Saturday, July 25th.
The last several days have been comparatively quiet – and hotter than I can ever remember.
On Thursday, I accompanied K on an assignment outside of town. She’s a teacher who’s well-known for her literacy training, and she was asked to give a special presentation to a group of local children and their parents. It was cool seeing her in her element, trying to engage the kids and parents and interacting with them. I could see why a lot of kids might want her as their teacher!
After, there were some games for the kids and parents, followed by refreshments. Unfortunately, the sinus problems that had been plaguing K the last couple of days (probably due to the heat) started taking their toll. When we eventually returned home, and she headed straight to bed.
Friday was a late start, but we braved the heat once again as my cousin ran more errands. Later in the day, we dropped by Uncle Eucline’s house again to visit for a bit, then headed up to Uncle Egton’s place for a second visit.
This time around, we actually spend enough time that I can snap some photos around his lovely property — and get eaten alive by mosquitoes in the process. (The one part of visiting Jamaica I always dread.)
We returned Uncle Eucline to his home, then drove to a seafood place for some fish.
When it came time to order, I asked for some escovitch – fried, well-seasoned, and spicy fish – with vegetables, breaded, fried bammy and rice.
K said that steamed fish would have been much better. And at first, I thought it was because she preferred healthy meals. But I understood better when I tried to separate the meat from the bones — it became a part-time job!
We order a second fish, but after eating the previous one, I barely made a dent. Full of food, we pack it up and leave.
“K, it’s ten minutes to six.”
My cousin rolls over, and softly laughing. I think she wanted to sleep in, and was hoping that I’d want to do the same.
I’ve been looking forward to this ever since she mentioned earlier in the week. Plus, K said she liked to go to the beach to swim early on Saturday mornings, before it got too hot.
We bathe, K runs into a couple of people she knows (fellow educators, I think), and she collects rocks for her garden, while tiny fish whiz past our ankles. After an hour, we’re back in K’s car, heading home.
Today, we had hoped to go to Negril, but things don’t work out. So as soon as we get home, K goes back to sleep, leaving me hang out around the house.
In addition to the mosquito bites starting to itch like crazy, I notice this crazy rash running down the right side of my neck to my right clavicle. I briefly panic, because I know that chikagunya is an issue down here. The last thing I need — on top of sweating non-stop — is to come down with a mosquito-borne illness. I’m hoping that it’s just a heat rash.
When K gets up, we head out for more errands. On our way down, we stop by this man’s house – he’s got a stand for selling jelly coconuts. Standing under the shade of one of the trees in his front yard, we pass a coconut back and forth to drink the water, then the coconut is chopped in half and the man hack makeshift “spoons” out of the outer shell so we can eat the jelly.
As we stand there, we find out the coconut jelly man actually lives in Canada part of the year – Montreal, to be exact. He’s been living there for 45 years! Go figure.
Later in the evening, I tag along with K to an evening meeting at her church.
The overhead fans aren’t working, and despite all the open doors, the air inside the sanctuary is hot and stuffy. The small choir pews we’re sitting in are so hard — there’s no cushioning whatsoever. If the intended effect is to make one sit at attention, it’s not working.
As the small group makes its way through its agenda, I’m fighting to stay awake (due to the heat) and K – still having sinus troubles – has quietly nodded off. There were refreshments after, which perked me up, but I’m sure unsettled K a bit.
With that meeting done, it’s back home and just about time to sleep.
Sunday’s going to be a long day.