Antigua and I

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I wasn’t prepared for the sheer level of excitement that rose inside me when I planted my feet on the island of Antigua. See, Antigua and I have history. Few know this but I was conceived on this island so in a strange way I feel connected. Essentially my life started here (this is not to start a pro-life debate)

See my parents moved here shortly after they got married. My parents, even though they were very young, teenagers as a matter of fact, picked up and left home (Guyana) and moved to Antigua to start their life together. My father was ambitious and adventurous (traits I am proud to have inherited) and I’d like to think wanted something different and better for his family. My mother, loved my father beyond reason and in my opinion would have followed him to the end of the earth.

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I can’t imagine what it must have been like to board a plane as teenagers to move to a strange land to live and work. I can only imagine they must have been scared, nervous, excited all at the same time.

Shortly after moving my mom got pregnant with my older brother and as it’s culturally the way for mothers and sisters to assist a new mother with childbirth, childcare and caring for their bodies at this time, my mom went back to Guyana to give birth to my brother become coming back home to Antigua. When she became pregnant with me, however, my parents made the decision to move back to Guyana to be closer to family. I can imagine two young children (my brother and I are only a year apart) and no family structure for assistance must have been extremely hard.

So The story goes, as best as I know it… i was conceived in Antigua and this intrigued me.

I’d like to think that living in Antigua was some of the happiest days of my parents lives. Young and in love. I’d like to think they carried happy memories of this island until the day they both died. I’d like to think that my parents enjoyed these beaches and exploring this island and was having fun together, enjoyed shopping in these stores for their new home and preparing meals and buying baby things.

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Nine years to the day we buried my mom, two days after what would have been her 65th birthday and about five days after the date she passed away nine years ago, I stepped foot on the island and felt a complete oneness… it was home. Home as much as Guyana is home, New York is home and Florida is home.

My time in Antigua was special and different from most of my island adventures, to start, we had started doing away with the resort vacations and spend more time in smaller, cheaper, simpler places as we spend most of our time exploring. Typically I leave all the arrangements to the hubby. “You book, I pack” is my motto. So on this trip I had no clue where I would be staying. I never have to ask because I know that, like me (we are the same sign and month) he is analytical, research the crap out of everything and won’t have us out there crazy.

But then… the car is climbing these steep ass mountains in what looks like a place carved into the mountain side on the top of the island – no joke. A damn treehouse! A wooden house, with wooden doors and windows (I kid you not!) I think I’m in the jungle. There is horses, cows, mountain goats and stray dogs everywhere. What the heck did I sign up for?

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At the “Treehouse” A quick look around reveals to me there is no AC, no TV, no microwave, not even an iron. What the hell did I sign up for? The bed had a mosquito netting hanging from it and I see citronella candles and mosquito coils! I feel like I’ve been displaced 30plus years to my childhood in Guyana with the exception of internet access.

This is going to be one interesting adventure…. Part 2.. The Treehouse… NEXT

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