Cosmic Cow Pie: Connecting the Dots


Where In The World Is Dominica?

Where in the world is Dominica?

We are in the Caribbean at an island called Dominica at the port of Rouseau on Domingo. Frankly speaking, I had never heard of the island of Dominica prior to this trip around the world on Semester At Sea so everything we learned was new to us!

Dominica named a, “Best Trip of 2011″

20 Best Trips of 2011 — National Geographic.

Looking for an out-of-the oridinary destination for your next vacation? Check out these 20 top trips, hand-picked by National Geographic Traveler editors as the best of 2011.

The name Dominica came from Christopher Columbus when he re-discovered this Island on Domingo. It was Sunday so the name stayed with a minor twist from the original Spanish word for Sunday.  We are here on Domingo or Sunday and absolutely everything is closed except the ship tour programs. The guide explained that the town center shuts down on all Holidays and every Sunday.

This is an untouched island with tin roof homes of Caribbean colors and people who love their community and island. The smile of the island inhabitants is contagious as they are just happy inside and out. I took some video which I will upload on Monday when the cyber café opens and I can have enough bandwidth. The ship has limited Internet access so uploading videos is strictly prohibited.

Facts about Dominica:
• The island is 29 miles long and 16 miles wide.
• The major business is agriculture with 11 varieties of bananas.
• There are no monkeys on the island. There are 4 types of snakes none of which are poisonous
• Population 72,000.
• They have the worlds 2nd largest boiling lake.
• There are 11 dormant volcanoes with the likelihood of an eruption as very possible.
• Sperm whales live in the area year round
• China is assisting with funding the construction of roads to the rain forest and built a new soccer field.
• One of the oldest inhabitants of Dominica was 128 before she passed in 2007 and is in the Guinness Book of world    records. There are five octogenarians in Dominica so the life is good on the island.
• The currency exchange is the Eastern Caribbean dollar with the current rate at US $1 = ED $2.67. I paid $7.00 for   4 cookies at a coffee house. Cookies were my only purchase. My photos will be my memory of this quaint island.
• The average temperature is 81
• The water is a deep turquoise blue which is crystal clear!

The rainforest is recovering from hurricane David which devastated the island in 1979.
Today we took an Aerial Tram over a 47 acre rainforest in the Trafalgar Valley to Laudat, a village nestled more than 3,000 feet in the mountains.  Most of the flora was destroyed so the guide called it a “secondary rainforest “ as the vegetation was not old. We entered an aerial tram to go up and over the forest floor. At one point we were 300 feet above the riverbed and falls below.

The most amazing story of the day was that of our tour guide. He knew the scientific name of all the flora and fauna along with describing all of the animals that inhabit the island. He had the history of the economy and information on the direction of his island in easy to follow stories. One of the women on the tour dropped something when we were about 100 feet above the rainforest floor.

rainforest floor

She didn’t know what it was that she dropped but we all heard it hit the floor of the gondola then out the side of the car. The guide immediately assured her he would have someone find whatever it was that she dropped. I looked over the edge, saw the dense rainforest below and only had a “mustard seed of faith” that anyone could find the object which was not even identified at that point. Another passenger said she thought she saw something black and round fall to the ground.

My question was: how in the world could he send someone to look for something which was yet to be identified?

The guide called to the base operator and told a co-worker to go look for “something” black on the ground between pole 8 and 9. In my wildest dreams I questioned how some unknown object could be found on the floor of the rainforest. The guide was so confident they would find it, the feeling was electrifying. It seemed like he had a connection and KNEW where the object was, even though we had not identified what had actually fallen.

After five minutes of looking the woman who dropped the object saw in her back pack that it was her flip video cam. The guide called the ground operator and let him know what he was looking for. The group continued to climb to the top of the Tram area, took a walk over a hanging bridge and got back on the Tram. When we came to pole 8 the guide yelled down to the person on the ground and told him to look closer to the pole. In less than 15 seconds from telling the man where to look the co-worked yelled he found the video camera.

What was the message to me today or in other words…. What did I learn today?

Beauty on the rainforest floor!

The power of conviction in KNOWING and believing in what you are doing. The guide never doubted that the lost object would be found and he was right. The video camera was right where the guide thought it dropped. He directed his co-worker to find it from 100 feet above the rainforest floor. The woman who dropped the flip cam had two daughters, age 7 and 9 with her today. She was fearful of heights and was doing this just to give the kids an experience of a lifetime. What a great sense of community we all felt going through this lesson together.

The guide shared a very important gift with us today: The lesson from Dominica with one who loves his land.

Be sure to sign up to play “Where in the world is Carra Riley?” Lot’s of fun just posting and following the journey around the world! Check out how to get a travel voucher to visit one of the seven wonders of the world and exciting additions from merchants in Williams, Arizona.

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Cosmic Cow Pie

Carra Riley

Comment balloon 15 commentsCarra Riley & Declan Kenyon • January 19 2011 03:35PM


I had never heard of Dominica either.  I am enjoying your cruise with you, Carra.

Posted by Jane Peters, Los Angeles real estate concierge services (Home Jane Realty) almost 10 years ago

Jane ~  So happy to see you!  I am in the middle of the Atlantic ocean now.. and Looking out the window all I see is water! Big waves yesterday.. calm today!  Seems like I have some friends with me when I get the comments so thank you for checking in!  Dominica is like Hana Hawaii 50 years ago.. not much development.. I did a video of the homes from the bus ride.. will upload it later so you can see the HOMES in the area.. have to do it at port because the bandwidth on the ship won't allow us to upload videos.. when we were in port and I went to a cyber cafe.. it was 1 hour 15 minutes to upload.. so I have to wait till we are somewhere for longer.. maybe in Brazil up the Amazon!  Going fishing for piranha so will take videos of that for sure! 

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) almost 10 years ago

Who knew!?! It sounds like you're having a blast!! You deserve it, Carra!! Big hug!

Posted by Sylvie Stuart, Home Buying, Home Selling and Investment - Flagsta (Realty One Group Mountain Desert 928-600-2765) almost 10 years ago

Carra, I am loving the experience of your travels and look forward to each post. I am going to reblog  them so that more members can share this once in a lifetime trip.

Your tour guide is a wonderful example of being positive and passionate about a job. Amazing that he was so sure he could find the dropped object...even without knowing what it was.

We are looking forward to your videos for piranha. Keep enjoying, sharing and making memories.


Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) almost 10 years ago

Carra, I did not know where Dominic was either, and still don't think I know. I started to mind wander when I read flora and fauna, as I've been grandfatherized, and Raphael just loves the movie Sleeping Beauty, and the three good fairies are Flora, Fauna, and Meriweather

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 ) almost 10 years ago

Carra, my first experience of this island happened in 1975 when I flew in on a banana plane from Martinque. It is the place I know as "heaven" on earth. Thank you for bringing back extraordinary memories and a reminder to visit again.

Posted by Emily Medvec, Realtor | Serving Santa Fe & Northern NM (eXp Realty LLC) almost 10 years ago

Carra--I am envious of your experience with SAS.  Thanks for giving us little tidbits via your blog.  I have been a National Geographic subscriber for years and now I have your blog as a supplement.  Thanks.

Posted by Mary Yonkers, Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor (Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

Very lush, thats what I can see of the forest, but I bet your living more on the edge of excitement that is!

Posted by Ellen Caruso (Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty) almost 10 years ago

Silvie ~  So fun to have you and Flagstaff with me today!  Thanks for the hug...

Margaret ~  How fun you are making this for us!  The tour guide must have know that the foreign object would be visible to the guides who love the land and it would just stick out.. I can't even describe how confident he was that he would find it and I was certainly a doubting Thomas!  But he found it!We just entered the Amazon river.. wow it is very dirty and rushing fast.. it is humid outside about 1 a.m. So I better stop blogging and get to bed.. an 8:00 class in the morning. 

Ed ~  leave it to grandpa to connect the flora and fauna dots... wait till you see the animal we saw in the forest.. next post!

Emily ~  How fun is this.. it really seems untouched.. I will be doing another post on Dominica because we went to some organic farms.. I also took video of the houses... in the bus so they are fast but you will be able to see what they are link!

Mary ~  How fun is this.. I know you would like the voyage.. we are learning every minute with the students, faculty and very engaging lifelong learners! 

Ellen ~  Every minute is new to us!  Kind of glad to be out of the middle of the Atlantic for awhile..when you look around and for days see nothing but water.. I am going to like seeing the anacondas in the Amazon... or not :)  but will keep posting and sharing!  Thanks for going on the journey with me.

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) almost 10 years ago

Wow it has to be great if the National Geographic people suggested it.  Thanks for the info.


Posted by Team Honeycutt (Allen Tate) almost 10 years ago

Shelton ~ It was untouched beauty!

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) almost 10 years ago

Carra - I looked for your face first on my blog this morning--I'm loving your adventure.  A trip like that can't help but change your perspective of the world.

Posted by Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities, Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A. (Charlemagne International Properties) almost 10 years ago

Norma ~  I feel bad that I can't post daily.. I have about 7 posts in draft and the time to finish get picures and all the links takes hours and there are so many classes and events on the ship that it is hard not to just soak up all the information when I am surrounded by educators from all over the world.. here to GIVE their experience to us on a silver platter.. so I am processing it all and weill be sharing a little slower than I like.  I do have a great post on Coffee Growers and Certified Fair Trade coming up.. we as consumers can make a huge difference to people who are farming organically and with environmental priorities... the products cost a little more but the money goes to the growers on the middle man.  You can watch my facebook like page or my wall and then my flicker and youtube for photos.. Thanks Norma for being so involved and going on this journey with me.

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) almost 10 years ago

Hi Carra!  I just read your Omelet post and realized I had some catching up to do on your adventure.  I see you are having a wonderful time!

Posted by Ann Allen Hoover, CDPE SRES ASP e-PRO Realtor - Homes for Sale - AL (RE/MAX Advantage South) almost 10 years ago

I had heard of Dominica because all of those Caribbean islands make the news every time a hurricane roars through, and I tend to look up the hurricane coordinates on a map, thereby noticing the island names.

Posted by Jim Frimmer, Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist (HomeSmart Realty West) over 9 years ago