Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Getting lost on an island

Kristen here – today is Tuesday 5/26/09. I just got back from a run to find that Chris had already started school with the kids! What a nice surprise. As it turns out, they woke up early and asked to start school so they could finish early and explore the island.

I did a little extra island exploring this morning during my run. I started out heading for the ocean side beach. Then I ran along the beach for a while. There were already workers out removing the seaweed that had washed up on shore. Most of the Oceanside beach is lined with houses and resorts. There are none of the huge, modern resorts though. All of the buildings look like large brightly painted houses. It’s very quaint. I watched the sand dunes for a while to spot a way back out to the road, and finally after a mile or so, I spotted a way off the beach. I was spat out onto a road, and had no idea where I was. Feeling like running a bit more, I took off to the left. Bad decision. This was further away from the marina where I parked the dinghy.

I knew I had to get to the other side of the island, so I started taking roads that went in that direction. This is when I learned that there are no dead end signs anywhere! I must have taken 5 or 6 very long roads, only to have each one end up at someone’s house, or a marina, or just with no way out. Well, no time like the present to bump up my mileage! I stopped a woman in a golf cart and asked her how to get to Valentines marina. I knew I was in trouble when she pointed me down the mile long dead end road I just came from. She asked me if I had been on Dunmore road, and I told her it was my first time on the island, and I had no idea what roads I had been on. She then said that it was her first time on the island too! It’s the lost leading the lost. Politely I told her that I would ask the guy pulling up behind us.

The next guy was black, and looked local. Maybe a bit too local. He knew exactly where Valentines was, but spoke more French than English. He got so animated, that he jumped out of his golf cart and motioned with his hands. He pointed to the ocean side of the island and kept saying, “Bank, bank!” (sounded like honk but with a B) He wanted me to go down the main road and do something, but I just couldn’t figure it out. “Do you want me to go and turn left at the bank?” I asked. “No, no. Bank! Do you understand?” he replied. I thanked him, and he asked if I spoke French, in French. I told him, “No, but I think I should learn! All I can say is Merci!” This he found amusing, and said Merci back at me.

I continued on in the direction he pointed and eventually started seeing more shops and businesses. After making a couple of turns I was reunited with Valentines and my dinghy! Yay! Oh, and I did actually pass by a bank, so maybe that is what he was trying to say.

For breakfast I’m still working on the mangoes given to us by Jackson. We met Jackson at a local lunch stand, and after talking to him about local fruits, Chris mentioned that I loved mangoes, so the next day he brought over a huge bag of them! He said there are actually a lot of different kinds of mangoes. He brought us his favorite which he said are a bit stringier, but much sweeter.

I still had a few mangoes from Governors harbor, which were smaller than Jackson’s mangoes. So this morning I had a taste test. I found both types stringy, but Jackson’s were definitely much sweeter. Either way, when you’re done eating them, you’re picking strings out of your teeth for the next hour!

As soon as the kids are done with school, we’ll all go into town and explore. While running, I found a conch salad shack with a TON of conch shells out back. I’ll make conch horns for my nieces and nephews yet!

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