Meeting with Best and Lunch with Faciltators 045On a beautiful Monday afternoon Zimm and I jumped in the back of Metro’s pick-up truck to drive through the valley in search of our seven facilitators. We started in Derniere Riviere, drove through Belmont, took a short-cut to Grand Ravine and then made our way onwards through La Caye to Limere. We went to La Resource, Gaddette, and then back to Rich Fond before returning home to Derniere Riviere.  It was a long day!

The road trip was much more than just driving through these communities. So lets recap to before we jumped in the back of the truck… it was a scorching hot day (temps in 80s!) so we went back up the hill to change into some looser clothing since I want to soak up as much sun as possible before returning to Maine. First stop was Belmont: a beautiful community (the name says it all) overlooking the Fond D’Or beach. “Wow!  Everyone has a sea view.” observed Zimm. On our way to Grand Ravine we briefly talked to a farmer harvesting bananas. The road was so rocky that we were able to chat up with a passer-by for a few minutes. In Grand Ravine I stopped by some old schoolmates. A friend joked about my size, clamming that I have not put on any weight since high school. Lucians have a nick name for everyone: at high school they used to call me Ticore (small guy or bonny guy to some people). Its always nice to share a laugh with old friends!  So far we have 2 facilitators in Derniere Riviere, one in Belmont, and two in Grand Ravine.  We left Grand Ravine and headed to Limiere in such of my son, Junior (he is not actually my son).

I met Junior while working on the St. Lucia Iguana project some six years ago. He is now 15 and one of the students that propagating peace will be working with for the rest of the summer. Afterwards we went to Gadette and Rich Fond in search for one more facilitator.

Going through the valley was like a breath of fresh air. The very diverse communities provide such a great classroom for both Zimm and I to learn: for me, catching up with old friends and using past experience as my work-book. A lot of my learning is derived from explaining to Zimm as we cruise around the valley. It feels good to be home. I love the valley. It seems that I am almost at a stage of self actualization, for a brief moment.

But then I quickly get back to the reality that there is a lot more work to be done. So as we arrive home I tell Zimm, “oye Zimm Action Points man.” So about 6:00 pm we took a walk down the road to Derniere Riviere (to the football field) with out little note books to continue planning. It’s a continuous process and we love our job.

~Neil

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