You're not living unless... / by Alan Strathman

We finished the first week of training with most of the sessions covering safety and security of one sort or another.  The majority of the remaining sessions were about medical events. I am now up-to-date on the symptoms of a wide-range of STIs,  know how to mitigate the occurrence of unwanted attention, and am aware of what to do if a hurricane is approaching. Learning about STIs (which, by the way, is the current term for STDs) required me to go up to many of my fellows trainees and say, "Hi, I am herpes." In response, others said things like, "Nice to meet you Herpes, I am HPV."  I chose HPV in that previous example because gonorrhea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis are too difficult to spell out. 

It makes perfect sense, of course, to load the first week of training with safety and security and medical information sessions. On a worksheet in which we had to list the kinds of emergencies that are likely to occur, we wrote hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, flooding, and man-made disasters (though I suspect some will be woman-made too).

With all this floating around my mind I went with my host family to the supermarket last night and I had an epiphany: You are not really living life to the fullest unless your grocery store has a section like this:

And this is doubly true when the store has to urge its customers to take warnings seriously. "Rafer there is a hurricane coming. Not now, Lucita, the football is on ESPN."

This morning we all had to meet at a hotel at Rodney Bay in Gros Islet to learn how to reach the consolidation point, the place where we all gather in case of an emergency. I think we all feel educated, prepared, and ready to face what the Eastern Caribbean will throw at us.

Next week, most of the sessions will be on literacy and I am excited to get started on that. (As I finished writing that a giant roach crawled across my foot and everyone screamed and jumped.)