What do you need to know about St. Lucia as background for this post? It is a country of 238 square miles, with approximately 174,000 people, two Nobel Laureates (the world’s highest population to laureate ratio), and the same voting power as China in the UN. As far as geography – it lies between Martinique and St. Vincent in the Eastern Caribbean. (The nearest large country is Venezuela.)
With its high percentage of package tour resorts and American honeymooners, it is probably not the first place I would choose to go on vacation, so how did I end up there last week? The work plan gods smiled on me. I got to spend a week teaching a course in data collection and survey statistics for representatives of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States. The upside of teaching in paradise is that you can knock off for a half day and scuba dive in gin-clear waters, hang out with the world’s friendliest sea turtle (seriously – this guy was more than happy just to chill in the current with us – compliments to my dive partner for the photographic evidence), stop on your way to the airport to see the famous twin peaks of the Titons and visit “the Caribbean’s only drive in volcano,” and basically have the ability to brush your teeth with rum punch if you so desire.
The downside is that everyone else in paradise is on vacation. Which means at 10 pm – when I am on a deadline trying to bust out the last batch of slides for the next day’s class – the drunk fools attempting to sing what may was equally likely to be Hotel California or La Bamba acappella because the hotel has *finally* unplugged the karaoke machine – really piss me off. So I am out there on my balcony wanting to scream “get off my lawn you god damned kids” and shake a broom at them. Unbelievably the quietest place I found to work in the village of Rodney Bay was the Whiskey in a Jar Irish pub.
Other than that, not much in the way of adventures to report. I am going to close this post with a joke though. I don’t normally repeat silly jokes that they print in airplane magazines, but my grandmother would have liked this one. (She used to love calypso music – listening to it in Florida during the winters. The only song that I can remember had the chorus of “the girl is your sister but your mamma don’t know” – until the last verse – in which the chorus was “your papa ain’t your papa but your papa don’t know.”)
In any case:
Donovan was on his deathbed and his wife Leila was at his bedside. She held his fragile hand,tears running down her face. Her praying roused him from his slumber. He looked up and his pale lips began to move slightly.
'Mih dahlin Leila,' he whispered.
'Hush mih love,' she said, 'Rest... Doh talk.'
He was insistent. 'Leila,' he said in his tired voice, 'Me have someting me hafa confess to yuh.'
'You have nuttin to confess.' she said.
'No no me hafa die in peace love. Me sleep with yuh sister, yuh best friend, and yuh mudda.'
'Me know,' answered Leila, 'dats why me poison yuh.'