Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Moving house....again!

I'm moving to here...... so it's not all bad! This is the view from my balcony, lovely vegetation and the pool. So it will be a busy week packing and moving in between working, sigh. At least it will be clean out time, 13 months of stuff I may not need. The apartment has a TV, my first for a number of years so it will be interesting how that goes. I won't have the internet for a while so I may be quiet for a week or so. 

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Amazing dancers

I had the choice of two treats last night, a wonderful display of local talent and the National Dance Theatre of Jamaica. We sailed later in the afternoon, a shake down for today's big race, so I had to take the later show. Wow, what fantastic dancing. Annie, I thought of you as I watched and how much your would have enjoyed this. There were some lovely young dancer, very young some of them, who were really entertaining. Some talented young ones who are learning to dance to the crowd.

It's hard to find something on YouTube to share here and this was possibly the best one. There was a lot of Pacifica rhythms in the dance, with the drums, tiaha and beats reminding me of home.

Thursday, 24 May 2012


I felt inspired this morning. Two things that don't usually go together, I felt inspired and it was morning! I'd worked late, not slept well despite a small helping of Forrest Gump and had woken really early. I was checking out some travel blogs, this one inspired me to write. As much the comments as the blog really. Here is my comment:

As a New Zealand traveler who has made 3 other countries home, living, working, socialising and generally enjoying all these countries have to offer, I found this post and the comments interesting. Enclaving is what expats do all over the world. This is especially so in countries where there is a major difference in culture, for example in the Middle East. It may not be so common for countries where there are cultural and religious similarities. Locals there are more likely to include expats so long as they are not fatigued by the number of them settling in their place. 

Every place I've been has had a rugby club run and frequented by New Zealanders and Australians with the odd South African included. Not really being a rugby club person, I only go there for special events, such as the World Cup games, to be with others cheering for the same team. While I enjoy a catch up with my New Zealand friends overseas, I certainly don't mix exclusively with them or other expats. That's how I have enjoyed my travels, experiencing other cultural norms, languages and opportunities to share. 

I laughed when I read the piece on cricket. It brought back some lovely memories of watching games in other places, street games with excited youngsters. There is nothing more likely to cause heated discussion with any of our Indian sub continent or Caribbean neighbours. I just say I'm from New Zealand and the Black Caps are mentioned. The fact I'm a big cricket fan and can talk relatively knowledgeably about this means I'm a hit with those I talk with. I was close to Sri Lanka during the last world cup and am going to Jamaica soon to watch as many matches on the Black Caps tour as I can. The luxury of being close by.

Funny, I've been thinking about this stuff lately. People think that because you're from New Zealand that you know everyone there and that you give other New Zealanders in your orbit an easy ride. Not so, we are often harder on each other than we are on others. The tall poppy syndrome is alive and well. In Cayman that's called crabs in a bucket, very apt if you've seen crabs in a bucket. 

Anyhow, felt like I needed to add my 2 cents worth. Funny how close minded some people are, and that applies to the people who are locals as well as expats. Harmony and goodwill, that's what makes the world go around.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

It's raining, it's pouring.....

What a downpour today! I woke to rain coming through my open window in the small hours and it's continues all day. I went for a drive earlier in the day on Charlene's advice as I'm looking to move soon. always best to check the lay of the land in this weather it seems. I drove through massive surface flooding with minimal visibility and decided that my place was okay, shame I have to move. I've got dead cockroaches in my front porch and big frogs croaking out the back door. Interesting.

Schools are closed for tomorrow, too much flooding and a poor forecast. The photo in the article is close to my place. More of the same all week and rainy season has not officially begun yet. Seem like those hurricane frogs may be right to go to higher ground. For me it's been some nice downtime. I would not have seen anyone today, except Didge got driven out of her place by a non stopping alarm. A nice interlude and friendly chat. Didge is off home to her son's wedding on Wednesday so fingers crossed all is well so she gets there on time.

So a much needed rest day for me to lose my sore throat and achey bits. Tomorrow will be work as usual although possibly a little quieter with the schools closed. I've read a book this weekend, had heaps of couch time and slept much more than is normal for me. Guess I needed a quiet home weekend. I suspect I should have started packing, not my most favourite job but needs must. Procrastination and last minute things are my modus so it would be a shame to change that now. 

Monday, 21 May 2012

Should do that more often.....

There's quite a few things where I think, I should do that more often. Walking on the beach is definitely one of those. I've just got back, it's almost dark, from a late afternoon splash along the South Sound beach. This evening the sea was calmer than in the photos, gently washing against the rocks with an even swell. Hurricane season begins at the end of this month, the tourist season usually ends about then too.

There's been talk of the hurricane season. There have been crabs coming ashore in the Brac, apparently this means there will be a big one this season. The locals call them hurricane crabs, one of my colleagues asked April, the Brac-er on my team, if it was true that the crabs had come ashore. The last time they did this was during the 2004 season, when the infamous Ivan decimated the island. Where I move to may be dictated by this piece of local knowledge.

I have to move soon and I'm looking at places on the Internet. It's a lot easier now I know the lay of the land a bit better. Tempting is the one bed and loft of 7 Mile Beach, the condo at Spotts, the condo near North Sound and the sail club. I need to keep bad weather in mind and I must look in earnest next week. This weekend, and it's a long one, I'm getting some much needed rest and catching up on those things I should do more often. 

Friday, 18 May 2012

A quiet week

Well blog wise anyway. I've been so busy at work that I'm exhausted when I finally get home. Writing is not the restful break it used to be, it's more of the work day. It will balance soon I hope. Today I had a nice day, visiting a school first thing then attending a new school classroom block opening in the evening. The piece in between in the office was also productive. I've just finished a proposal and so I'm stopping for the night, a bit brain dead. 

It's a long weekend this weekend, I'm not going anywhere for a change. I plan to spend time on the lounger or couch reading, sorting photos, house hunting and getting some good down time. Just a busy Friday to go, lots of meetings and not much time in between to get the work done. There may just be a very happy hour. I do have travel plans, a trip to Jamaica to watch the Black Caps play the West Indies at cricket in July and a trip to Panama and one to North America to go shopping in June. Weather will decide our destination, I fancy New York or Chicago. 

I've also got a week of extra leave to spend so I hope to join Jane for a South America adventure, Machu Picchu here I come. For now my travel is upstairs to bed, tomorrow is another day. Dress down Friday, what to wear, what to wear..... maybe I need that shopping trip!

Saturday, 12 May 2012


Walking in a sidewise, in a crab like manner or harvesting land crabs in Cayman. Last night Jane and I got to experience Cayman style crabbing. Tonight the first crabbing may happen, it is Friday after all. Jane got invited to join some friends, I tagged along, armed with long clothing, running shoes and a torch. A woeful torch as it turned out.

Chris and Yammi and their 3 year old son Nathan led the expedition. I just stuck with the person who had the brightest torch, wise it seems as this is a night time venture. The crabs are the large land crabs I see on the road when driving in the rainy season. There's a crab season, it's just begun, hence the expedition. Crabbing entails finding places where the crabs have burrows and catching them when they are hanging out outside their holes in the ground.

Then you put your foot on them and pick them up carefully, as you do with anything that has giant claws. Into the sack and into the holding bucket they go. I got one, one of my companions came with the grabbing stick, stilled the crab and into the bag it went. Scrabbling around in the bushes was interesting, a bit scary with my small torch especially with thoughts of the snakes and scorpions that lurk in the area.

We got 15 altogether, enough for a good taste. And we had that this evening, followed by chocolate brownie and ice cream. Crab, boiled then fried with chili served on rice with baked bread fruit. Island cuisine at  it's best, eaten outside under the stars with a cold beer and good friends. 

Tuesday, 8 May 2012


My horoscope said that I would have many blessings this week. They have certainly begun. Tonight, after a strenuous yoga class, I found Haloumi cheese at the supermarket. It's rare to find this here, lots of mozzarella and cheddar, no Haloumi. I stocked up and got some for Jane, also a Leo with blessings coming.

Eve's birthday table, courtesy of Sasi
It's Eve's birthday today Brisbane time, a blessing. She's one year old and very extremely, extraordinarily gorgeous. Sasi excelled herself with an amazing array of cakes and other food for her party in the park. Her photo is above. Sasi runs Styled Sweets, take a look at her special talent. I've not managed to Skype with them yet, maybe tomorrow we'll all be in the right place to do this. It's hard to believe that it's been a year, a year of many interesting events.

I've been in the Caymans for a year, a year into my two year contract. The blessing there is that I still love my job, despite the hours, can see the progress we've made and get to work with an amazing team of Caymanian women. All different, all special and all working towards a better future for the children here. A winning combination.

On Saturday I had the privilege of racing in the cruiser class on Blue Runner. It was a fantastic day out, we won the race and the race itself was interesting. I got to fly the spinnaker, I now have much stronger arm muscles and after a few days can now move my arms more freely. The blessing, we had the company of the North Sound dolphin. He or she, there was some discussion about this, raced alongside us for a couple of hours playing with us and hamming it up for the camera. The dolphin got really close when we heeled over, we could almost touch him. We all had smiles, a story to tell over a dark and stormy back at the sail club. I hope to post the video footage soon.

Sunday was more sailing, race training. I'm on the foredeck, that's what we had to practice. Gibes and tacks, setting the pole, flying the spinnaker. The blessing was we didn't broach and I managed to get the tangled bits untangled before there was too much drama. We had practiced the Thursday before as well, taking the day off work and sailing the Kaibo for lunch. I felt a bit naughty doing this during the week but needs must. It was wild out on the water, some exciting moments as we headed back to base.

I wonder what the rest of the week will bring, more things that will delight I'm sure. Talking to Eve on Skype will be my high point of the week, managing to talk to Noah too will be the icing on the cake. 

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Slow Internet......

Read no Internet! I've had no access at home since Monday, a bit difficult to keep up on things without. My work access is fine, I just have not had time to keep up. I've worked long days, too long. Imagine my life with just my phone to check stuff and that doesn't check all the stuff I need like Skype and my horoscopes. Funny thing, I did manage okay. Amazing how much the Internet has become part of my every day routines.

Today I came home between my 7.30 and 10 am meetings and called the provider, not problem they said. Once they had my info, suddenly it was fixed, go figure. Why did I not make that call earlier? Who knows. So the happenings of this week, so many happenings.

I've been evicted. My apartment has been sold, sigh. I love the space and light here, the sun streaming in in the morning and late afternoon. The balcony where I eat breakfast watching the ching chings and iguanas in the trees, the privacy of a place where I can fling open the morning curtains and not be overlooked. I should have talked to the agent and made an offer before he accepted the last one, last refusal on the sale.

I'm not sure it works like that. What's done is done. I have time to look and now I have my net back, I have the ability to look. I'm checking out another in this complex on Friday, its next to the road so I'm not sure about the noise. There are others on beaches, many out of my price range and some that require a visit. Apartment hunting, not my favourite pass time.

I do have a back up plan, two available for the short term if I get stuck. And I have a yacht I could sleep in if stuck, well not really! I'm taking the day off tomorrow, a much needed break from the 12 plus hour days that have become the norm. Jo, Sue and I are off out for a training run, up to Kaibo for lunch tacking and gibing all the way. I get to lie in for a bit and test out my new bikini. I may even risk taking my camera.