Number 25–Coconuts

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Today was an early start. Most of us woke up around 6:45 to head out to the farmers market. Being at the farmers market was actually a really great experience for me. I not only got to enjoy seeing the market, but I also got to interact with a great local there. I wish I would’ve gotten his name. We were chatting and he was giving me advice and it was actually really great. He told me to always do everything excellent. If you’re going to do it, do it excellent. People should remember you for something good. He was saying that he sells coconuts and ice cream excellently and I agreed with him because he was doing a really nice job. He was very friendly and seemed genuinely interested in us. After our group got a coconut for everyone to try, he pulled me to the side and actually gave me one for free and was telling me all about it. He told me to go show it to my friends and that I could keep it and take it home. I was honored because this is how he makes his living, or at least some of it, and he’s just giving it to me. That was so kind of him. I thought it was extremely generous of him and that’s something I hope I don’t forget.

Once we were back to the beach I got to lay out in the sun and go in the ocean for quite a while. It’s so relaxing here. I love the smell and sound of the waves. Everything is just at perfect relaxation I don’t know how anyone gets anything done. I got to Skype with my parents which was really nice! I’m so used to talking to my mom every day that it has been weird not talking to her. We’ve been keeping in touch through text, but it’s not quite the same as calling/Skype. They loved the beach and our cottage. They were excited for all of the adventures that I have gotten to take and will be taking and that was really encouraging.

Pier jumping.

ahhhhhhhhh

ahhhhhhhhh

Aka a heart attack waiting to happen. That was so scary, but I’m so glad that I did it. I definitely would have regretted not doing it. As we were contemplating jumping, a group of local teenagers (probably 14-16) came up to us and you could tell that they were making fun of us. Not to the point of us being insulted or anything like that, but they just didn’t seem like they liked us or wanted to talk to us very much. I started to understand what Arden said yesterday about being discriminated against. Like I said before, I didn’t feel insulted and I didn’t feel threatened or anything bad. I just understood what she was talking about.

After pier jumping we all got ready and we took off for Christiansted. In Christiansted we took a walking historical tour of the town with Miss V. She was such an amazing woman. She told it like it was and I really appreciated that. She talked about a lot of interesting stuff. Some things that stuck out to me were when she was talking about the difference between free blacks and free colored.

This was a free gut house. Read more below to find out what that is!

This was a free gut house. Read more below to find out what that is! There is a mural on the door that the local university painted. From what I understood, it’s just to draw attention to the house. There could be something more significant to go with it, but I’m not incredibly sure.

The difference is that if you were a free black, your skin was black, and you were raised by two black people. If you were raised by a black person and a white person but your skin color was still black, you were considered free colored. And in order to be free, you needed to meet a bunch of requirements, or sometimes you could buy your freedom. And if you didn’t keep your freedom papers with you basically at all times you could become enslaved again. There was a spot called London Bridge that a lot of people hung out at.

This is the London Bridge.

This is the London Bridge.

Miss V called it the social media of the time. Everyone sat at this place. It was such a cute place and I actually sat on it and could just feel the history. I tuned out for a minute to just try and think of all of the things that could have gone on in that exact spot. Who could’ve sat there at one point. Then there was the free gut. The free gut is 2 blocks where the free blacks and colored could live. Walking down one street we could see a house that had been burned down recently and these homes where people lived were tinier than the cottages we’re staying in.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The burned down homes. This would have been 3 homes. You can tell that based on the steps.

A side view

A side view

I just cannot imagine how it was living there. It does not sound like it was that great of a time. The tour that Miss V gave was so informational and so eye opening that I could go on about it for hours, but I think I’ll stop there for now.

After the tour, our group had a fantastic dinner and we all had a great time going out and exploring the little areas of Christiansted that were open. We ended up stumbling across a mechanical bull which I actually got on and rode!

I can't believe I did that.

I can’t believe I did that. I just can’t. They all made me do it.

I cannot believe I did that but I’m so glad I did. It was quite the experience that I’m glad I only did once.

It was such a fun day and night getting to know these girls better. I can’t wait to experience this island with this particular set of girls and guy. Day 3 was a complete success.

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