Monday, March 31, 2008

Overcast Days Never Turn Me On

I am sitting in the Charlotte airport with Martin. We have been in Columbus for the weekend. I had to come home to complete my taxes. The other thing that is guaranteed. If you are a citizen of the United States, anyway. It does not matter where you make money. If you are a US citizen you file and pay taxes.

It has been rainy and cold in Ohio. I have never questioned why any would live here until now. I had a long discussion with Tim Lee. He says it is because the dreary, depressed days of winter are fit between a beautiful spring when you contemplate and appreciate life and Ohio State football, when you contemplate and appreciate life.

I bought the last item on the extensive list last night at Walmart, a memory card and headset for the Xbox. I went to bed at 2:00am up at 4:30am to get to the airport. We left the TCI with 18 pounds of luggage. We are returning with 104 pounds of luggage. Tonight will be like Christmas. Only better than Christmas, which was pretty lame - except for the dimond watch and two strands of pearls that Deneen got.

We are boarding...

We arrived back on Provo at about 3:00 and caught an early flight back to Grand Turk. Our luggage arrived back in Provo, not Grand Turk. I could not reach Deneen at home so we had to wait at the airport until 5:00 for both Deneen and our luggage.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Sunday

Today is Easter. Good Friday is a holiday here. So is Easter Monday. I went in to work on Friday. There was no one in town and everything was closed. Church was empty today as well.

Easter is a big family weekend for many people in the states. I talked to my mom today and they had a houseful. Here, it seems like everyone uses the long weekend to go off island. Maybe they go see family as well.

At lunch we talked today about what we miss the most. And what we don't miss. On Easter I miss the Sunday breakfast at Hillcrest Baptist Church. Martin and Lucas miss my mothers cinnamon rolls. Deneen misses eating dinner with the family, and Victoria.

Also, the whole family thinks I made everything here seem much worse than it really is. Except the heat, water, and laundry. Actually, I never said things were not available. I have always said that things were too expensive. I think we should be able to do with less, and we do. Deneen said today that it is because I like to live minimal. And she is exactly right. What I have found here, and I think this is what everyone has found, is that everything is better when you have less of it.
Mountain Dew is fantastic here. For the first few weeks we never bought soda pop. Now, we buy a case of 36. We mark each can N, M, L, or D (our initials). The boys have made it a contest to see who's pop can last longer. Deneen noted that she does not get soda, maybe two diet cokes a week. If you knew her, you will understand what kind of change that is. We used to drink two or three cans of pop a day. We now drink two or three a week. And it tastes better.

I like almost everything we eat or do better.

If you look at the picture you can see we also miss haircuts, evidently. These are almost impossible to get here.

Cutting the Head off a Shark

Seriously, though this smelled so nasty that we left it on a big rock.

Do you remember the Christmas puppies. Well they are still around. They swim with us.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Its Just a Wednesday

I have not written a blog in a long time. I think that is because nothing fun or cool has happened for a couple of weeks. Deneen said that that is not really true. We now just have a regular routine that sounds unimpressive. Yesterday, one of our new staff members commented that they constantly have to remind their friends back home that they work here in the Caribbean, and that comes with all the stresses and struggles that you would have anywhere. After six months, this has become true.

I have had to work a lot, lately. Coming off our last trustee meeting we are gearing up for a couple major projects this summer, and I have to get lots and lots of information together by the end of next month.

Last weekend I worked all day Saturday for the monthly children's program, and then the whole family came in to open the museum on Sunday for high-school students that were here for a national youth parliamentary debate. I am also writing and producing a weekly 5 minute radio program, which was cool for the first six weeks and is now an immense amount of work.

In our personal life: We are trying to work around car issues. We need to remodel a bathroom. And our taxes are due. We are trying to design and install a new gift shop at the museum. We have been buying new product and having all manner of coffee cup and ect. designed, priced, and shipped. For the last two days I have been building and installing gift shop cabinets.

In the midst of this we try and find time to do "islandy" kind of things. A couple days a week we go to the cruise center and swim in the million gallon pool. On Thursday afternoons we go to White Sands Beach where Davis has a trapeze lesson - I should probably put a video of this up.

This weekend Davis and I tried to ride our bikes down the beach in the sand. This did not work. But we found a dead shark. On Monday Davis went back to try and cut the head off of the shark. This did not work either. The skin is too thick to get a knife into.

Three times in the last two weeks we have pulled over on our way home to watch the sunset. They have been extraordinary this month.

Today, I worked until 7:00 building gift shop cabinets. We only have one car and gas just went up to $5.65 so we try and limit driving. Deneen took me to work this morning. So I walked home just after the sun set.

The walk is three miles down the beach, which is way more direct then taking the roads. I have not walked it before. Halfway between the museum and our house is a resort hotel with a restaurant and bar called the Bohio. Seas were rough. During the 45 minute walk in the nearly full moon I did not see another person. I have been stressed by many things this month, but this was cool.

We are having pancakes for dinner with Maple Syrup that Elaine brought back from Canada yesterday. Tonight Survivor is on, so we are watching that. It is spring break, but Martin and Lucas have been attending the Baptist Union Youth Conference all week. They get up and go at 6:00 am and return home at 10:00pm. It is like an all day church service. They are getting to meet many kids from several islands, but it sounds long to me. Tonight they got home at 11:00 after I went to bed. Lucas reminded us that that they had been at church for 16 hours.

Tomorrow, there are two cruise ships in. I am leaving work at 2:00 to go down to White Sands, which evidently is our new hangout.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Six Months

Can you believe I have been here for six months. Today is march 5. I arrived in the Turks and Caicos on September 5. In some ways it seems like it has just been a few weeks. In others, it seems like I have been here for years.

You can look back through these blogs and see that it has been a pretty wild six months of newness and discovery. It has also been a tremendous learning curve of trying to manage life and the museum here. I have learned to snorkel, learned where to buy the best fruit, learned the cheapest places to take hungry teenagers out to eat, learned a lot about cannons, learned a lot about shipwrecks. According to Deneen, I have also learned to get along with others and learned to put myself in others shoes. So maybe that's not so bad.

I find that I don't get as much done here as I want to. I also don't get as much done as I did in my previous job. But I also don't work ten hours a day, and I don't work much at home.

In that sense, I have done more and experienced more in the last six months than I have in the previous six years. And I hope the curve there does not stop.

The next six months will be big. The honeymoon is over. I need to start to produce. We are behind on many projects. But the tour season ends at the end of March and we will begin to gear up for projects to begin this summer.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


Ok, I don't mean to misrepresent. I did not take the pictures of the fish we have seen. I post pictures I find so you will know what I am talking about. But, the water is this clear and this is almost exactly what the Ray looked like. Sorry.