Sorry if this one reads like a bit of a tourism ad, but it can’t be helped. The Grenadines are truly awesome. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is one country, so we are able to visit “our little sister islands” on personal leave (of which we get 3 days a month). October 27th is SVG’s Independence Day, so we got a 4-day weekend. We decided to use it to visit Union Island, the most distant Grenadine. The occasion was also used to celebrate 3 October volunteer birthdays, including my own.
We decided to take a plane, as it was only a bit more expensive than the ferry, and would give us more hours to play. It is only a 16 minute flight, but a 4 hour ferry ride. We arrived on Saturday morning and, after a 10 minute walk from the airport, checked into our hotel, King’s Landing (GoT anyone?). We made quick time in getting settled and heading off to Sparrows Beach Club. We ate cheeseburgers, drank some beers, and lounged on the beach for most of the day. It was exactly what I pictured when I found out I was moving to the Caribbean, but so seldom see. There was also a big, shaggy, black dog there that let us pet him. The dogs here hardly ever let you touch them, so it was nice to have a little dog cuddle time.
When we came back to the hotel, we had a little pool time before we headed to dinner. We went to a cool restaurant called La’Aquarium that had (you guessed it) an aquarium with various fish, lobsters, jellyfish, eels, and a shark. Union Island caters to the yachting crowd, so it has some really nice restaurants. I had pizza, and the other volunteers surprised us who had October birthdays with a cake and presents. It was so nice and turned one of my most mediocre birthdays (I spent the actual day eating mashed potatoes and poptarts and feeling sorry for myself) into one of the best ones yet.
After dinner, a few of us made an attempt to go out, but it was really too early. In the Caribbean, the party doesn’t really start until after 1am. We did, however, find a club that had been decorated with live foliage. Someone had gone into the bush and cut down a bunch of branches and trees, and had tied them to the walls. There was also a thick carpet of leaves on the ground. It felt like walking into a jungle, except a jungle with laser lights and Soca music blasting.
The next day was supposed to be our sailing day, but the weather prevented that. Most of the morning was quite rainy. But, we’re PCV’s so we made the best of things. We went postcard shopping and enjoyed some beverages while we sat filling out our postcards. After we got back to the hotel, the weather had cleared, so some people went for a hike, some rested, and the rest of us had a pool day. We also played some dice and card games. We had a really good dinner at the Yacht Club. And went to bed pretty early so that we would be rested for our sailing day.
On our last day, be got up early and were taken by dingy to our sailing schooner, the Scaramouche. We spent the day snorkeling with sea turtles and enjoying life to the fullest. The waters around the Grenadines are indescribably beautiful. We went to Mayreau, the Tobago Cays, and the resort on Palm Island. The Tobago Cays should be on everyone’s bucket list. This was also a perfect time to go because it is before high season in winter, when there will be tons of people, and the turtle watching will be sub par.
When we were on Palm Island, it made me realize that we are slowly exiting the world of Western polite society. It is a very pricey resort island, so we weren’t allowed to even sit on the beach chairs. As we were sitting in the sand, looking at the rich people with envy, an iguana came onto the beach. The correct thing to do would have been to snap a couple of pictures and marvel at the beauty of nature. What we did was immediately discuss whether or not we could eat it (people in St. Vincent eat iguanas) and attempt to touch it. We lured it with leaves and lunged at it to try and touch it. The whole scene was pretty much the opposite of the vibe Palm Island Resort seems like it’s trying to set. It showed that you can take the PCV out of the village, but you can’t take the village out of the PCV.
After we returned to Union, we quickly grabbed our things from the hotel and hopped the next flight back to St. Vincent. As soon as we landed, we were immediately plunged back into the real world of trying to get a van home in the dark and the rain. It was an awesome get away that was just what I needed. Now I’m feeling a lot more energized to finish this first term.