By Kimmy Lennon:
It’s hard to believe that I have been here for almost a month! It took me a little longer than expected to settle in, but I am finally starting to feel right at home. Everyone at the committee has been incredibly kind and helpful which is making my experience very enjoyable. Nicha is the administrative secretary at the Olympic house and invited me to stay with her this weekend. She lives further in the countryside with her daughter and granddaughter. The countryside is beautiful, it felt like I was in the middle of the jungle. It was a great opportunity to explore a different area of the island, visit the beach and get to know her family. The island seemed really big when I first arrived and I thought it was funny that the locals kept telling me how small it was and that it was impossible to get lost. Well they were absolutely right, what seemed big at first is actually really tiny- everyone is super friendly to one another downtown because everyone knows each other! I spent some of Friday afternoon hanging out in “Heritage Square” which is a street downtown Kingstown where locals gather for food, drinks and music every Friday. It was really nice seeing this type of gathering that apparently happens every week.
I hope to do something new every weekend to really take advantage of my time here. Unfortunately we’re heading into the rainy season, which makes exploring a little less ideal, but either way I hope to go to the Vermont Nature Trail this weekend and maybe surfing in the coming weeks! Speaking of seasons…it’s also carnival season so everyone here is preparing for “Vincy Mas” which is a huge Caribbean celebration that takes place at the end of June. The festival sounds amazing and I’m really looking forward to celebrating this aspect of their culture.
My work with the committee is coming along nicely. I am in the midst of developing a multi-sport framework that will serve as a template for clubs on the island that wish to expand into a multi-sport club. Given the limited resources and financial support, a multi-sport club is a viable way to stretch resources and reach a lot more participants. I have sent out a survey to collect more information about some of the clubs. The lifestyle here is pretty different and much more relaxed than what I’m use to in Canada. I was told that I will most likely need to follow up with everyone I sent the survey to and remind them to complete it. It seems a little bizarre to have to supervise the process to that extent but I guess that’s just how it’s done in the Caribbean.
Until next time,