Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Margaritaville B & B

Stats for this past weekend.
  • Consecutive days with overnight guests: 4
  • Total guests: 6
  • Meals served: 5
  • Tequila consumed: 400 mL (1/4 gold, 3/4 blanco)
  • Oscars watched: 1
  • Frank Capra films viewed: 1 (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington)
  • 12 A bus tickets purchased by all guests: 20 (J$50 per)

Looking past the numbers reveals an interesting aspect of the Peace Corps ethos. Letting other Peace Corps stay at your house is fun. This is one of the great undavertised perks of the Peace Corps experience. You don't have to get a hotel, because there's always a floor (and sometimes even a mattress) to sleep on. Some volunteers even go to other countries and sleep on the floors of the volunteers there.

So, for quarterly meetings, since we live so close to the Peace Corps office and have cable, many people sleep at our place instead of a hotel in Kingston. It's cheaper, and we all cook together, which is fun. Plus, we have finally perfected home made tortillas, after the third try. (Thanks Caitlin!) Karma dictates that if we let people stay at our house, then we get to stay at their house. Works out nicely.


Happy Hour

There are certain rituals that must be observed in the Peace Corps. One of these is happy hour. I would venture to guess that posts all across the globe have their own version. Some may be smaller, others swankier, more frequent, or featuring different drinks. But they all have them.

The biggest happy hour ritual in Peace Corps Jamaica happens during quarterly meetings in Kingston at the Four Seasons Hotel. Part of the appeal of happy hour is cheap drinks, and this one is no exception, serving everything half price for one hour. Since this hotel is owned by German-Jamaicans, though, the really fun part is the German beers which cannot be found anywhere else in Jamaica - Hofbrau and Beck's. The restaurant serves sausage and potato salad as well. Happy Hour is one of those time when you really feel like part of the expatriate community. It's a time to reconnect with your fellow Peace Corps and relax. We all need that sometimes.

Here's To Happy Hour!


PS - Sadly, at the time of this writing, the Four Seasons had run out of German Beer. We will give them until the next meeting to restock.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Happy Birthday Peace Corps!

Yesterday was the 45th Anniversary of the Peace Corps. It was also Ash Wednesday which is a national holiday in Jamaica, so we are a day late in our recognition.

As President John F. Kennedy said in his remarks on March 1, 1961 when he established the Peace Corps:

"Life in the Peace Corps will not be easy. There will be no salary and allowances will be at a level sufficient only to maintain health and meet basic needs. Men and women will be expected to work and live alongside the nationals of the country in which they are stationed--doing the same work, eating the same food, talking the same language."

"But if the life will not be easy, it will be rich and satisfying. For every young American who participates in the Peace Corps--who works in a foreign land--will know that he or she is sharing in the great common task of bringing to man that decent way of life which is the foundation of freedom and a condition of peace."

- Keeping Kennedy's Promise

In doing our part to achieve the 3rd goal of the Peace Corps (“Help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of all Americans.”) we reached out to our local newspapers back home and encouraged them to cover the 45th Anniversary of Peace Corps. We previously shared the article in the Lawrence Journal World in which Shane got his 15 minutes of fame. Yesterday, Kaelyn's hometown newspaper wrote a story so now she's had hers as well. This story was taken from the email interview we previously posted about.

To commemorate the event in Jamaica we had a booth at the U.S. Embassy's Blues on the Green concert which was held last Friday night at Devon House. We promoted Peace Corps by showing a slide show and video and handing out stickers, bookmarks, and brochures. Be sure to check out our pictures of this event, including a few of the new Ambassador.

- Kae and Shane