The trip to Soufriere on the 22nd of February was a long and mystifying one. The kaleidoscope of colors, the array of leafy green foliage juxtaposed on a palette of rugged beauty escorted the visitors to Soufriere. We watched aptly as the scenery changed and we approached the Orphanage. The house was small, too small to accommodate the large group who had come visiting. So we congregated in organized disarray, and presented the many gifts so generously donated by the students and staff of IAU. The excitement, the awe and the gratitude etched on the children’s faces, in anticipation of unwrapping gifts and the fun and lunch to come ahead was clearly visible. Everyone clambered unto the waiting buses and the orphans eagerly peered out of their windows in great anticipation for what lay ahead.
Many challenges presented themselves, including the unexpected snail pace set by the larger coaches, their inability to climb strategic hills that put an untimely and disappointing end to the visit to the Jalousie beach. However, the beauty of the “The Beacon” so aptly named, lightened the burgeoning grimaces with placating heaps of great food and a scenic view of the town of Soufriere. The view brought into sharp focus the twin peaks which stood as lonely sentinels over the expanse of ocean, the surrounding uncompromising mountain ridges that rose majestically over and around the sleepy inhabitants of the pleasant town. The silence was often interrupted by the irreverent revving of motorcyclists taking part in the annual independence island-wide parade and punctuated by intermittent cheers from nearby onlookers
Subsequent travel through the town brought us to the odorous but unique smoking caldera of the Sulphur Springs. While some enjoyed the tour of the only drive-in volcano in the world, others enjoyed its stimulating therapeutic mud baths. Soon, it was time to return to Vieux Fort, back to the books and back to medical school life. But what a day it was, a day of fun, of goodwill and of shared experiences. It was well worth the sacrifice.