Moving day — from a fantastic Eco lodge to a stay with a fantastic family. A large family with lots of adults and kids to get to know.
I was up at 7am, as is fairly usual, bit this time I came down to join Patrice, Terry and the resort guests for breakfast. I’d been hearing about Dalia’s pineapple pancakes and wanted to finally try one of her breakfasts. Ironically, today was just a cereal day. Then I went back up to my room, and grabbed my backpack. It was still packed from the day before, when I thought I was leaving.
Putting my backpack on my back I was aware that this time it didn’t feel heavy. And packing the day before, I’d felt it easily fit everything — except my hiking shoes, which I have always been wearing or carrying in my day-bag anyway.
Around 9am it was time to leave. Terry and Patrice took the big launch for bring that week’s guests back to the airport. Dalia and I came along; one of our destinations was on Patrice’s route.
I loved the boat ride back from Mango Creek. The water was a bit rough but the Mango Creek skiff is large and deep, providing a fabulous ride. We, as with all boats out this day, sat toward the back so the front could hide high. I love that the hull rides up high on the waves and how the bow splits the water so it splits perfectly and moves along each side coming up exactly to the edge of the sides, then slides off/down/away — like a perfect boat and water dance move. I loved that boat ride… How the boat slides up the high water, rides high atop, the smoothly drops down. No ride at Disneyland is better.
Terry dropped us off where they keep their car, then headed back; he had to deal with the maintenance of other boat. (This is Terry after dropping us off.)
We got into the car, got dropped off, ran some errands that included stocking up on food for Gladys’ son’s birthday party. (Moorie turned 11.) (I haven’t been keeping up with this blog/journal but Gladys is one of Delia’s sisters who works at Mango Creek and became a friend.) This included shopping for a pinata in Coxen Hole, then lunch at the pseudo-Chinese restaurant, then Eldon’s, the supermarket that the boat owners go to when at French Key.
A great thing happened at Eldon’s. We saw Irene and Robert from the sailboat, Filiat. I got to speak with them and apologize, well, explain what happened in Port Royal. We had a good conversation and I learned that they, too, had been worried about me because I was not being announced as a passenger. (I wish all the worried people had said something to me.)
(Unfortunately, Delia’s schedule didn’t include time for me stop at the Tigo store. She though I could renew my data card in Oakridge, something that I still don’t think could happen, even days later as I update this post.)
After the shopping, we took a taxi to the Oakridge bus stop and were met there at the dock by a family member who carried us to a family home. As we unpacked the groceries, I was introduced to some more of the family. (I already knew some who worked at or visited the lodge.)
Presently, we walked up the road to see Delia’s property, which she and her husband will soon build their own home upon. There, I met more family as they live nearby. I love that several immediate families live each in their own homes but close to one another so they can easily visit and share a meal. Cousins can play, siblings can socialize. That’s the way it was for my mother’s family in NY as she grew up and the way it was for some of my own friends when they were young. I hope it is still that way in much of the US and other places.
Up by her home-to-be, as we sat around in hammocks in the shade under one of the homes, I met some of her nieces and nephews as well as the adults. I particularly enjoyed meeting Shariah and Morrie. Their smiles were a joy and rather infectious; their voices were bright. (I had known about Morrie as I knew and liked his mother and was already invited to his birthday party.)
When Morrie and Shariah asked if I’d like to go on a walk and see some more of the area, I happily said “sure!” and am so glad I did. They answered all my questions about whose home we passed, about the area. But when we turned off the road to visit one of their aunts, I had a real treat. This aunt lives off the road, up a path cut into the jungle. I wish I’d had a video camera to capture every moment of this walk. It seemed ever step of the way Morrie was showing me something. Mango trees, pears, plums, papaya… I didn’t have my glasses for distance and my mind is not trained as theirs, so I wasn’t noticing things as he pointed. Shariah would point to, telling me where to look. Then Morrie would say, watch, and grab a small stick. He’d throw it up and I’d follow it. Without fail, Morrie’s stick would travel right to hit target. Right beside it, that is. He never tried to hit the fruit. I was impressed. This was to be the start of my love for these two kids.