Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Here I Sit...

... one month on. Yes, one whole entire month ago. I arrived in the Cayman islands to pursue a dream that had remained elusive for far too long. Now, here I sit on the front porch of the house I live in, lovingly dubbed the Olive Garden, enjoying a stiff Rum and Coke. Dave Matthews is serenading me through my laptop speakers as I contemplate just how lucky I am. It's a daily occurrence. I stop, think about where I've been, where I'm going, and just smile.

   This house is called the Olive Garden for two things I guess - It's drab olive colour, and the "jungle" that grows thick around it could be misconstrued as a garden. I find it quite relaxing. I snapped this self portrait on the last days off I had.

   I love working here. I get up in the morning everyday, and though I may be tired, once I walk across the road to Ocean Frontiers, I am excited. Always looking forward to my first dive of the day. Meeting new and interesting people. Even when I am not diving, and I'm stuck on surface watch, looking out at the expanse of the Caribbean Sea knowing that below the boat the ocean floor drops to well below 6,000ft I am thrilled. There are mysteries down there, and new adventures waiting for me, new divers I train, or experienced divers. We get to live the dream together. It's just everything I've wanted.

   I work hard, long days, with sometimes 4 or even 5 dives a day, but what is the alternative? Shoveling and wheelbarrowing. Or being stuck in an office. Or a classroom. I'll take my long days on a tropical Island thanks!

   Last weekend I went to town with some coworkers in their Jeep. This vehicle is not like my jeep. It is a late 80's Jeep TJ that survived Hurricane Ivan, but would have been better off succumbing to the forces of nature. It does not have a roof. It has lots of rust. The rust though, allows the water deposited in the interior from storms, to just leak out the holes in the floor. It kind of makes sense... In a skewed tropical state of thinking. I enjoyed the sea breeze tussling my hair. Until it rained. Hard. We got very wet. I guess the upside is I was no longer as hot. Oh! And we went to the bar to get dry! That is where things took a turn for the worse.

   Very quickly, we got to the pub, ordered drink and wings (it being Wing Wednesday). We had both BBQ and Hot. The hot weren't too bad. All day they had been egging me on to try to "Suicide" Hot Wings. I though if the Hot weren't too bad, and the Suicide were only 2 notches up the heat scale, how bad could they be? And, if you eat all 6 you get them for free. Easy peasy.... I thought. First, the bartender scoffed. Then she brought out the Liability Release and Waiver. I was scared. When the wings arrived my strategy was to eat them as fast as possible. Only six little wings! One and a half later, I was done, finished, crying. Ready to Vomit. Or commit suicide to make the pain go away. The pain lasted well into the night. The boys got their laugh, and I paid for my wings.

   On a nicer note, I came home one night last week to a friendly little creature hanging out on my pillow -

Very brave, and much cuter than this lovely surprise I found in the hallway of the house on morning. Just one of the many joys of living here!
If you weren't able to gather from my last few paragraphs that I am blissfully happy, perhaps I need to practice the art of writing more often. I'm very comfortable here, and I fully believe that island life suits me. It's quiet, but one can still meet great people and have a great time. I do foresee in the far future needing a change, though. If I had one "complaint," it would be the lack of a true, discernible Caymanian culture. To me, it just seems to be a mixing-pot of English, American and Jamaican. I have yet to find any thing that stands out to me as unique. 

   In contrast, while in Thailand, you find the people have their own style of cooking. Their own language, beliefs. There is no other Thailand. I can't find anything in the cayman culture that stands out to me. I think, after my time here, if I am still looking to work within this industry or some aspect of it, I'd love to work somewhere in the South Pacific. While flying to and from Australia I had stop-overs in Fiji, and they as a country and culture, seemed unique! They were not a country that was just colonized and assimilated...

   Oh well, I'm sure I can last here a few years, with diving (and a career) this breathtaking... ;)

These photos and a few other new ones available here.

Speak Soon,


  1. ah brock! love it! nice to know you're where you belong right this second...if everyone only had that chance just once!

  2. Way to go sweetie... awesome post. Sorry I missed your call last week (had just gone to bed and shut my phone off)... and we were prepping to head off to Haines Jct when you wanted to MSN the other day.

    So glad to hear things are AMAZING there... can't wait to visit! Hugs.

  3. Oh yeah... and this is my spot when I come down for a visit... unless you can find me a better one.