|Petit Piton in the foreground, Gros Piton in the background... We tackled Gros Piton!|
The week began on Monday spending several hours in both the morning and afternoon in our meeting space at the Pastoral Center grounds. The time was spent in a "writing workshop" -- critiquing and discussing the concepts of hegemony and cultural imperialism that we were to have written a paper about for the course we area taking down here. Dr. Fredrickson and MoJo, along with our peers, were gracious enough to give us all individual feedback about our papers. This process was greatly appreciated by all and helped many realize the importance of multiple drafts and taking the time for revisions.
Wednesday we dove into one of the assigned texts for the course, In the Company of the Poor: Conversations with Dr. Paul Farmer and Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez. In this book, we learned about many important theories and concepts, such as liberation theology -- a fairly radical concept first proposed by Fr.Gutierrez, that challenges us to return to the original message behind Christianity. This message is to carry out universal love for all people. This theory would continue taking shape in our minds throughout the week as we continued to discuss and deeper our understanding of related topics and ideas such as a preferential option for the poor, which in a sense is the action step behind liberation theology. A preferential option for the poor suggests that if we believe in, or at least can support the idea of 'universal love', we must then give preferential opportunities to those living in poverty. Additionally, we also learned about the idea of accompaniment, the act of walking with individuals, figuratively speaking, instead of leading them. We had many in-depth class discussions about these topics and the next step is writing a formal analysis paper regarding the book and terms therein. This week definitely covered some heavy topics but we readied ourselves to take this new found knowledge and apply it to future experiences!
|Heavy thoughts with Jason Joseph|
To take a break from our traditional classroom setting at the pastoral center, we were given the opportunity to sit in on a few classes at a the local college! Yes, you heard right, more school! Upon entering Sir. Arthur Lewis Community College, we were in awe over the amount of people there and the vastness of the campus. As we proceeded to our first class of Adolescent Psychology, we were met by the familiar face of our professor, Jason Joseph (our music/dance instructor from last week, when we visited the Folk Research Centre). The welcome we received by the students in the classroom was immensely comfortable, and we jumped into conversation right away. As the class began, a number of us recalled various psychology concepts that we ourselves had learned from high school classes back in the states. The class flew by and before we knew it, we were on to our next class--drama. In this class, we were given the chance to observe a play that six girls had been working on, which is scheduled to be shown later in November. It was a very impressive Trinidadian play called The Ritual that brought attention to several possible situations a pregnant teenager in the Caribbean might face regarding the reaction of family, religion, and others (along with the consequences associated with each). We were all very impressed and also learned a little about the Rastafari religion which is common to some areas within the Caribbean. We learned that it is a set of beliefs that stems from Africa, and that those who subscribe to Rastafari typically reject the notions of materialism, oppression, and sensual pleasures, suggesting that this is what leads to the larger degeneration of society.
|Abby and Christian "trying to cook"|
|Food equals happiness with Fortuna|
What is a true cultural experience without trying some of said culture's traditional food? Not a very good one! That's why Dr. Fredrickson, signed us up for a class in traditional Caribbean cooking at the Folk Research Center! We were met by Fortuna Anthony, a native St. Lucian woman who had been cooking traditional Caribbean meals for many years, along with her son, Nicos, an internationally trained chef. First we were taught how to use the traditional Coal-Pot by placing charcoal (made on the
|Fortuna explaining how a coal pot works|
|Feel like we are on top of the world!|
|The view half-way up the Gros Piton trail, looking out toward Petit Piton|
|Stunning views of the Caribbean sea and beyond!|
|The Gapsters hard at work getting ready to build|
|The Gap-sters reach beautiful new heights!|