Richard, the cat’s and I have been living on Dominica for just over a week, and there are a few things I’ve come to realize since moving here. The first and most important is that I’ve stopped worrying about how quickly our business comes together. Don’t get me wrong, the business woman in me wants to get to work, and put all the pieces of our dream together to form a reality, HOWEVER, the best experiences come from the journey to that goal, and there is a lot of journeying to go.
I love this island, and I love having the time to mix business with pleasure as we navigate the bureaucracy of a new country, and all the red tape that comes with it. We’ve taken the time toe enjoy Toucari Feast, snorkeling at our favorite spots, hiking the trails behind our temporary home, and the little pleasures of living in the Caribbean like having local cinnamon bark to grind into my coffee, waking up with the sun, sounds of the rainforest to put me to sleep, and views that wanderlust is made from.
The most pressing issues currently are problems we are having with our necessary documentation to open a bank account, and we are waiting on (what I hope is the last) of the documents we need to obtain our residence and work permits. We’ve gone to 2 different banks on 3 separate occasions and were told different things each time regarding the documentation we need, which is pretty damn frustrating, but more than that it does make us a little nervous that when we bring in our documents for our residence / work permits that something will be incorrect or incomplete, and with the luck we’ve been having it will be something we can’t get our hands on without being in the US (like the letter from our bank in the US) or perhaps that chest x-ray on the medical documents was required (even though the woman we spoke with over the phone from the Ministry of Labor & Immigration said we didn’t need it). At this point I just take a deep breath and tell myself we can do it. No matter what hoops we have to jump through, red tape we need to slash, or fires we need to put out, we can do it!
I thought by the time we moved here we would own the land or have a full commercial lease that we could jump right into work, but now that I am here, I am content with the way things are going, and grateful for the slow but steady pace of things. I would rather do it once and do it right, than rush into anything half assed, so I sit here, excited but restrained, looking for things to do that will carry us through to our permanent home and business.
Today at noon I am meeting with a local dive shop operator who is interested in having me on their team. As an PADI IDC Staff Instructor I am a unique asset to any shop since I can teach a multitude of specialties, assist course directors with IDC Courses and personally instruct anyone from a first time scuba diver to assistant instructor. Although I haven’t worked for someone else in almost a decade, there is almost nothing I want more right now (except getting our business together) than to be in the water teaching, so I am thrilled at the potential opportunity to teach and right in my neighborhood! I can literally see their dive shop from the wrap around deck of our place! This definitely wasn’t in our plan but I am so happy, and grateful that it’s a possibility!
Rich is taking his ‘spare time’ to start his PADI open water scuba diver course! I’ve got him working from my phone (samsung galaxy s6 active) on the Open Water Touch course (since the app store on the ipad isn’t functioning properly, and the internet is too slow for e-learning) I can’t wait to get him in the water here, and finally become a diver. I’m sure you are wondering how we’ve been together nearly 9 years and he isn’t a diver, when I’ve been an instructor the entire time, well he had his reasons and they are no longer a concern to him, so into the water he goes! I know he will do great since he is so comfortable in the water, loves marine life, and all my jabbering about dive gear over the years has apparently rubbed off on him because he could do a full set up and breakdown of gear including building a reg before he even opened his open water manual!
Before getting Rich underwater for his first confined water lessons (in Douglas Bay or Toucari Bay) I will be going for a fun dive (or 3) either before or after the walking tour of ‘our land’ tomorrow. I can’t wait to don my gear and become the mermaid I truly am, because there is nothing like a fun dive when you are an instructor! I will be diving with our buddy Olan who is a PADI Divemaster and has been such an integral part of getting our shit together in Dominica! He and I always have so much fun diving together, even when I make him do long surface swims to get to great spots off the beach (vs taking a boat out). The last time we were out we were out diving together was about 6 months ago when I wanted to see how many spots we could dive straight off the beach at Toucari Bay, turns out, there are a TON! And since it’s my favorite bay and will be our home base, I’m sure that’s where we are going tomorrow!
All that talk about diving almost made me forget we’ve still got a lot of paperwork to do, and a few more trips down to Roseau, an hour away, where all the government buildings are. But hey, it’s all about the journey, right?