jueves, 30 de junio de 2011

In which I become a Page 3 girl, go green at the gills and get dual nationality

Here I am in another airport, waiting for my flight out of Barbados. Once again I am sad to be saying goodbye, I have had a brilliant time here- this is such a special place and I have met the kindest, friendliest people.

My last week has been a fun and busy one. The weekend was full of surfing in the blustery, violent Caribbean. The waters were the biggest I’ve tried and gave me a good work out but was fun. My instructor even spotted a turtle swimming in the waves beside me, so I tried extra hard to stay up and not fall on the hard-shelled cutie.

I also had a brilliant Friday night out when the gang from the newspaper took me out to Oistins, a fishing port town on the East coast. The town is the place to be on a Friday. Along from a beautiful sliver of golden beach are a little village of take-away huts each offering all kinds of grilled and fried fish. I made do with macaraoni pie and chips and we all settled down in the bustling courtyard to chat and eat our hot food. I also had my first taste of local Banks beer, which was yummy.

Next we headed into the town of huts and found a clearing where a group of dancers were practicing their ballroom dancing moves. We hung around watching the couples glide around the square. Then the music changed to upbeat soca and the dance floor filled with people ready to line dance! I got involved and just about managed to keep up- line dancing to Soca… brilliant! The girls also taught me the Bajan art of the “wuk up”, basically a hand on the head and girate your hips while slowly crouching to the floor and back up again. Like the twist meets the hula…. At least the way I do did. It was a great night and so nice of my workmates to take me out. And once I'd shown them my wuk up skills they crowned me an official Bajan. I'm sure immigration will be cool with that.

I will really miss my work colleagues, I feel like I really settled in to work at the paper and have really loved my assignments. Except that is for Tuesday when I had to wake up at 3.45am to go out on a fishing boat to write a story for “Fisherman´s day”. Problem is… I had kind of forgotten how sea sick I get… within 15 minutes I was green and groaning, my head on my knees hiding in the cabin. Not the best in-the-field reporting job ever but I got a good first person account out of it and it was an interesting experience at least.

I was given a lovely send off with a massive card, cake and wine and I tried Claudia’s recipe and made a pound cake as a thank you. It feels far too soon to be going, I have really settled into live here. It is a wonderful island and great way to live! Plus I really love reporting, the chance to go out and about, meeting people and hearing their stories is right up my street.
But, it is time to move on. Two days back in London then off to meet Han in Vietnam! Ah life is good.

Lessons learnt:

So it seems kind of patronizing or superior to go on about how long the people in a foreign country are but I have been overwhelmed by the kindness and friendliness shown to me in Barbados. I have genuinely learnt a big lesson about acts of kindness to strangers. Lorna let me into her home on the just plea of a mutual friend. She looked after me, included me in her family events and left me to stay in her place for two weeks un-supervised. Her kindness and openness have really inspired me and I hope I will be as generous to others in the future.

Lazy, seasick vegetarians should not go out on fishing boats. And if they do they should make sure they do not let someone take a picture of them groaning on the floor, because said picture will almost certainly end up in the national paper!

I got to work on some great stories and even got a front page and lead Page 3 article. So I am now technically a page 3 girl. Ha.

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