Number 24–Let’s go paddle-boarding!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Today I woke up and I was groggy because I was pretty sure that this was all a dream. Apparently it wasn’t because I got ready and had coffee on the beach.

The view from the cottages.

The view from the cottages.

After coffee, we went to the grocery store. On the way to the grocery store I got to sit in the front seat of the van and it was SO WEIRD. Here they drive in the left lane with cars that are made for the right. It was really hard to get used to when watching! The grocery store reminded me a lot of Pick n’ Save. It all seemed very normal except that everyone seemed to love doing what they were doing. Maybe it was just because I was in such a good mood or something, but everyone was just having a good time. Everything is so relaxed here. It’s the perfect place for me.

After the grocery store, we sat on the beach (which was basically heaven) and then went paddle boarding! That was a fun experience, especially because I had never gone before.

I was for sure excited to try something new!

I was for sure excited to try something new!

Something very interesting that happened while I was out on the water was that I was talking to Arden about our travel study. She asked what we were here for and everything and we told her it’s a class about race, class, and gender and she asked oh, so like discrimination? We said yeah, like that. Her response is what shocked me. She said “yeah we have a lot of that here. People always say to me, ‘you’re white??’” That was really something that just stood out to me and I haven’t been able to forget about it. I just can’t believe that she gets discriminated against for being white. I have NEVER heard of that. I understand it though. This, from what I’ve seen, is a predominantly colored community, and these people that have lived here for a long time have history with white people that can’t be erased. I just hate having to hear about children going through discrimination. It doesn’t have to be a white kid. I can’t stand when children get discriminated against. They don’t know what’s happening and I’m sure they have no clue why it’s happening to them. It’s so irritating. Arden was seriously the cutest 13 year old girl I have ever encountered. She’s so sweet and it’s cool to see that she lives that island lifestyle. She’s so laid back and ready for whatever life decides to throw at her. I can only hope that my kids one day will be like her.

After paddle boarding, we headed back to Cottages where we got to rest for about a half an hour and then we got to explore Frederiksted and that was so cool. I loved getting to explore a place with so much history. Also getting to see that art show was amazing! The art that some people can produce is just mind blowing. Hearing the jazz throughout the town was a great touch too. I love jazz to begin with and I even recognized some of the songs! It was a great night of getting to know one another and getting to see the incredible town. Dinner at Pier 69 was so yummy and we even got to talk to the owner! Before dinner we also got to talk to a lady that owns a shop near the restaurant. She was very interested in what we are doing here and she even wanted us to go to a Rotary Club meeting to talk about what we’re doing here. I think that would be cool to get to see the stuff that goes on behind the scenes in this town.

Once dinner was over, the girls and I went over to the pier where we got our pictures taken by some very nice people walking.

Aren't we just too cute?

Aren’t we just too cute?

We saw turtles and sharks, and we even got to see a Lemon Shark being caught. The guys that caught it said that it was the first shark they’ve caught in 8 years. Can you imagine? Those guys are probably out there close to every day. That’s commitment. Also on the pier we got to interact with quite a few locals. It’s honestly amazing how much locals trust other people. They just let anyone talk to and play their kids. We got to play with two siblings and one other kid. They were just so darn cute. The one boy was telling us about sharks and how he wants to ride one and live in its stomach, and the other boy was just loving all of the attention he was getting. He was holding a fish the whole time we were interacting with him and he kept yelling “FISH”. He was just too cute.

Day 2 was amazing. We got great interaction with local people and we got great food and great bonding time. What else could possibly be waiting for us the rest of the trip?

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