Two weeks ago my friend Julia came down to visit for a week. While she was here we did some interesting things that I had yet to do, such as go on the Mount Gay Rum tour and visit the old synagogue in Bridgetown (over 350 years old!).
Side note: the modern history of the Caribbean is actually tightly interwoven with Jewish history in the region. The cultivation of sugar cane was made possible by the exodus of Dutch Jews, who were fleeing Portugese rule in Brazil, to the Caribbean. The Dutch jews brought windmill technology from Brazil to the Caribbean, thus making industrial-levels of agriculture production possible.Also, because we went to a birthday party for a friend of mine I met a bunch of new people who live in Barbados. The most immediate result of these new contacts was an invitation to participate in a Thursday pub trivia game at a bar on the West Coast. This has been a lot of fun and is something I hope continues during my remaining time here. (Notice: I am soliciting good pub trivia names!).
Currently I am in the middle of my last class for my program. The course is on disaster management in the Caribbean and is taught by two very experienced professors. One is a Jamaican-born, Canadian university professor who has spent his life traveling and teaching about disaster management. The other is the director of CDEMA (the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency), which is one of the few shining examples of a productive regional institution. Not only do their life experiences complement one another well, but they are old friends dating back to their undergraduate days at UWI. It's actually quite uplifting to see two good UWI products standing before me. Before, all I heard about was the UWI graduate seen pumping gas or working a menial job in some department store.
Finally, I have planned my trip home, which will be from July 1st to the 9th. During that time I will spend a few days in Connecticut celebrating Independence Day, one day in NYC, and a few days in Philly with Nora. Between now and July 1st my only goals are to finish my disaster management class on a good note and secure a rental car to use until I leave Barbados for good. Unfortunately a car is necessary to get to the job I will be starting on July 11th, which is located allllll the way by the airport in the south (about as far away from my apartment as you can get). On the plus side, having a car will vastly improve my social life since lack of personal transportation has been the main impediment to my going places.
That's pretty much all thats going on at the moment. I'll post more parts of the essay in the coming days. I haven't forgotten!