the sign I just chuckled to myself and thought I can do this.
Vegetarian Roti


Roti - Rho tee -
The word 'roti' in the West Indies may also refer to a dish of stewed or curried ingredients wrapped in a 'roti skin'. In Trinidad and Tobago various rotis are served. Popular variations include chicken, conch, beef and vegetable. Shrimp and goat are available.
While common variations may include chicken, beef, or cabbage and carrot, one of the more authentic alternatives (goat) is known as Groti.
In Suriname roti refers mainly to roti dahlpuri or roti aloopuri. It is most often eaten with chicken curry. Roti can also refer to a dish of stuffed and spiced roti wraps.  It usually includes chicken curry, potatoes, boiled eggs and various vegetables, most notably the kousenband or yardlong bean. Another variation includes shrimp and aubergine. It is custom to eat the dish by hand.

We were going to order boneless chicken roti's but they were out of boneless chicken. So we ordered vegetarian, which was more than fine for me. Inside was a mixture of vegetables, potatoes, green beans, pumpkin, chick peas and curry. You have to clarify when ordering boneless because if not, you will encounter chunks of chicken on the bone, which many people pull out and bite the ends off and suck the marrow out. Yes, ick, I thought the same thing, but it is very common.

After our little lunch we shopped at this wonderful little shop called Art Fabrik that does some awesome batik dying of cloth. Then to the grocery store and home. Tired and hot but fat and happy.

Street where we shopped-easy to get "bounced"

New phrase - Just Grenadian it means.........Now as in right now up to maybe two hours. For instance, I will be there just now......means eventually. And another phrase - Just So - means around there. For instance, you go up the road just so and turn left just so. Maybe a block, maybe a mile........just so.

But never the less........Life is good.

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