Emancipation Day…or in Freeport…an excuse to celebrate!

Today is the last day before Jonathan starts school and it’s a local holiday.  According to Tyrone, every month there is a holiday here and sometimes 2!  Bahamians LOVE to celebrate and they look for excuses to take off work, fire up the pit, and party on the beach.  So today is Emancipation Day here.  Right now Jonathan and I are still in bed (it’s 9:00 am here) and there is some strange weather going on right now.  It’s sort of spitting rain but it’s fully bright outside.  It looks like it has been raining for a while.  We were jolted awake this morning by a HUGE clap of thunder which scared us (and probably Matilda more) to death.  We were expecting it to look like it does in Houston when you hear thunder like that.  Black and gloomy and gnarly.  But it’s sunny and island-y!  So strange.  And even though it’s only 9:00 am, I can hear the Taino Beach party getting under way right now.  All the bus drivers and taxi drivers are technically off (though I’m praying at least one will be willing to drag us down to Lucaya tonight to meet the Wellses and the Grays for dinner) but I hear cars whizzing by on their way to the beach.  Apparently a little rain isn’t stopping these people from taking advantage of a day off work!  In the states wouldn’t we all be inside whining about rain on the 4th of July??  I’ve been guilty of that plenty of times myself.  But these Bahamians, lemme tell ya.  In their opinion there are very few things in this world worth  worth wasting perfectly good celebration time on with negativity!

We have discovered another part of the island in the past few days.  There is another student (whom I’ve mentioned before) named Connor who lives up Midshipman from us (that’s kind of the main drag through the residential areas on this side of the island).  Connor has spent a lot of time out here and near here (he lives in Florida) so he is a great resource.  Not to mention he has a car here!  He has made it so that Jonathan and I have felt the least “trapped” than we’ve felt probably since we moved here.  You really don’t appreciate mobility until it’s stripped from you!  Connor lives near a stretch of beach called Banana Bay and also near this point where the canal spits out into the ocean.  They’ve spotted dolphins and sting rays and sea turtles in the canal, though we weren’t fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of any of that Saturday.  The water was kind of churned up from the rains the night before.  But the boys (and eventually me after I worked up the courage to trek down there) waded through a part of the cove in search of “treasure” (that seems to be becoming a favored activity with Matt and Jonathan).  My toenails are painted bright pink and I think some of the little damsel fish (think Dory from Finding Nemo) were a little confused because they kept congregating around my feet.  There were like 5 or 6 at a time.  Cool!  They found sea urchins and pieces of coral, a lobster graveyard, and this crazy weird worm thing that totally grossed me out.  It kind of looked like a white “nerd rope” stuck to a rock.  When Jonathan picked it up with his knife this worm/snake/slug came smooshing out.  Nasty!  I ran screaming from that thing and decided it was time for me to get out.  You never know what’s lurking around in that water…

There are 4 wives here on the island.  It’s me, Michelle, Ashley (who’ve we’ve yet to meet but are dying to!), and another girl who is here with her husband, two children, and sister.  I haven’t met her.  I’ve heard that some of the girls left their husbands at home to do this semester and will be dragging them down to Dominica.  At any rate, right now it’s just me and Michelle and hopefully Ashley after tonight!  Michelle and I were talking yesterday about the fact that we’re really looking forward to nailing down a routine once the guys go off to classes.  It feels like vacation (which don’t get me wrong is perfectly fine with me!) but we need some continuity!

Matt shared a link with me to the Ross University spouse association.  There isn’t anything like that here for Freeport since it’s only a 15 week program, but that link has been very helpful.  We kind of came a little blindly into this whole thing in Freeport.  Which is fine, because we’ve been able to adapt to the very few “surprises” we’ve encountered.  But Dominica is going to have it’s own set of challenges.  For instance, apparently the luggage restrictions are going to change since we take a teeny little airplane from Puerto Rico (which is where most of the flights connect through).  Instead of just being able to bring what we want and just pay the luggage fees, you are only allowed one 50 lb. bag and one 25 lb. bag.  Yikes!  I’ve seen some of the blogs from the women who are currently down there and it looks like they’ve shipped these barrel things over there with stuff packed in them.  I can’t imagine that we can get everything we want to bring into 75 pounds a piece (especially since we were lucky to pack it into 250 pounds this time and we’re only here 15 weeks!), though I am already getting a handle on some of the things I could have left behind.  I’ll try to link up to a few of their blogs here so you can see for yourself (that’s probably mostly for the benefit of Bernice and my mom…so they can prepare themselves 😉 …).  It’s definitely going to take some adjusting.  It’s much more “jungle-y” there and apparently it rains 2-3 times a day.  They all have rain coats and umbrellas and galoshes at their doors and that’s kind of the “accepted dress” (I can’t help but be a little excited about the prospect of getting some zebra striped rain boots!).  But the beaches are AMAZING.  Even prettier than here if you can believe it!  It’s a volcanic island so it’s mountainous and very untouched looking.  The apartments are much less “comfortable” than they are here so that will take some getting used to.  But I’m so thankful to have some MERP wives (I keep leaving Delancey out of this by saying wives, but I guess I’m just assuming she’ll be a “wife” soon enought!) here in Freeport who share some of my “trepidation” and we can all go down to Dominica and experience it together.  That’s a huge blessing!

I talked to Zach Qualls (a friend of mine from college) and I told him about how I’m learning that God’s timing is perfect.  He really does have this all figured out, which is incredible.  There’s a plan here and we are getting almost daily affirmations that we are right on track.  He definitely orchestrated this whole Freeport thing to help us ease into island living.  Dominica is going to be a HUGE departure from the norm!  But I am reminded of a prayer that I prayed many months ago and it gives me a reality check.  I told God that we would be willing to give up all that is comfortable in our lives, all of the tings that “make us happy” to receive His blessings.  To receive the desires of our heart.  I guess He’s checking me on that one, because in a few short months we really will have given it all up.  There may be only a few comforts!  But we’ll be living on a picture perfect island!  What more could you want!

So to close, here are some links to some of the Ross spouses’ blogs and a link to Tyrone singing Shame and Scandal.  Super funny!  Rachel Gaffner thinks I should send it to Ellen Degeneres…

This is Clare and Charlie (Clare has a little video of their apartment posted…)


This is Tanya and Blake (she’s expecting their first child in October and they are in semester 5 in Mirimar)


And last but not least…the Bahamian Idol…

Tyrone shame and scandal

P.S.-I forgot to share probably one of the funniest things I’ve seen here in Freeport.  Michelle and I were sitting in the lounge chairs on the beach in Banana Bay watching these two Pakistani boys try their dardenst to climb into a hammock.  If you don’t already know, the key to getting into a hammock is to go in butt first.  Belly first is just a no go.   So this kid gets in on his knees and gets his foot caught in the hammock.  He does a face plant right into the sand and Michelle and I just bust out laughing.  It was just so funny!  So then the poor thing tries to play it off (because his dad is laughing at him at this point too…) and he stands up and starts acting like it didn’t happen.  But the entire bottom half of his face is covered in sand!  haHa!  He looks like Sandy Claus!!  Oh my…side splittingly funny…


2 thoughts on “Emancipation Day…or in Freeport…an excuse to celebrate!

  1. You have plenty of experience in small airplanes so that shouldn’t be a problem! I guessing zebra rain boots are on the Christmas/Birthday list? Don’t you need a matching umbrella?? Miss you!

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