Life sure can change quickly. In one long day of travel that included one collectivo (shared taxi) from Arica across the border to Peru, and then 3 international flights, I went from one of the driest places on the planet to what feels like one of the most humid!
So where am I now? Well, I'm back in the islands mon! Back on a sailboat in the Carribean.
Back in the old days, when I was still a slave to the almighty pay cheque, I used to vacation on a sailboat as often as I could find a captain willing to have me onboard. In spring of 2003 I even found a captain that for some strange reason agreed to have me onboard his sailboat for Antigua Sail Week. I'll be the first to admit that I was pretty much useless on a racing sailboat, but it was one hell of an experience (one I'm happy to NEVER repeat!) and a connection with the sailboat's captain, Jeffrey, was made.
4 years later, around the same time I was getting my eviction notice from the house I was looking after in Arica, I also received an email from Jeffrey. He's in Grenada right now, wants to go to Venezuela to escape hurricane season, and invited me along to help him relocate. I suspect my Spanish speaking skills are what he's really after, as I can't imagine he'd be that desperate for my now rusty sailing skills. Oh well, whatever the reason, since I was about to be homeless once again, it sounded like an offer I couldn't refuse!
So that's how I've ended up on a sailboat in the Caribbean.
I've been dealing from major culture shock since arriving in Grenada. After being absorbed in the Latin culture for so long - especially the last 4 months when I was basically living like a local in Arica - it's so strange to:
1) hear English being spoken again, although I don't actually understand the patois that the locals here speak any better than I understood the Chilean version of Spanish!
2) see dark skin and very non-Latin physical features,
3) be surrounded by men who are taller than me,
4) be surrounded by women who are wider in the hips than me,
5) hear reggae and soca instead of salsa, salsa and more salsa,
6) see rain (first time in 6 months!) and feel humidity on my skin,
7) pay the horrific prices they charge for things here!
I'm slowly getting reacquainted with Jeffrey and to life onboard a sailboat again. We'll be sitting in Grenada for a few more weeks, then we'll be Venezuela bound.
In the meantime, I'm trying to find a comfy new spot to write - which is a bit of a challenge in close quarters on a sailboat. And if I could just convince Jeffrey to run the engine or generator more often (or at least at times that coincide with my ideal writing times!) so that I could have juice to run my laptop, life would be pretty close to perfect once again!