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Monday morning and I'm “veg’ed” out. we had a busy but surprisingly relaxing weekend in Troumaca. The reason I'm so tired is that we caught a 6:00 a.m. “bus” down this morning which meant getting up at an unbelievable 5:00 a.m. Plus we got to bed late. I feel like sleeping for a month.

We were fortunate enough to get a ride up on Friday afternoon with Dennis and John-Luc. Roger also came up with us. Saturday, we climbed Soufriere in THE most miserable weather. Rain and wind. Our attempts to talk the other members of the group into postponing the climb until Sunday (surely the weather could be no worse than it was) was unsuccessful so we plodded on up to the top. The first 5 minutes were fine. We could see most of the crater and the huge lava dome in the center. It was raining lightly so I procrastinated in taking pictures. That was a big mistake! It began to rain, HARD. Soaking us through and chilling us to the bone. After 10 minutes or so it let up, long enough for me to snap several pictures before it REALLY began to rain. Finally, we gave up on our plans to climb down into the crater and instead, we beat a hasty retreat down the mountain. The wind was blowing at least 50 mph and the huge, horizontal raindrops pummeled us like shot. The trail turned into a torturously winding stream (a canoe would have been handy) as we slipped and slided down the mountainside absolutely soaked. Of course it stopped raining as we reached the bottom. The only advantage, if it could be called that, was that we were so chilled and wet that the shower, dry clothes, hot coffee and fatigue reminded me of the comfort one feels after a long day on the ski slope. A reminder which will soon find reality, I hope.

02-83 Soufriere climb (2).JPG

Sunday was much more low-key. Mostly hanging around the house and swimming. Late in the afternoon, Dennis, Rodger and I went up past Spring Village and hiked up to the catchment, collecting seeds along the way. Deb stayed back at Dennis's house and spent the afternoon entertaining the Canadian Med students who had climbed Soufriere that morning on a predictably beautiful day (Ian and Mark). That evening we were to celebrate Dennis's birthday and a whole group of French speaking folks who happened to be here from Dominica , including Dennis's counterpart, showed up. Conversationally we were left out but I was so tired I didn't care. But it did reinforce my interest in learning another language. Americans are so ignorant and insolent in their lack of expertise in speaking foreign languages. I wish I had taken my lessons in French and Spanish more seriously. Actually, I would like to learn enough German and French to be functionally conversational. My Spanish need some building up too. Deb and I want to go to England and Europe next year and I know will wish that we were fluent in something other than English.

So now it's back in Kingstown with this blasted hotel survey nagging at me. I'm such a joke and I have to get on with it (been saying that for 6 weeks now). God grant me strength to do what I must do. Amen!