Latitude 17N

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

So many famous people on such a small island

Nevis is the home of Jessie James, James Brown, Leroy Brown, Charlie Brown, Marlon Brando, and Elizabeth Taylor. St. Kitts has a Bernier by the first name Jocelyn! Cousin? Could be. Tonight we went out to chinese food at the Tea House. We have been informed that The Tea House delivers up to our area! That is dangerous information for us to have. The food there is very good, cooked like the crazy Li Yuen style and it will be a good thing for us when we are desperate. Tonight we went out with the LaPray's. While we were there...before we got our food...the electricity went out. We were worried that they wouldn't be able to finish cooking but they finished by candle or flashlight and delivered our appetizers just as the lights came back on. It was only out for 15 minutes or so. That's nothing compared to how long it usually goes out for. Julian had horseback riding today and is getting very good at trotting. Or cantering or whatever they call it. Erika gave him some gloves to wear because he was complaining about his hands hurting and not being able to grip the reins tight enough and it seemed to help a lot. There were a couple of new kids in the class but we won't be seeing them in class because we have been moved to Wednesdays. So it will be Julian, Ian and Yiyi (pronounced E) she's our chinese friend who is the spouse of one of the students here. She is a fun girl. She has taught Julian a little bit of chinese writing but he hasn't remembered it. It is very interesting the way it works.

Starfish at Oualie

Julian found this starfish yesterday at Oualie. It was one of the smaller starfish out there that day. We have been told that in the morning the starfish are out of the water up on the beach sunning themselves so one of these days we need to get over there to catch them in the act. The last two days have been really nice here. Saturday was actually drier than it has been here in months! The humidity crept back up since then but I suspect that things are going to start cooling down soon. I wonder if we will get the rains that we got last year. Last years rainfall measured 84.4 inches. 35 of those inches were dumped in October and November. It was crazy. Anyway, before I start worrying about that I'll just concentrate on how nice it has been here the past few days. At Oualie on Sat and Sun it was so beautiful. The water was like glass. It was so warm and still it was like swimming in a pool. Julian and I did some laps out by the buoys. I towed Julian on his boogie board while he paddled and kicked and occasionally dove down for starfish. It was a nice day. We eventually met up with some friends and Julian played with a girl his age named Allie who seems to be a good match for him. They had a great time making sand castles and playing pirate.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Scary Beach

We have been trying to clean up the beach at the end of our road. It has lots of fallen palm branches and debris that has been collecting for years. We would like to have an area for Julian to play and to have a beach barbecue. I tried to get a picture of a huge land crab but it was too quick for me. It's body was the size of a...dessert plate.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Weirdisms in Nevis

Nevis is weird today. I've been seeing weird things here today. One of those days where you wish you had your camera. First of all...our roads are in such a messy state it is almost not worth talking about because you really have to see it to believe it. Since I didn't have my camera today I will try to take some pictures another day. They are ripping up the main road, from the end of our road which connects to it, up about a mile or so. They are ripping out the old pavement in places and widening it a bit and putting in this curbing which is quite the project. I may have talked about this before. But one of the areas they are working on now is very narrow and they have carved out a chunk of the side so you don't have much room to move. There is only room for one car to go through so we are actually seeing traffic jams here in Nevis. Today I was behind a dumptruck that was trying to pass through another area where a cement truck was pouring concrete for the curbing. The truck made it through with no more than 1/8" to spare. This curbing that they are putting in is concrete so they have to set up the forms and pour the concrete and then there is this one guy who polishes the concrete by hand. I feel so bad for him because not only is it the most mind numbing job it must break your back too bending over like that all day. And he's a tall man! Julian and I took Janet with us into town to pay our bills because her car is out of commission. We recently signed up to pay our phone bill online. They have the whole thing set up so you can view your bill. It is a very nice site, very professional but they have yet to add a button or page where you can actually PAY the bill. They have a glitch they said. Haha. On our way back home we saw the weirdest goat. It looked like two completely different goats had been sawn down the middle and sewn back together. The front half was brown with like blackish colored stripes and then there was a perfect line going around it's middle and the back side was white with black dots. It was like a freakshow animal. It was so hillarious!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Lost is back!

Tonight is the season premier of Lost. It is my favorite show and I've been waiting months for it to come back on. I'm hoping this season will be as suspenseful as last year. For those of you who have not seen it you're missing out! But I think it might be hard to just pick up without seeing last season unless you happened to have caught tonights pre-show which is a summary of what happened last year. Other than that things are same old same old. Oh except that Julian had a perfect day of home school today. It was so nice! I couldn't have asked for him to have been any better. He was focused and attentive and polite. I was so happy and made sure that he knew that. I hope I didn't just jinx myself!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

10K Results...

We did the race yesterday. About two hours before the race there were some scary clouds looming over the course. Thunder could be heard rolling around up there but we figured it would be much better with rain than sun so we didn't complain. I dropped Julian off at Janet's because a 10k is still too far for him. It's even too far for me!!! So I picked up Jaime at school and Nick Martin, Jaime's running partner, decided to come too. We brought him home to get changed and then headed over to the registration area. We got our numbers and found that there was going to be quite the crowd running. People from 8 and up. I'm not sure of the oldest but I saw people in their 60's. So we talked a bit with one of the island favorites, James Weekes. He was guaging his competition and pointed out a couple of men that he was watching. I was watching a couple of 12 year olds that would be my competition! The race began with the pack taking off like they were running with the bulls. I held back as is my way and got into my pace. I ended up passing a big group that charged off at the start. It makes me feel better to start off slow and increase a bit and pass people. Mentally it works better for me. I would still finish about the same either way but it's nice to think I'm beating someone. Haha. Anyway, so the race went on. They had water stations every 2 miles or so and they gave out full 12oz bottles of water which was great. I was drinking a little and dumping the rest over me. It made for very soggy shoes but helped with the heat because the sun actually came back out and immediately heated things up. Each kilometer was marked on the road too so it was easy to keep track of your progress. I seemed to be running a bit slower than usual but I just wanted to finish. At one point around the half way point I could see a girl in bare feet in front of me and I was trying to reach her so I could pass her. I would be damned if I would let someone withouth shoes beat me in a 10K. I got up close and there was a big crowd cheering her on. I tried to pass her and she started sprinting. Then I felt bad because these people were obviously her friends and family and I couldn't pass her in front of them! So I waited and after we got around the bend she started walking to catch her breath and I finally passed her. There were a lot of spectators on the side of the road due to the holiday. So, after about an hour I came closer to the finish line and sprinted the last 1/2 K and finished in 1 hour and 3 minutes. Jaime and Nick had finished around 47 and 46 minutes and Nick seemed to think that we would all place in our age groups. They were in the lower bracket which was age 20-35 though which is a tough group. We hung around for a while and talked to some people we know. We also met a couple who was here in their honeymoon and the husband decided to do the race. I thought that was pretty funny. They were nice people from Atlanta, GA. They had been staying at the Four Seasons so you know he'll be getting a nice massage today. We only had 20.00EC to get us back home but we were all in need of some sugar in our system so the only thing we could find was some Coke. My legs were cramping up so I had to walk around and stretch quite a bit and after drinking that Coke I felt a lot better. Coke...the miracle drink! The guy who sold it to us was really funny. He was marketing his "store" which is in the bed of his truck on the side of the road. He is always there. Pretty funny. We decided to catch a ride back up to our car and bring it back into town for the awards ceremony that Nick was so sure we would be a part of. We flagged down an old man in a taxi car and Nick asked him if 10.00EC would be enough to bring a few weary runners back to the airport. At first he said no but Nick assured him that it was all the money we had and if we had more we would surely give it to him. He finally gave in. As soon as we got in some young kid in a car came whipping around by the pier and passed him. F'ing A'holes he said. I started laughing, it was going to be an entertaining ride. So we talked about the drivers here and then asked what the police do here if they are never chasing down speeding cars. He said F'ing off like it was a matter of fact. He is a man who lived 35 years off island in Ottawa and New Jersey and upstate New York and so he has seen the world. He was talking about the drivers in Nevis and how he would like to put them on the GW bridge and give them a map and see if they could get through the city. He said they wouldn't be able to do it the stupid sh*ts. It was funny. At least once in every few sentences there was some colorful language. I was laughing so hard and trying to be quiet in the back seat so I could remember the stuff that he said. It was nice to hear that he felt that Nevis was not reaching it's potential and he fully supports developing more of the island. OH...haha...he also was talking about how there are Jamaican ho's and ho's from trinidad, and ho's from other places here and he had never seen that before he moved away. He was just going on and on. Our hats go off to Jordan for giving us an entertaining bargain ride back to our car. We got the car and headed back down to town. We hung around until about 7:00 when they did the awards. There were over 100 runners in this race which is very impressive for an island this small. The second award they gave out was the 35 and older category. They quickly announced the names and I thought I heard Morneo but wasn't sure so I was looking around and then they clearly announced again "looking for Danielle Moreno" and I couldn't believe it. They had an award box and everything for me to stand on. They gave me my 3rd place trophy and shook my hand. He wouldn't let go and he said "the press wants to get your photo". So I looked over and they took my picture. I might be in the newspaper! Wow, isn't that exciting. It was really funny. Nick and Jaime think that the times in their age group are messed up because they really think that they should have placed. I told Nick not to feel bad, that I would let him borrow my trophy so he could put it on display in his house. Haha. So that's my story. And I must say...don't I look sexy in my photo!

Friday, September 16, 2005

National Hero's Day

Today in Nevis it is National Hero's Day. I'm not sure who the heroes are but they are having some activities and a 10k road race that Jaime and I have entered. It is at 4:00 this afternoon which will be grueling. It is a good course. Mostly down hill. A point to point run starting somewhere near the airport and finishing at the Travel and Tourism bureau. We are on our own once we get done and have to get a ride back somehow. We have not figured this out yet but I'm sure we will. We might just have to take a bus. It will be very hot and humid at the start of the race so I have been drinking lots of water today to make sure I am not dehydrated to begin with because I surely will be at the end. I'll probably sweat out a gallon full on the way. That's about it from our neck of the woods as Al Roker would say. Ta-ta

Friday, September 09, 2005

The Story of Hurricane Katrina and the Morrison Family - Chapter 2

Well, the Morrison's have made it back to Mandeville to their house that is high and dry. They now have water, gas and electricity but no phone. My sister drives around to find a hot spot where she can make a call on her cell phone and update the family. Their blog might not be updated for a while because they don't have any internet either. I am told that school for the kids might not start until October 3rd. This whole ordeal has sadly been a learning experience for the kids just adapting, and trying to help out where they can. Hoping that their friends and their families are ok not knowing not being able to get in touch with people. My brother-in-law Jim and my nephew Jacin have been in the area for over a week and have done a lot of clean up in their neighborhood. Their neighbor's house has a tree down the middle of it and Jim and another neighbor went in to do what they could to help out which ended up only being that they removed the trash that had been stored in the garage and cleaning out the fridge. People were in such a hurry to leave that there was nothing left to do with the trash but store it in their homes. So they removed the trash and cleaned out the fridge for them (which was pretty rank I hear) and when the people came back they were so appreciative and thankful to them for doing that. It was such a small thing to do but to them at this time it was as if they had given him a million dollars. These little things are what will keep the communities together. My sister on her quest for a cell phone hot spot drove by the Kentucky Fried Chicken Restaurant in their area and she said the smell coming out of it was horrific. You don't think about this stuff but these restaurants all over that huge area will need to be thoroughly cleaned and inspected before being operational. It's going to take a long time to get things back to somewhat of a working order. It's very sad. My lost luggage story is so petty compared to what all those people are going through down there. I can't even imagine...

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Weeeee're Baaaaack

So we made it back to Nevis on Sunday. Our day started out at 3:15 a.m. We had a caravan service pick us up at 4:00 to bring us and our 7 bags to the airport. Each of our bags were wrapped with canvas straps and Jaime also put yellow duct tape on all of the bags with the word Nevis in black marker just to ensure that our bags got to Nevis with us. When we got to the airport we checked in without incident and paid our 100.00 for the extra bag. We figured surely that the extra bag with all those markings and with a special price tag would make it safely. I'm sure you can see where this is going. didn't make it. We saw 6 of our bags get loaded on the plane in San Juan and figured the other one was just buried beneath the others. We waited and waited and it didn't come by on the carousel. So we checked with the airline and they took some information about the bag and told us to come back when the next flight came we bag. So the next day I checked after 2 more flights before checking with the airline again. They said Boston was holding a bag with no handle matching our bags description and could I identify some things inside the bag. Seems the handle got broken and all the tags fell off. So I told them again about the yellow tape just as I had in our initial consultation. I also told them about Jaime's text books for school and a couple of other things that I knew were in the bag. Later that night Jaime called the airline and spoke with someone who seemed like she didn't have the info I gave the airline earlier so he gave them the info again. Later that night they called back and asked some more questions before finally sying they had our bag. I mean come on...wouldn't the yellow tape be enough? Anyway, they said it would be on the 1:20 flight the next day but do you think it made it? No, they told us the flight was too full and they had to hold back some bags. So the 3:45 flight came in I go talk to the people again and they assure me it is on a special cargo plane coming at 6:00. So at 6:00 we go to the airport and what do we find? A scary, old WWII looking cargo plane on the runway. Surely they didn't send our precious overdue bag on that jalopy. Yes they did and it made it safely and in one piece. Well missing the handle but it seems that everything was in the bag. There was even an error report stating that they had looked in the bag and listed the contents. One of the things they listed was a bib from the 5k I did in Exeter a few weeks ago. The bib had my name on it and they had it right in the notes and do you think they had thought to check their roster to see if there was a passenger traveling that day by that name? Of course not! They just waited for us to track it down and it took over two days. But I guess it could be worse. Other than that it's business as usual here in Nevis. SSDD. Same shi* different day.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Last Day in Civilization

Well today is our last day in civilization for a while. We have packed up all of our stuff and are cramming the rest into our last piece of luggage. Tonight we are going to go to our favorite mexican restaurant in Portsmouth. Today we had BLT's with my sister and her kids and my Uncle Ronnie. Uncle Ronnie is always good for a laugh and we are hoping he will come out to visit Nevis sometime. My sister Julie is also hoping to make a trip out with her family and enjoy the fine comforts of the Marriott. So we said goodbye and now we are just watching the minutes tick by as we get closer and closer to our departure. To half of my blog visitors I will see you soon and the other half...we had a blast and we'll miss you a lot so come for a visit.

Before and After

Since we have been home we had our cousin photo taken while everyone was still in NH. I believe I wrote a little about that in another post. I have the pictures here that we took. The before and the after should be pretty obvious. The Devils vs. The Angels. The top picture is how it was for the entire 45 minutes of shooting. The bottom picture is the one chance moment that came by luck. We're saving the rest of the family luck for the lottery. I don't know about you but I really like the top photo. It has spunk.

The kids from Julian going in a clockwise spiral are Julian, Cooper, McCarthy, Brennan, Lucas, Molly, Jacin and Jacquelyn in the middle.

Friday, September 02, 2005


My sister's family, The Morrisons, have found out that their house is fine. No water damage, no broken windows, no fallen trees on the roof. Just a few missing shingles and a broken fence. They are very lucky. My brother in law, Jim, drove down to see if he could get into town to see the condition of the house and he did not come across any opposition. He drove right in and did not meet any flood water at all so the north side is doing pretty good. His mother's house is also fine. She lives in Covington. The houses are without power but have water and gas so Jim and Jacin, my nephew, are staying there to start cleaning up and help out where they can. Jen and Jacquelyn and Mary and Bob will stay up in Little Rock a bit longer and wait for the electricity to come back on. Jim checked on the nursing home and they have no electricity and the generator is only working necessary equipment so the place is really hot without air conditioning. They will wait to bring Bob back. Mary's house might be one of the first with electricity because she lives behind a Wal-mart and a Home Depot and most likely they will be one of the first areas to be restored with electricity. So, now that the unknown questions have been answered they are feeling a little bit better although when they talk to people it is really hard to tell them that their house is fine when these other people's homes have been destroyed. Today they are going to go to the Bill Clinton Library.

As for the other M family, the Morenos, we are only a couple of days away from going back to the island. We have one more social gathering planned at my friend Michelle's house tonight and then we'll be all socialed out. Haha. It will be really hard to go back. We have been having so much fun here and have been spoiled by our family and friends.

On another note, Yiyi and Casey are also fine. They are in Louisiana for their break and I heard that they had to escape where they were staying and go to Baton Rouge. They have electricity up there but they are quickly running out of supplies and gas. It was good to hear that they were also ok. New Orleans will never be the same. I will still celebrate Mardi Gras this year with the making of a King Cake like I did last year. It took all day to make but it will be worth it. It will be interesting to see what the city does this year to keep the Mardi Gras celebtration alive. I'm sure that the people of New Orleans will not let it end. It won't be what it was but I'm sure they will do something. I hope. But hope is just a wish and wishes don't grow on trees.