My second full day on Nevis was a long one, starting when I awoke about 3 a.m. and my mind started racing through the day to come, compounded by some serious lower leg/foot cramps. I gave up the sleep idea about 4:30 and set about organizing the apartment some more. There is an over-abundance of furniture in the place and it was all either randomly placed or someone did it with absolutely no design idea. Anyway, it’s hard to move heavy furniture across wooden floors at 4:30 in the morning without waking up your neighbor downstairs. Not sure if I succeeded, but the layout is more to my liking, at least in two rooms. The others I don’t really care about. Three bedrooms are way too much.
I wanted to make a Skype call to Indonesia, and since I now had access to my new company’s Wifi, I walked the four blocks and set myself up on the front concrete steps about 7:15. The audio call cut off about five times, but I think it was worth the effort.
Before Troy arrived with the key, my landlady and her son drove up. She wanted to talk and I wasn’t at home. Her name is Pat Williams, and she’s a hoot. Wears one of those British caps, like a locomotive driver, she’s about 70 and talks about her fall and injured back. She had brought the rental papers, which I said the company needed to take care of. And she wanted to make sure I knew she was having my concerns taken care of: Ceiling fans installed, a working microwave, a stove that works. I asked if I could dig a garden and she said no problem.
Work is weird so far. I’m far removed from everyone else in my office. I have to go through two rooms and a number of monster rolls of paper just to get to Merv-Ann’s cubicle. FYI, I have what looks like a corner office, with a huge desk, a credenza, two couches, an easy chair and two smaller chairs in front of my desk. There literally is seating for 10!
Merv-Ann is going to take some work. I’m guessing she’s about 22, petite, and with an attitude. Can’t say as I blame her. After all, I’m the third or fourth person in the chair just this year. Why should she think I will last any longer. I get that she’s not happy in her job, either, highlighted today when she had to ask for a ride from Julio so she could cover an event. Now she’s got this old guy who she knows nothing about and already he’s giving her marked-up copies of the last issue to show errors in style, etc. Patience.
Tomorrow, we will meet so that I can get a lot of procedures sorted out and so that we can become acquainted. Would have met today but she was busy on deadline. Which reminds me: I still don’t have a business email and I can’t even print anything from my desktop. Patience.
I wonder if I can drive here using my Florida driver’s license. I only wonder because I need to wrest the car away from Julio. First, it will allow Merv-Ann to use it during the day, but second it will not force me to do what I did after work.
I had decided I needed to get into my walking/exploring routine, and find out what was around me. Even with my bad knee, I needed to explore. Took an empty backpack, my camera and a bottle of water, donned my “Malaysia” cap, plugged in the classic rock, put on my shades, and off I went. I can see the water from my porch and I wanted to see how far it actually was. Turns out, pretty far.
My apartment sits on the Mt. Nevis lower slope, so most roads lead downhill, which meant an uphill return hike. On the way was one of my target destinations, the IGA supermarket. I realized I still needed a few things.
But I went way past the store, climbing another hill before heading off on a dirt road
through poor neighborhoods, a field with cows grazing, past numerous donkeys feeding. (The island also has many goats running around free.) I must have been the sight: tall white guy with a red backpack and a camera, sunglasses, baseball cap, music in his ears, walking through the neighborhood like he owned it. When someone passed, I would nod and say hello, just as if I belonged there.
I was determined to get to the water, even knowing I would pay later. I remember many years ago in New Hampshire, when another editor, he much older than me, and I went trout fishing. It was a small creek and required walking on and over a rocky bottom and bank. Strenuous work but we caught some fish and had a good time. Unfortunately, he was incapacitated that night by severe leg cramps, even needing massage from his wife. I think that is my fate tonight, but without anyone to do a massage.
But I did make it to the water, at the end sidestepping several cattle and a beautiful young male calf. There was a cliff but below was a narrow beach that looked like it had a deep drop off just a few feet from shore. Perfect for fishing, but how do I get there from my apartment without killing myself? Patience.
I followed the breadcrumbs back to the grocery store, bought a bunch of stuff and packed the heavy load in the pack for the last mile of the journey. It was 3-4 miles total, the last half uphill, the last mile with a heavy pack. Now I will await all the “Oh, poor Ken” comments. I’m actually quite pleased, and sore, but it was worth it. First exploration at my new home accomplished. Reminded me of my initial days in Costa Rica.