Monday, February 20, 2012

Honey, Moving Truck Wants to Know Where We're Going!

As our initial year of island living experimentation hits midway point, Josh and I are looking to make a plan for the coming year. Only ever able to plan a year out, 'tis 'bout the time we make a new plan. Naw Ruz, the Baha'i New Year, is just around the corner, after-all.
We have another move ahead of us this summer. Thank goodness it won't be an international one. Somehow the stakes seem ever-higher now. We're ready to settle in. Let our kids make friends they can grow up with. Be good neighbors. That whole bit. #officiallyadoptedislandlife
Doors are opening. Granted, some of them are dutch doors; only half-way open and partially cracked at that. And to be honest, most are really just windows. But we can see them, all five of them. We've been collecting place names like we collected baby names for our unborn offspring. I'm hoping against hope that we'll arrive and just know. Because the alternative is lots and lots of consultation, weighing all the options. I guess that's what adults who settle down do. Hmmmm. We each already have a favorite. It was like that with baby names too.
Pregnant with Zora, we had three possible names. I wanted Khadijeh. Josh wanted Nadezhda. When she finally fought her way out, we immediately named her with the third on the list: Zora. It was the only name either of us could remember in that moment of OhMyGodIThoughtSheWasABoy. No consultation. We just knew.
We've already explored two options. I want one of them. Josh wants the other. No point consulting yet, there are still three others on the list. And they aren't just going to fight their way to us, snuggle up in our arms and beg for us to come home to them. That would be creepy.
Since this is technically my blog, then, I'm going to make you fall in love with the place that is currently at the top of my list. Wouldn't you visit us if we lived here?
You guessed it. Beach town.
Sweet little side streets.
A kids' park in the middle of town.
Mostly paved roads. Mostly.
I didn't manage any pictures of downtown, which boasts two small grocery stores, banks, a dental clinic, some medical offices, a variety of clothing stores, hardware stores and even an agricultural feed store should we ever decide to get some goats.
And people. Lots of people out & about. Love that.
We went into the one grocery store we could find. It didn't look too good. And no peanut butter to be found. No chocolate chips. No butter. Living in the big city here in Santiago we already notice what we've given up. I'm not even talking about all the lovely packaged, processed foods we miss. Or really nice things like public libraries or great kids parks. I think you either forget over time or find alternatives, though. Josh bought a special treat for the kids the other day: an apple. Expensive and relatively flavorless. But exciting nonetheless. Only the seeds and stem were left.
Perhaps what lost Josh on this place was the electricity. Or lack thereof. On day two, Zora ran up to us excitedly, beckoning us to follow her. She led us to a light switch which she flipped on.
"See?!", she said, excitedly pointing at the shining bulb.
"What?", we gave her quizzical looks.
"The light turned on!" she was amazed and grateful (my favorite part).
The grocery store we ventured into smelled awful. All the refrigeration had gone bad. The house we stayed in while there connected to the grid for maybe 12 hours, over a course of three full days.
Pre-dinner conversation. Perhaps a bit dark.
Maybe I'm hopelessly romantic. Candlelight. Crashing waves. Slow conversations. Salty, sea air. Village life. I do <3 these things. But in day-to-day life? Josh might be right. And there is no clear economic way to survive. That, in itself, is a mouthful of sea water.


  1. Is its real name Beach Town? I would move there in a second!

  2. Nagua is on the north coast of the island and is the capital of the province there. But we can call it Beach Town. :)

  3. I love Matancitas!! And you have a place to stay!! I am sure John would work out something amicable with you!!

  4. Thanks, Chris. :) We'll see how much weight I'm able to pull in our consultations since Nagua is my number one choice, but not Josh's. :)