As we have said before, in Montserrat we work hard and we play hard. To celebrate the successful release and all the hard work that has gone into bringing back the mountain chicken to Montserrat the team partied hard with a traditional evening of fire cooking and Caribbean calypso. Gerardo and Blacka were in charge of the fire (there were definitely competitions going on as to who could collect the biggest log!) whilst Matt, Nadine and myself prepared the seasoning for the goat water and ital rice. Goat water is the national dish of Montserrat and is like a thick gravy stew given a distinct flavour of cloves and the local seasoned peppers. The ital rice is a dish often enjoyed by rastafarians as it is vegetarian and consists of pumpkin, sweet potato, peas, rice and coconut milk and is usually cooked in a huge baked clay pot.
The celebrations took place at Jack Boy hill where the team had a spectacular view of the volcano dome which is not often seen as it is usually covered by cloud. Jack Boy also overlooks the area that was devestated in February 2010 by the last volcanic explosion that happened in Montserrat. Although the volcano has been fairly inactive since that time there are still vents that produce lots of gases and depending on the wind direction you can often smell the sulfur. All this being a reminder that she could become active again at any time….fingers crossed she stays quiet everyone.
So for now the frogs are allowed a rest from us, but we will be back in the forest soon to check on their progress.
–Sarah-Louise Smith, Project Coordinator