Our third week consisted of painting and cutting in preparation for the construction of the second house. The family we are building for previously had a house built for them by Good News, but due to the children’s disabilities, the house was more of a burden then a blessing because of its location on top of a hill, which made it very difficult to transport both of the disabled children who have mobility issues.
On Thursday we were ready for work as we loaded the lumber into the truck, packed in the vans, and set off on a one-hour drive to Dennery, which is on the Atlantic side of the island. Unlike the first house, we had the advantage of being able drive down to the site instead of having to haul the supplies down a steep hill.
We tied on our nail pouches, grabbed a hammer and went to work as “experienced” carpenters. We assembled the floor on the previously set foundation that two of the Good News Lucian volunteers had previously laid for us. Due to the spaciousness of the site, we were able to work on two walls at once. This allowed us to put up all four walls in one day. The next day we made the long journey back to the site to continue work on the house. We touched up paint, put on trim, and put the doors in place as the Lucian volunteers installed the steel roof. Although it was a long hot week of work, we were able to enjoy the views of the ocean that could be seen from the work site.
Over the past two weeks Reggie, one of the Lucian volunteers, tossed around the idea of going spear fishing. On the night of November 12th the idea became a reality as we suited up with our snorkeling gear, harpoon gun, and the Lucian weapon or tool of choice, the machete. The machete, also known as a cutlass, is not an uncommon personal accessory here in St. Lucia. We must have been quite the sight to the tourists as we strutted across the beach of an affluent resort with our gear on our backs.
After our thirty minute hike across the beach and a rocky shoreline in the dark, we arrived at Reggie’s fishing “hot spot”. Due to the lack of daylight, we could only go out in pairs. Reggie was the only one who had a flashlight — and to be safe, he had the rest us wait on shore until those in the water returned. Although long, yet thrilling, we had a successful night spearing a total of eight fish. This catch provided food for Reggie and his family for a few meals.
On Saturday, the Gap students and the Good News Project crew took a day off of building and school work, to take to the water. The group left from Rodney Bay, located at the northern end of the island, and boarded a large catamaran sailboat. We set sail for the city of Soufriere on the southern end of the island. While there, the group had the opportunity to go to shore and explore the atmosphere of a typical Saturday morning in Soufriere. Every Saturday is market day in St. Lucia and streets are lined with vendors selling their wares — from fresh fruits of coconuts, breadfruit, mangoes, and watermelon, to fresh fish. As we arrived in Soufriere, we watched as local fishermen pulled in their nets and counted the earnings of their hard work. The event attracted quite a crowd; it seemed as though half the town came to purchase the fresh fish.
After the group was done exploring Soufriere we left for home. On the way back we stopped at a nature reserve to enjoy the weather and all that the water had to offer, from snorkeling to swimming and playing in the water with friends. On the last leg of our journey, we experienced the fickle nature of how quickly the weather changes on the Caribbean Sea.One minute it was sunny and intensely hot, the next it was overcast and drizzling. After a full day of action and adventure everyone arrived back home with varying degrees of sun exposure and exhaustion. All in all it was a good day and a fun break from the busy schedule that we have grown accustomed to.