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Adventures in St Lucia

Working with Peace Corps can be challenging and excitings. It gives one a chance to travel, really see some destination and learn how the United States Government works. Unfortunately, this may not always be the best. Sometimes government representatives tend to drink to much. That was how I got stranded in St. Lucia for two days!

I worked on Nevis in agricultural disease work and St. Lucia had some similar problems, so I was asked to fly down. My tickets were booked on LIAT (Officially it is Leeward Islands Air Transport, but really means Leave Island Any Time), so I was given the US Peace Corps Associate Country Directors number to call, they would pick me up. The Plane actually arrived on time, but no one answered the telephone and I had no booked accommodations.

After 45 minutes of waiting and telephoning (Customs will not allow you to enter without booked or private lodging), a British Volunteer came through the terminal and suggested that I come with him to the Guest House where he rented a room. Any port in a storm! Customs and Immigration allowed me to enter the country!

The British guy knew several of the Peace Corps Volunteers, but had been gone on medical leave. He would just call one of them for me. He tried, no luck. He then tried the other British Volunteers, nothing. We were beginning to get worried, but decided things would look better on a full stomach and some rest, so went out for dinner to a small restaurant and then I slept on the sofa.

The next day was a Sunday, and we tried numbers again, still no answer. Had all the volunteers been evacuated? Kidnapped? Thrown in jail (I actually did telephone the police). Here I was to meet with other volunteers and then on Monday with government officials and everyone had disappeared! That afternoon we gave up and went hiking!

That night, the APCD came to the guest house looking for me! It seems that there was a birthday party and they had chartered a party boat, drank too much and passed out. Every single volunteer on the island was at the party, and not one had made it home before mid-day, the day after. It was that next afternoon that they remembered I was arriving.

I was no longer stranded in St. Lucia, but I have never trusted the government since!