Tale of Two St Lucians
23 June 2016
Uproar was anchored in Soufriere, an old working town on the volcanic end of st Lucia. Lisa and I were having tea in the cockpit. Lisa was startled by a little head that popped up over the gunwale.
"Hi, do you have any trash for me to take?"
We didn't but proceeded to have a nice conversation with Jordan. He was in the 6th grade, didn't like math and spoke as a well educated young man. He swam out on an old sailboard. It was old but was a hot Mistral competition board in its day.
I asked him if he windsurfer. He said he didn't have a sail but his older brother represented st Lucia in competitions. His brother was in new york of somewhere on the east coast and he missed him a lot.
Lisa had just baked scones and we offered him one. He didn't know what a scone was. I gave him one to try.
Jordan smiled, "this is very good, thank you!"
Then Jordan went into his boat boy, tour guide routine that he could arrange a trip to the falls, volcano, and the best restaurants. It made us sad. This "what's the plan" sales pitch we got from many of the boys is why we may not return to Soufriere. Why couldn't he just accept our scone and nice conversation without wanting more?
We were fortunate enough to meet " The Posse," a group of expatriate guys from the U.S. UK, and Scottland. We had fun with them watching the election results come in one night and a trip up the mountain with Charles, Donny and his girlfriend for pizza another.
Donny managed the Diamond Falls Botanical Garden and the adjacent estate. Diamond Falls was the site for the movie "Romancing The Stone." It was the center of a plantation centuries ago whose heirs had turned into a beautiful botanical garden, open to the public.
I was on the prowl for some local wood to make a magazine rack for Uproar. Donny said he would get me some. I hiked up through the private estate to Donny's office to get the wood. There was a mill, cement kilns and a sprawling home with the most beautiful views of the Soufriere harbor. As I was leaving an elderly lady invited me to sit on the veranda for a chat.
Therese, 85 yo, grew up on the plantation. She told me stories about the horseback riding and tennis she enjoyed as a youth. The girls were sent to boarding school in Barbados and she spent some time in a convent in New York. She said they were permitted to speak for only two hours per day. I think she was making up some of that time with me and I was delighted.
Theresa lamented the state of her island. She said there was absolutely no danger of crime when she was a girl. We discussed the election. She was firmly in favor of the yellow party. She was proud of the female candidate in her district who was running for the yellow party. She also discretely mentioned she was dark.
We left Soufriere for a day to anchor between the Pitons, two steep mountains protecting a beautiful bay. The bay was home of the exclusive Sugar Beach Resort. We went ashore and asked about a cab to visit the sulfur springs. A friendly, uniformed guard drove us up to reception in a fringed tuk-tuk. A cab appeared in minutes. This is a classy place. We were treated like honored guests but we were merely using their dock for our dinghy.
The contrast with Soufriere couldn't have been greater. We love St Lucia and hope Yellow helps solve this beautiful island nation's problems.