Sunday, October 21, 2012

Chocolate Factory: Take Two

            I have to say, this week has been exhausting and since I am writing this on Sunday and have just about run out of stamina, I am going to skip wordy introductions and just dive in with a blow-by-blow report.  Excuse the lack of long and pretty descriptions: I am pooped.

            In preparation for a trip to the Grenada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (GSPCA), I spent a few hours on Tuesday cooking up some homemade doggy biscuits.  In anticipation of making said treats, I’d bought a Styrofoam tray of pigs’ feet that weekend.  I hadn’t actually picked out my recipe yet, so I didn’t have a list of ingredients, but assumed pigs’ feet could work their way into the dish somehow.  The recipe I used (Wheat Dog Biscuits from Bullwrinkle) called for water or broth.  So I boiled a pan full of pigs’ feet for a couple hours and used the broth for the recipe.  My apartment smelled like boiling lard, but those dogs loved the bite-sized bits I brought to the shelter.  (I think I might rename the recipe “Babe Bites” since our dog, Babe, was named after the pig and I’m pretty sure she’d also love these biscuits.)

            The shelter visit was sort of an orientation for a handful of SOs, to give us an idea of how we can be of service to the GSPCA and to familiarize us with the shelter’s layout and policies.  I’d been both excited and anxious to visit the shelter, hopeful that I could help Grenada’s suffering pet population, but equally nervous about what sort of dismal state the shelter might be in.  I’d only my own experience working for years at a well-funded Humane Society back in the States to compare and knew I was in for an unpleasant shock.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Visiting the Chocolate Factory

            I spend a considerable amount of time at our desk, writing, painting, surfing, etc.  When I take momentary breaks from whatever I’m engrossed in, I usually end up looking out our back window.  It’s not a bad view; in between the intersecting branches of our “backyard’s” few trees, I can see True Blue Bay and the flashy indigo corner of Dodgy Dock, nestled against a backdrop of modest mountains and the heavy clouds that skim their peaks.  Then I have the misfortune of casting my eyes lower and spotting the ever-present lurker who likes to haunt the bench in our backyard.  He’s an SGU worker—and I use the term loosely—a Grenadian with an SGU maintenance uniform and Rasta hat.  For hours he just lounges on that bench with his shirt spread open and a great heap of flesh spilling out.
Each picture was taken on a different day. I feel like I want his job...

            Last Sunday I went on a field trip with the photography club.  The main attraction was Belmont Estates, though we also stopped at Pearls Airport and drove through Grand Etang to visit the monkeys’ hangout.

I think they were disappointed that no one brought bananas for them

            I have to say that this trip to Belmont was much better than my last.  This time, they were actually expecting us, so they had the whole tour planned out and samples prepared.  We visited the birds and the monkeys and, while the rest of the group was enjoying their (rather expensive) buffet-style lunch, Natalie and I got to visit with Carl, the goat, and Chocolate and Vanilla, the donkeys.  Since the whole photography club was there, I didn’t feel awkward about living behind my camera.  Everyone was.  We were basically a group of walking shutterbugs.
First stop: Pearls Airport

Fresh cocoa beans to sample

Dried cocoa bean

Bellmont kitty

One of the turtles at Bellmont's "petting zoo" area

One of the adolescent monkeys reaching out for rocks

Young Mona Monkeys

Vanilla, the donkey

Chocolate, the donkey

Carl, the goat

Cocoa tea samples

            Speaking of bugs…  I wore insecticide for our visit.  I’m happy to say that it kept the mosquitoes at bay.  By the time we left, I was bite-free.  Or so I thought.  That evening I discovered two things about sand flies: 1.) They are unperturbed by bug spray and 2.) their bites are unmercifully itchy, hours after the attack.  My legs looked like a novel written in Brale.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Ho Hum to the Humdrum

            I didn’t blog last week; I know.  It’s not like I didn’t consider it.  I looked at my blog and said to myself, “But all I have to report is the same old thing.”  And it’s true.  I’ve been busy doing the same things I did the week before and the week before.
            I went on a hash.  Are you surprised?  Of course not; I’ve been writing about hashing every week.  This one was pretty short.  Half of the run was through a creek and how I managed not to slip on the rocks, I’ll never know.  When we emerged from the water, we found ourselves in a pasture, having to bounce back and forth across the path, dodging cow pies, while their producers watched bemusedly.