Sunday, May 17, 2015

Chocolate Yoga



It's been all things chocolate for the past week in Grenada.


There have been parties, cooking with chocolate demonstrations,
 fashion shows, tours to chocolate factories and cocoa plantations
 and more.  It's a great time to visit!
 
 
One of the events that caught my attention was a yoga class at
The True Blue Bay Resort that featured chocolate.
Curious about how the two could be combined I gathered up several
other cruisers from my yoga class and we headed over to
the yoga studio early last Saturday morning.

 
The studio is really lovely with windows that open up to allow the
breeze through and a beautiful view down to True Blue Bay.
 
 
The class was gentle, the surroundings beautiful and the aroma, well
it alternated between the scent of the flowers outside the windows to
the occasional whiff of chocolate.
 
 
The class ended with an unusual meditation that went something like this:
"Place the piece of chocolate in your hand.
Look at the rich color, the texture.
Watch how the light catches it.
Bring the chocolate slowly towards your nose. Inhale and notice how
the aroma intensifies. Close your eyes and breathe deeply.
Now place the chocolate on your tongue but don't chew it.
As it melts, how does the texture change?
Do different flavors start to come through?
Now swallow.  Feel the sensation as the chocolate reaches  your
stomach.  How does that feel?"
 
Well, you get the idea.  It was all about tuning into each of our senses
and savoring every moment.  We repeated the exercise with cocoa tea.
 
It really was quite lovely and you normally don't get to end an exercise
class with chocolate.  I'm pretty sure that if I had know that you could
meditate with chocolate, I would have taken up yoga years ago.
 
Namaste.
 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Paddle Boarding



A sport that we've been seeing more and more of in recent years is
Standing Up Paddleboarding or SUP.  
As a lover of all water activities I was curious to understand the attraction.


The University Club added 2 boards to their list of water sports that are 
available for us to use.  I already make use of the kayaks and enjoy 
paddling around Prickly Bay.


My friend Hope and I decided to give it a try.


Getting started.



Hope is a natural!



I've always heard that SUP is a great workout for your core, 
arms and legs and that seemed to be true.  
Before we knew it we were up and off!


My final review, I prefer to kayak.
You can more easily look around and take full advantage of your 
surroundings in a kayak.  It's more relaxing.  
And why would I want to stand when I can sit!
Did I mention that the kayak has a drink holder?



Saturday, April 25, 2015

Cricket



One of the best aspects of travel is immersing yourself in other cultures. 
Whether it be the arts, food or sport it is all there for you to experience.
With this in mind we decided to go to Grenada's National Stadium
to see our first Cricket match.


I will apologize up front to all our British, Australian, West Indian,
to all our friends who are citizens of a country that is part of the
British Commonwealth for I'm sure to describe something incorrectly
or use an incorrect term when I describe our experience viewing this
sport that you love so well.  One does not understand Cricket in a day.



The match was England vs the West Indies and it was a Test Match
which I am told is the traditional way of playing Cricket. 
Traditional is their way of saying this is going to take 5 days.
We went on day 4 and watched for 5 hours not including the breaks
for lunch and afternoon tea.  That is the players' breaks for lunch
and tea, not ours.  I understand there is also 50/50 and 20/20 Cricket,
shortened versions of the game designed to attract an audience who
wants a faster paced match. 



By the time we left we were beginning to understand a few aspects of
the game but I will confess that I don't know what an "over" is
(it was explained to me but I can't remember what I was told) and how
you can score more than 600 points but lose by "wickets"?


It definitely is a game of endurance.  While we were sitting in the
shade with a wonderful breeze blowing and cold drinks in our hand,
the players were standing in the hot, Caribbean sun for 6 hours. 
The same 2 batters (not sure if that's what they are called)
were batting for 4 of the hours that we were there watching
and they weren't finished as they weren't "out".




The bowler gets the most workout during the match.






After 5 hours and the break for afternoon tea, we decided to call it a day.
The match was completed today with England winning over the
West Indies by 9 Wickets.  I have no clue what this means!


West Indies First Innings       299 all out (104.4 overs)

England First Innings            464 all out (144.1 overs)
West Indies Second Innings  307 all out (112.0 overs)
England Second Innings    144 for 1 (41.1 overs)
I think I prefer a faster paced sport and by faster paced I mean one where  
the game is actually completed after several hours not days. 
But all in all it was a good day.  Jolly good!



Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Snorkeling the Statue Park


 
Last weekend we were invited to join a group for an excursion
to Grenada's underwater statue park.  Located on the west coast,
the park is home to a number of statues that are placed in about 15 feet
of water, perfect for snorkeling.



This is the newer of two circles of human forms holding hands.
I will admit that the sea has given the figures somewhat of a
zombie appearance (think night of the living dead) but we found
it quite beautiful.



 
There is a mermaid resting on the ocean floor.
 
 
Faces appear amongst the coral.



 
This an area called the cemetery.
Human shapes in the sand.
 




Kneeling in prayer.

 
The shoreline is a series of little caves carved by the waves.
 

Heading back to the Carenage, the main port in St. George's,
we had a beautiful view of the town.



Fort George standing guard over the town.

 
The fishing fleet, back in port and the end of another great day!





Sunday, April 12, 2015

Grenada National Learn to Swim Week


 
I just had a really good week!
It was a week where I not only had fun but
where I felt like I did something really worthwhile.
I was one of the volunteers who taught Grenadians to swim!



In a country surrounded by water,
it is estimated that 90% of Grenadians
do not know how to swim.

 For 5 days we conducted classes in swimming pools and at beaches
around Grenada.  The volunteers taught more than 500 children and
adults providing more than 1600 hours of instruction.  It was fabulous!
I was fortunate to get to spend every afternoon on gorgeous
Grand Anse Beach. 

 A couple of volunteers taking a break under
the almond tree that was our base.
 



 Playtime after the lesson. 
Bryan couldn't wait to get to the beach everyday!
My students ranged in age from 6 to 62.
The look of pure joy on their faces when they learned to swim
was really wonderful.
 
 St. George's University students Terri, Gaby and Elbert with me on
 the last day of teaching.  It was great to see these future doctors
and veterinarians donating their time to this program. 
 
 
 
 



Saturday, April 11, 2015

Follow the link to my night sky column number 16 in the Caribbean Compass pages 33 and 34.

See what is happening in the sky between April 16 and May 15. 






Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Cruisers Against Cancer


This is the 3rd year that my friend Hope and I have put on a fundraiser for 
the Pink Ribbon Society of Grenada.
The first year we used our weekly domino game to solicit donations in 
memory of a fellow cruiser who we lost to this hateful disease. 
Last year we thought why not continue?
This year we thought we can do more.
Still building on the domino game theme we solicited prizes from various 
businesses and added a raffle.  The spirit of giving is alive and well in Grenada.
Almost everyone we asked said yes!



We had gift certificates for restaurants, supermarkets, bike rental,
gym memberships, movie passes, wine, beer, glassware, artwork,
and much, much more.
It was fantastic!

 Jim at the game.
He didn't win, he didn't lose, he had fun!

Our happy first place winner.

I am so happy to say that we raised 2000 ECD which will all go to 
help cancer patients and their families right here in Grenada.
Hope and I have some more ideas for next year so if you're in the area,
how about a game?