Its hard to say where home is…
….down on the island everyone says back home we have this and back home we have that…but when we were back in Louisiana over the break, I kept hearing myself say the same thing but about St. Maarten. Strange…Before embarking on this wild adventure I never could understand the stories about prisoners becoming “institutionalized” and not being able to cope with life outside the prison walls; unable to cope they would commit some petty crime to violate their parole where they could get back to their version of “normal.” Now this thought process doesn’t seem so foreign to me, after 8 months of constant reading, constant class, constantly memorizing, constant testing…all on an island that is only 37 square miles of earthquake loving mountains, the wide open spaces and long spread out places of Louisiana were nearly maddening. And not having anything to do…but to wander from place to place, no books, no study sessions, excess time on my hands oh my oh my…I was ready to commit the crime and have the warden throw me back into my “institution.” For so long this was the dream while I wandered through the my real world, now this, the island, the school this is the real world…now what is the dream?
I had forgotten what it was like to have to drive for an hour and half to get anywhere, and the flatness was mesmerizing, the same, the same, the same all over again and again; the island life has changed(spoiled)me! But it was all worth it, to see friends and family again was worth all the madness, all the driving, all the Christmas goings and comings…that’s what it is all about, because what is an adventure if you have no one to share it with.
Leaving the island was no huge task, a 4:30 PM flight, beautiful weather and another semester of med school was behind us all. Most everyone in Cupecoy had left for the US the day after our finals, leaving us behind for an extra five days to enjoy the ghost town like village to its fullest. The day of our flight back to the US was the first day of winter for the rest of the world, but for those in St. Maarten it was a toasty 80 F , a toasty day that warranted a swim in the ocean (never could do that in LA no matter how many times I planned it out growing up), Delta took us all back to New Orleans just as safely as we all arrived. It just so happened that our hotel in the French Quarter was only one block away from Felix’s (of which I have been so deprived), only took 3.5 dozen raw and wiggly oysters to sedate our monstrous cravings and hopefully is enough to carry us over to the next time we can attack the oyster bar. It was a great couple of days, fantastic food, fantastic beignets, fantastic coffee, and just catching up, and watching the river amble by.
Santa had to stop over on Decatur for a little jazz improv
The 2 weeks spent back in Louisiana now seem a blur, we went so many places, so so many faces and had terrific family Christmas parties, and parties with friends thanks you everyone for putting us up and carrying us around. We all froze the entire time we were there, a constant 85 degrees makes it hard to transition to the unnatural Artic winds that were blowing through the Miss-Lou. Wish we could have seen everyone, but time controls us all…back on Island time now, the clock only revolves around Block exams, all other times and days are ostensibly meaningless, all of your efforts, late nights and hard mind numbing work revolves around that singular dreaded and anxiously anticipated day.
Best thing about making it back to the island is that sweet Rainy Roo was finally able to make the trip with us, she is safe and sound living the good life like a beach dog, barking relentlessly at random passersby and riding the countryside of any unsuspecting cats, mongooses and iguanas.
Since we have arrived back on the island, life has been in high gear, no real time for adventure. Classes began for everyone the very next day of our arrival and it has been wide open since we landed: unpacking boxes and bags, packing up bags and boxes, saying new helloes and tear filled goodbyes, sitting in new classes, watching old faces watch new professors telling of new directions..time rolls on gotta keep on keeping up