WRAPPING IT UP IN THE CARIBBEAN

Another four weeks have come and gone, without too much despair I might add.  The most depressing part of leaving the Caribbean is saying goodbye to the amazing short-term staff we’ve had helping us out with the spring break weeks.  It’s been a crazy-busy frenzy of stress, laughter, cards, drinks, and of course, hundreds of children.  HUNDREDS!!  I definitely won’t miss that part of the last few weeks although it’s kept the days moving along quickly.

The second half of these two months of back-to-back identical itineraries hasn’t really added much to my resume of Caribbean experiences, but I must say, I’ve grown quite fond of Justin Beiber…  I have also learned to play Black Jack in the casino, scoring me a total of $175 over two sessions of trying my luck!  Other than that, I’ve been just counting down the days until the kid-counts go down so work isn’t so hectic.

Last week, I did explore a different side of Grand Turk, checking out another beach with washed-up conch shells.  Where rocks normally greet the tide along the shoreline, instead were the spiral centers of the conches, cemented together from decades and even centuries of being pressed tightly with sticky sand and ocean debris.  It’s eerie to see all the remnants of the once carefree aquatic creatures stuck together forever.

In St. Thomas, in an effort to mix it up a bit, Rob and I went snorkeling with our friend, Christina at Magen’s Bay.  Huge crowds of tourists from six or seven cruise ships filled the beach, forcing us to walk a long way down the sand to reach a quiet spot near the rocks.  It was definitely not the most exciting snorkel trip I’ve ever experienced (that’s a tie between a local spot in Roatan, Honduras and Fort-de-France, Martinique), but I found the cool water refreshing and the sea life curious and peaceful as always.

Just this past week we stocked up on some boozy Grand Turk treasures and purchased a lovely painting that was made for our wall.  The weather bid us farewell for the season with rain, clouds, and wind.  It would have been disappointing if it hadn’t been my dozenth or so time there.  In San Juan, my dearest coordinator Meagan allowed me to have a beautiful night off in which the boy and I enjoyed a deliciously vegetarian meal at a fancy little café that specializes in yummy meat alternatives.  We walked around a bit and called it a night after tea at the local poet’s café.  Early to bed that night to enjoy something the following morning that finally went right!

Early in St. Thomas we went DIVING!!  I had done an intro to SCUBA before in Curaçao, but we decided to do one together since we haven’t yet done our confined dive.  Some snooty tourists had a fit before we left and bailed out at the last minute, so we ended up doing three dives (if we had our confined completed, we could have nearly been certified after that) at three different sites!  Through that experience I have come to realize that I am not completely immune to seasickness – when a tiny little boat is rocking and rolling from all angles and directions, I can feel a bit of a storm brewing inside.  Luckily as we descended, all things went calm and peaceful.  The day was packed with colorful fish, beautiful corals, and visits from barracudas, trumpet fish, lobster, and even a shark, sea turtle, and octopus…and the distant cooing sounds of whales.  A remarkable experience that has definitely confirmed our desire to complete the certification process as soon as we can.

The Caribbean season has now come to a close and while we’ll miss the convenience of comfort of the familiar ports, we can’t wait for the adventure that lies ahead.  Next stop: PORTUGAL!

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