"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines.

Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain

Student Writing From Dominica

>> Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Author: Bahia Gordillo

March 6, 2011

Location of Piece: Dominica

I think Dominica is the place that I have enjoyed the most since the beginning of this trip. We spent just a few days here, but I feel like I already know everything. The streets are nice, you see everyone walking in the middle and you feel secure. You always hear reggae music as background and loud voices, singing, talking or laughing. The food was very good. They had amazing bread and delicious fresh fruit smoothies. We ate a lot of tropical fruit. We had guava, grapefruit, plantain, and a lot more with unique names. They also have amazing vegetation. The trees were so big and birds were everywhere. We went to the boiling lake. I had never seen something like that. It was actually boiling and we even cooked eggs in it. We also had the chance to go swimming a couple of times. The first time was in warm natural water and then in cold running water. It’s funny to think that all those different temperatures of water are in the same place. Dominicans are really friendly people. Sea Cat, our guide, was proud of his country and kept telling us the good things so that we would come back again. In our last day there Carnival started. It was a big party in the street with people dancing everywhere. We could see young people and old once all together in a big celebration. Dominica is a very interesting country. I’m sure there is a lot more to learn about Dominica and I’m definitely coming back some day.

Author: Ben H

March 6, 2011

Location of Piece: Dominica

Dominica was sweet. We spent some time in Roseau, the capital city. We also visited the Carib territory, the land in which the native Caribbeans first and still do inhabit. Following that we had the opportunity to climb one of the nine volcanoes making up Dominica.

Roseau is a cool town. There’s a local market where people sell their produce. We brought an assortment of different foods that Lizzie needed for cooking. There were also bakeries that had delicious baked goods, and some local vendors set up along the side roads.

After a day in Roseau, we took a couple of vans up and through Carib territory. Our driver, who was known as Sea Cat, drove us up through the rainforest, stopping all along the way for us to pick up exotic fresh fruits. I couldn’t tell you half the names, but they were delicious! Sea Cat took us to a grapefruit and sugar cane plantation. We brought back a couple of sacks of grapefruit and completely restocked the ship. We also ate some sugar cane which was surprisingly good with limes. After we finished there, we continued on towards Carib territory. We made a couple more fruit stops, then a stop at a cocoa farm, where we grinded some beans, mixed the grinds with milk, and made fantastic chocolate. Finally we arrived in Carib territory, which was very neat. We tried some bread made by a couple of local men. They first took a cassava root and carved the bark off the side. They then grinded the inside of the root into Cassava flour with a grated wheel spun by a wooden paddle pulling down on a rope connected to a stick, spinning the wheel. After that, they would make patties out of the flour and cook them on a piece of cast iron resting over a wood fire, finally ending up with a very good piece of warm, soft cassava bread. I had the chance to have a conversation with a local Carib who explained to me his culture and history. He explained that his people were there before Columbus, and that Columbus had no right in claiming their land and killing their people. “Caribs were here first man,” he repeated in his Caribbean accent, “Caribs were here first. I really enjoyed hearing his local view of their history and culture.

Following that great day was another, hiking up a volcano through the rain forest. Sea Cat actually took us on that hike, showing and teaching us about tropical plants and trees. The volcano is dormant but not extinct, so there were all sorts of thermal activity. Sea Cat even had boiled some eggs for us in a boiling river. After about seven or eight mile hike, we reached the boiling lake, a huge lake bubbling and steaming. Standing on top of a fifty-foot cliff, looking down at the lake, you could feel the hot steam fly past you as the wind shifted. We hung out at the top for a while and had some fantastic local salt fish, plantains, and passion fruit juice. After lunch we began our treck back down the volcano. About a quarter of the way down, we stopped and soaked in a hot spring river, which was very relaxing. We then continued down, getting to the bottom a few hours later. Exhausted, hot and sweaty, we jumped into a deep cold, fresh water stream running through a deep rock gorge. This was very refreshing and much needed after a hike like that! Hiking a volcano was a great experience, our entire time in Dominica was fantastic, its definitely been my favorite stop so far, but I’m sure that will change as we explore new places.


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