Exploring Dominica, Part 2

A clothesline hung in a former school classroom, Dominica--New painting idea perhaps?

To Lime or Lymn’: is to relax, hang out or take it easy in Caribbean island slang

As we settled in to our stay at the Rosalie Bay Eco Resort and Spa in Dominica, We began to explore our surroundings. There were several different clusters of rooms in buildings mimicking old island style homes, but they  were more prepared for hurricanes than your typical buildings. The resort was constructed in 2010 by carving out a 22 acre chunk of a former sugar cane plantation at the junction of where the Rosalie River joins the Atlantic Ocean. Across the river from the resort there are still to be found the remains of the massive waterwheel that powered the sugar cane crushing operation.

As the island is volcanic, the beaches are a combination of fine black sand and huge rounded shape rocks that were shaped by water  and at this time of the year sandwiched between huge piles of sargassum seaweed. it was a wonder that sea turtles could gain a foothold on the beach to make their nests! My feet would come back black from the sand after beach walking with closed toed shoes.

At the top of the hill overlooking the resort was a tall inactive electric generator wind turbine. It’s computer brain had evidently been fried and no one could fix it, so it stands as a silent sentinel. Next to it is the resort owner’s home. It, too had suffered severe hurricane damage and the cost to repair it was going to equal the cost to build the house! On the resort property there is a large pool, fitness center, and a beautiful spa that sat next to the river that had replaced a previously hurricane damaged building beside our room. We both were treated to massages soothed by the sounds of the river flowing outside the open door  of our massage room.

The Leatherback Grill  served excellent food and we lucked out when we were able to dine there for Mother’s Day with the treat of local grilled lobster.

Situated behind our room was a nature trail maintained by the resident girl Friday Judy, a former Peace Corps Volunteer and her native husband, Simon. She gave us a personal tour. Not only is the trail scenic, it allows locals access to the beach and is a teaching resource for the local school children. It had all kinds of flowers and trees growing on its winding trail up the hill to the road to the seacoast villages. Flowers that you normally see in florist arrangements– Gingers, Heliconias in shades of red, yellow, or red and yellow grow wild and along the roadsides.

I had packed art supplies and children’s books in my luggage for the local school–Morne Jaune (yellow mountain) Primary School. One morning Judy and Zahir, the facilities manager, tour host, and driver, took us up the mountain road to the school which sat on the edge of a hillside. We met the Principal and she brought some of the kids outside to receive my donations—it was a cute scene!

We then toured the newly refurbished school. As a result of Hurricane Maria in 2017, the school had new windows and roof, plus a newly added set of classrooms. Some of the school kids loved hanging out with my travel pal, Mono the monkey.

When I was walking back to the car I spied a clothesline hanging in an unusual space-the former school building had been taken over by the neighbor to be used as a drying room for her laundry—it was a soon to be seen often site on Dominica, as clotheslines are hung under roof lines to protect them from near daily tropical rainfalls.

We got back in the car and made a stop of the local market–

Mono loved meeting the shopkeeper and on her counter she had a huge pineapple!

We then drove to the farm that Judy and Simon maintained. It sprawls up the side of a mountain and they had all kinds of fruits and spices growing. I especially liked seeing the many cacao trees growing along with cinnamon trees. Judy also loves to give farm tours and she and my husband (who got his Master’s degree in Botany) loved to quiz each other on the different plants. She also harvested two of the largest passion fruit that I had ever seen!

I did some sketching while I was there, including this view from my balcony

Our adventure continues in my next newsletter.


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