My Journey in Montserrat
by Maya, 10
Almost every one of you wants me to write for the blog again, so here we go.
Hello, it’s me , Maya, writing about Montserrat (some people call it „The Monster Rat“…)
The Big Fish
Our journey in Montserrat started with a huge fish.
We were heading towards the island and it was a normal sailing day until zzzzzzzz our fishing pole sounded the alarm. A fish! The fish was too big and too strong and even my dad couldn’t fight with it. After half an hour my dad managed to pull it out. But only the 15-pound head was hanging on the hook with a bit of the body. Most of it was eaten by sharks. But still we got a ton of meat out of it.
We made sushi and grilled fish-stakes on the BBQ and we still had a few pounds of fish meat left.
City Covered in Ashes
When we arrived in Montserrat we met a guy named Terrance. My parents traded the rest of the fish in exchange for a ride to the city buried in ashes.
The city was the capital of Montserrat called Plymouth and it had thousands of expensive houses in it, all covered with ashes and abandoned.
On the island of Montserrat there is a volcano. But the people thought it was sleeping so they built a city right under it.
One morning the volcano woke up and started coughing, sneezing and barfing ashes and rocks on top of the city. Not because it’s a mean volcano or anything like this, it’s just what volcanoes do when they wake up. They say that when this volcano started spitting ashes and covered the whole city they even had to close the airport all the way in Venezuela because the ashes flew so far away.
But we couldn’t go inside Plymouth because it is an exclusion zone and if they catch you walking there you go to jail.
We had to have a special permission from the police and a car and someone with a phone for emergency. Good thing Terrance had a car and a phone.
So we went up Garibaldi Hill, another abandoned neighborhood not far from Plymouth, and we looked at the damage the volcano had done from there.
It looked horrible. All these houses, some cost like a million dollars, and the people had to abandon them and to run away. I wouldn’t like to be in that situation…
Another cool thing that happened in Montserrat is meeting new friends.
One morning I went to do some exercises on the beach because living on a boat is pretty lazy life. I usually run 4-5 laps. On the 5th lap two random girls stopped me and asked me a bunch of questions like Where are you from?, What’s your name?, Did you come here by yourself? I answered all of the questions and then I asked them if they wanted to play with me.They said sure! So we played all day long in the water and on the beach. And the next day too. One of the girls was Angel and the other Darriana. Later another girl came, Malvelina or Mel for short. They were about the same age like me, 13, 13 and 11.
The cool thing about these friends was that Angel’s mother works at the bar near the beach and she sells slush, small for 3 EC dollars and big for 5 EC dollars. She told us that if we go and advertise the slush to the people on the beach we will get free slush, so we did and we got free slush. Darry’s father is the ice cream man but he was off duty that day and we didn’t get any free ice cream, and Mel’s grandma sells cookies and candy on a bench under a tree in front of the restaurant, so she gave us a pack of cookies and even money for cola. So we got everything for free.
Also, that was my supreme ‘liers’ day’. Only Angel and Darry knew the real me. We told lies to all the other kids on the beach because they were lying to us too. I told them that my name was Emma, that I was 13 years old, that I was the richest kid alive and that I owned a huge mansion, and that my mom’s name was Savanah, also that I am a professional surfer, and that my dad is the Guinness world record boxing champion and that I come from London. I know you must be laughing by now, I was too.
At the end of the day when I came back to the boat I was starving, but even worst, I was so sunburned I looked like the devil. My face was officially RED.
Some Interesting Facts About Montserrat
- Montserrat is a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean with 102 sq km (39 sq mi) territory and about 5000 inhabitants of mixed African-Irish descendants.
- Many Irish people were transported to the island in the 18th century to work as slaves or exiled prisoners during the English Cromwellian conquest of Ireland.
- Montserrat is the only country in the world except Ireland where St Patrick’s Day is an official holiday and is celebrated for an entire week.
- On 18 July 1995, the dormant Soufrière Hills volcano became active destroying Montserrat’s Georgian era capital city of Plymouth and two-thirds of the island’s population fled.
- A new capital and main port are being developed on the northwest coast of the island.
- The volcanic activity continues with the most recent eruption on 11 February 2010.
- An „exclusion zone“ has been imposed because of the potential for pyroclastic activity. Visitors are not permitted entry into the exclusion zone V.
- A special permission can be granted by the police to enter Zone C by car only and observe the volcano and Plymouth from Garibaldi Hill.
- A taxi tour of the island and exclusion zone C can be arranged for about 20 to 40 $US
- Terrance McPhoy is not a taxi driver but is available to give tours for groups of up to 7 people.Cell phone (664)496-1291
- There are a few great hiking trails on the island but access to Soufrière Hills is forbidden.
- A geothermal project is currently being developed by an Icelandic company for making electricity with volcanic hot waters.
More Images of Montserrat and its People