The EC dollar... very caribbean. It has fish and turtles and bright colors all over it. We changed over some money yesterday to make life a little easier. It's tricky to try to do the conversion math every time you buy something. The EC dollar is about $2. 75 to our $1.00, give or take- so every time we had to multiply by 3 and subtract a little bit. It is a lot easier now.
Yesterday we did more orientation. We went to a lecture about Ross U, and life on St. Kitts. On speaker let us in on something we had been curious about: We had been noticing some dust on our things and just had assumed it was pollen or dirt from construction. We'd get a little grit in our eyelashes once in a while also. Turns out that far to our south, the island of Montserrat has an active volcano. My sister sent me a message yesterday saying "when I look up St. Kitts weather, why does it say 74 and volcanic ash?" Well, that's just it exactly. The ash and debris from that far away island is drifting north in the wind and we are seeing some of it. I found a really informative site about it: http://www.montserratvolcanoobservatory.info/
Apparently this activity has been going on for over 10 years off and on. Pretty interesting.
After the speakers we came home for lunch, (peanut butter and jelly), and relaxed a little bit before going back onto campus so students could pick up the books they ordered. I think Kater had the right idea by purchasing them ahead even though we had to include them in our bags. She saved a lot of money that way- Go Kater!
We then checked out a spot on campus called "stairway to the sea" which is exactly that, a stairway to the sea. It's at the back side of campus and zig zags down a steep embankment to our "beach" which is really just a rocky shoreline. There is a nice deck with a few benches and lots of shells everywhere. We will post some pictures soon of this place, it's really beautiful and would be a great sunset spot.
The afternoon entertainment was provided by Ross, as they treated us to a movie at Caribbean Cinemas. We were all taken to a matinee showing of Sherlock Holmes, with a free large popcorn and soda. I thought the movie was very entertaining and enjoyed it quite a bit. Others did not feel quite the same way but that's ok too. We left the theatre to enjoy dusk and a dim glow of post sunsetting through volcanic debris. It looks like any hazy summer afternoon/evening in New England.
Night fell, and it was time to go to the Marriott and Royal St. Kitts Casino! That's right, St. Kitts has a casino! Inside the grand Marriott resort is a casino with slots, black jack, roulette, poker, and everything else you would expect in a casino, as well as B-I-N-G-O. We all played bingo. None of us won unfortunately but the prize for each game is $100 usd and the final game is worth $2000 usd (if won in less than 49 balls drawn) and $500 usd with a case of beer after that. The girl directly behind me won this prize, I thought she was going to have a heart attack she screamed so much. Yikes.
By this time it was getting late so we got a ride home with Phil, our driver (owner of that lovely van below). We woke up this morning to another beautiful sunny day with birds chirping and a sweet caribbean breeze. Enough for now, I'll be talking to you later.