9 months down – Things I like

I’m shy of being 9 months into a two year contract dispatching in the Caymans and am feeling much more comfortable here.

Has it been an easy nine months?  No.  I’ve had a fair amount of homesickness and frustration, but I’m mentally in a much better place these days.  June has been a good month thus far and I’m hoping that it just gets better.

So far I’ve had several friends and family members come and visit – Craig and then the sibling duo of Ryanne and Jeff Skalberg – as well as my parents.  I like showing people around the island.  All of the beautiful places remind me of what originally drew me here.  It is so easy to forget the good parts of the island when I am take calls from people having some sort of crisis.  As I write this, I’m also on the count down for my next visitor, Lisa.  After she leaves, my niece Reba will come for a few days.

It’s just shy of 0300 right now and I was thinking about the things I find enjoyable about living here, other than clear blue water and white sandy beaches.  I’m also including some other fun tidbits of information on this list.

  • Salutations.  “Good Day/Morning” “Good Afternoon” and “Good Night” are all correct ways to greet people, depending on the time of day of course.  The first two were not a change for me, however, being greeted with “Good Night” threw me off for weeks.  Back at home, I’m used to using that as a farewell of sorts but I’ve grown accustomed to it.  These greetings are also the general preface of any phone call you receive.
  • Entering a room.  If you are the person who enters a room that has others in it, then YOU are the person who should offer the salutation first.  If you walk into a room and do not greet the people in there yet later attempt to have a conversation with the occupants, you’re going to be looked at like you’re crazy.  This includes being in an elevator with someone.
  • Much like the south, it is customary to use Ms. or Mr. when speaking to someone or when you refer to someone, especially if they’re older.
  • Instead of being addressed with sugar, honey, sweetie, or darlin’, here you will hear Madam, My Love, My Dear.
  • Most SUVs are commonly referred to as Jeeps.
  • June may be my favorite time of the year – MANGOS
  • I still giggle internally when I hear that someone has “licked” someone.  Lick being the term for hit.  As in: “I licked the back of his car in the roundabout” or “‘e got licked with a machete” – By the way, don’t pronounce it with a long E at the end.  The person you’re talking to will just get exasperated and think you’re talking about something else entirely.
  • Casual clothes – every day.  I basically live in a running skirt, tank top and flipflops when I’m not at work or the beach.  On the rare occasion that I go out, I tend to just throw on a sundress or capris.
  • No make up most days. On days I work, I *MAY* throw on some eyeshadow, and mascara and if I go out at night then I’ll include eyeliner but  I haven’t touched foundation or anything else since I have been here.  It’s too hot.  I don’t care what sort of base you have underneath it but foundation or regular powder is gonna run and then it’ll be a huge mess and no one wants to see you looking like that.  Not that I really wear make up anywhere else…  It’s just not me.
  • Fresh fruit, right from the tree.  There is nothing like going outside and picking your own mango, rinsing it off and then biting into it.  No, don’t worry about peeling it or cutting it up… Okay you may have to cut the skin of it slightly to get into it, but use your hands and teeth.  Sure, it’s messy but it is delightful.  I’m looking forward to going and eating one while standing in the ocean to get the taste combo of sea salt and mango sweetness.  Apparently it’s a pretty popular thing with the locals so I’ve gotta do it.

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