I'm trying to review the past year, but it flew by so quickly I just don't think I am going to get it all. Let's start with my trip back to Perth in June.
So I was back in my second home, in Perth, in June for 6 weeks after 10 months away. What changes I did I see there over the past year, and what changes occurred here in Glanvillia/Portsmouth while I was away? Basically nothing on both counts! Kind of reassuring in a way. I guess things just slog along as they are meant to. I did enjoy my friends and family, and shopping. I packed my usual 6 boxes of things and shipped them off to Dominica from Montreal. Thanks Harold for taking the time to schlep me to the shipper in LaSalle.
Anthony came back with me for a couple of weeks. You can see his videos on YouTube. We didn't see much of him as he was either in the jungle or under the sea.
The prominent event over the next months was a complete makeover of the Bar/Restaurant and then putting in the patio in the back. We knocked out the back wall of the Bar, put in a door, cemented a portion of the back yard to the sea wall and planted a garden. It is lovely to sit out there, in the sea breeze under the coconut tree with a cold Kubuli (beer) and a bowl of McDowell's fish soup. Thanks to Ron for his guidance and work.
Then there was the Art and Craft Expo sponsored by Ross University School of Medicine in late November. A big 2 day event. We make a lot of money for the community. This year the recipients were the Northern Home for the Aged and the Roving Care Givers. I have the best job on the committee - organizing and looking after the 45+ artists and crafters.
The current project is to bring the front room in the little old house, next to the Bar, into useable condition. We (Loni, Lene, Mait and I, known locally as "the white ladies" or sometimes "McDowell's Ladies") plan to open an art gallery/gift shop there. Renovations are moving ahead at Dominican rate of progress i.e. slow. Here's a little story: 'Gouti, the carpenter, had to leave the job early yesterday because he is the bell ringer at the Catholic Church. There was a funeral, so he put his tools away at noon and went to ring the bell and didn't come back. Is he there this morning? Not sure! Probably, in his own time.The real barrier is the outrageous expense of materials and paint. We hope for a January opening, but I don't think we will make it. It may be ready for Carnival.
I will tell more about the house itself, a century building and the last of its kind in Portsmouth, in another Blog.
So here we are at Christmas 2016. Given that Christmas in Dominica is a non-event and the tropical weather, it is very difficult to raise any sort of Christmas Spirit as it is known in n the North. On Christmas day the expats and their partners and some Ross faculty will gather at Sister's Sea Lodge on the beach for a pot luck meal and Christmas cheer! Thanks to Whitney for organizing this.