Sick, in paradise.

The first time I was here, I got sick, very sick, and without getting into that story too much, it mucked up the end of my trip a bit. But getting sick couldn’t ruin this island for me. The second time I came I had a crushing migraine that sent me reeling, and when the rain came down at night I thought I was going to lose it. There are definitely times when you don’t have the remedies you are used to when on vacation, or away from home, the same goes for relocating to a tiny island. Here you realize quickly how you have to think 10 steps ahead, buy some items because they are available now and might not be available when you need them, like a gas can, the greens at the market, your favorite asprin or anti-nausea meds. Then there are the things that you need to import yourself!

Today I woke up with some crazy upset stomach, but I knew we had to get on the road to Roseau to pick up packages at port, visit immigration, meet with a lawyer and run other errands ‘in town’. I downed some water, filled up a bottle threw in some ginger and cucumber slices and headed out. The drive there wasn’t so bad, I was thinking about business, the order in which to tackle all our errands which we were already anticipating to be a runaround. We become more patient with each trip to Roseau, we expect to have difficulty finding parking, getting lost on one way streets, missing an office’s open hours or arriving at the lunch break of exactly who we are there to see. Somehow we received all our packages without much fuss, although you never know what you are going to pay in port fees and duties when picking up packages so it can be a mess unless you are prepared for the worst! After that we took to the copy shop to print out my letters of reference and proof of a ticket off island, all for our residence permits & extension of stay. The extension of stay we were told we needed to get the Residence Permit. Until we arrived at the Police & Passport office only to be told we had 6 months before we needed an extension of stay, and that we could go ahead with our residence permits without an extension of stay! We got out of there just in time to find the lawyer’s office and Rich to drop me off so I wouldn’t be late to our appointment and he could find parking! We had a great meeting that put us and the owner of the land/ properties we are interested in on the same page and working toward the same goals. It felt productive. Feeling like we are on a decent roll, we drive over to the Ministry of Labor & Immigration, where we find a once in a lifetime parking spot across the street from the building only to find out the office we need is only open Tuesday and Thursday! WHAT?! Good thing we have 6 months to take care of our residence permit before we need an extension of stay!

Once business was taken care of, my turning stomach started to take over again, I still hadn’t eaten and I was craving comfort food. All I wanted was (veggie broth) matzo ball soup, and a bath. But we don’t have a bath, nor do we have matzo ball soup. We had to stop at IGA on the way home for some staples and when I saw celery in the store (it’s rarely there) I had to have some! Richard grabbed a bunch of carrots and I knew we would have onion at home. We grabbed the bare minimum of what we needed since I wasn’t feeling well and we skipped out on some other exciting fruits and veggies that are hard to come by here like cauliflower, strawberries, grapes, so I am desperately hoping that they will be there tomorrow for me to pick up!

I ended up having a black bean veggie burger for lunch and Rich ate a buffalo chicken panini then came a warm shower and nap. I couldn’t nap for long, Rich is so much better at that than me, he is still sleeping now! I needed to get outdoors, even on our porch we are transported. We sit at such a place in the tree line it’s almost like living in a treehouse. Having an indoor / outdoor living space like this is something we had always wanted. If it weren’t for the mosquitos, which Rich battles on my behalf when I fall asleep early, we would spend much more time outside in the evening. But usually around this time, when the sky is getting darker and the haze sets in between us and Fort Shirley, is usually when we ‘close up shop’ ushering the cats inside, closing up the doors and lighting a mosquito coil or citronella or eucalyptus lemon candle to keep the biting critters at bay. But since Rich is sleeping, Pierre is on the table behind my laptop, also sleeping peacefully, Dexter is napping on his back under the master bed (I’m sure of it), and I am sipping at the cinnamon coffee with coconut oil which has become my new island comfort food, the thing that makes me feel warm and cozy.

The little things that make you miss home can also motivate you, so I am steeling my resolve, today I am feeling courageous! I am thankful to be here in Dominica, tummy bug or not, and I will find new ways to make myself feel ‘at home’ when I’m not feeling well. I guess that’s part of creating a new home in a new place and that gets me excited.

Stay Salty


ps a care package full of manischewitz matzo ball mix would be awesome ❀


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