Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Little Traveling Music, Please

I was up on the roof of Canned Ham II with Patrick installing the corrugated sheets when Sophie came out of the office with “very bad news”:  someone had just booked Turtle Cottage and was on their way up so I’d have to clear out ASAP.  Since I’m on the “poor relation” vacation package and not getting paid anything while I’m here at El Momo I’ve been jumping around from cottage to cottage until the one we’re building is complete.  (And, in fact, El Momo is fully booked this Saturday, so I’ll be sleeping in Canned Ham II whether it's finished or not.)  I don’t mind moving around because a) I travel with very little luggage and b) I do want to sleep in every cottage before I leave.  Tonight will make it three down with three to go.  I’m saving Cottage In The Sky for last as it’s the dreamiest of them all.


In other Saba news, I took my first-ever scuba dive on Sunday and it was amazing.  I seemed to take to it naturally and found breathing underwater through the regulator less unnatural than I had expected.  I won’t go on at length about the experience now, but  I will tell you that the four of us (one instructor, three newbies) descended the rope line foot-by-foot (you’d be amazed at how much a foot or so of depth changes the pressure in your ears!) until we got to the ocean floor (at this spot, about 35 feet) and the first thing I saw as I let go of the rope and swam away on my own was a shark.  Yes, a shark.  A four-foot long nurse shark that was asleep with its head under a rock.  But a shark it was! 


I’ve been to a couple of staff meetings at AIDS Support Group Saba (ASGS), where I’ll be volunteering, and I’ll be taking part in my first event tomorrow when we have an open house for the community.  I’ll be behind a table handing out literature and trying to round up some other folks interested in volunteering.  The issues and programs ASGS deals with are, in many cases, the same kinds of things we had to handle back at the Albany Damien Center.  In fact, the literature rack even has many of the same pamphlets, which made me feel oddly right at home.  There are many differences, of course, beginning with staff lunches at which Long Island Iced Teas are consumed.  Trying to operate on an island and maintain confidentiality is a definite challenge; getting the telephone helpline off the ground has been difficult because on an island of 1,500 people chances are pretty good that the caller and answerer will recognize one another.  You don’t really think about that kind of thing in a country of 250,000,000 people. 


I’m making dinner for us all tonight.  Patrick and Sophie have an inexplicable antipathy towards pasta.  I took that as a challenge:  so tonight I’m cooking pasta with the promise that they’ll enjoy it.  I also said I’d fix a good old-fashioned Independence Day barbecue for them and that they should invite whomever they wish.  Fortunately there’s enough time for Sophie to call everyone back and tell them she meant July 4th, not the 7th.      


Interesting computer news:  getting online here in the Dutch Antilles is done through a local IP address (obviously) and therefore I can’t watch lots of downloadable things like TV shows and Netflix "watch it now” movies.  Tragedy.  However, because we’re on a wireless network here at El Momo I can listen to my fellow guests’ iTunes libraries.  That kind of amazed me when I discovered that.  The guy in Sunshine Cottage?  He’s got a lot of Sarah Vaughan, a lot of classical and a lot of Beatles.  Oh, and Judy Garland singing “Over the Rainbow.”  i.e. most of the same stuff I have in mine.  I think he’s gay.


I drove (I mean I drove) down to the airport with Patrick yesterday on The Road.


Oh.  My.  God. 


  1. Tom, thank you so much for posting like this, and allowing me to have a vicarious Saba summer myself. I am so enjoying my fun in the sun, courtesy of you and your writings... And, as I sit here in the coast of Maine, with the wood fire crackling, it is nice to have a little warm sun, however dreamlike...

  2. I'm excited for your quest to sleep in every cottage! That sounds completely do-able.

    And spying on people's music collections?! That sounds like college to me. I used to do the same thing. It made me very suspicious of a few guys on my floor...

    Maybe you should introduce yourself to said Judy Garland fan.

  3. That's great about the AIDS Support Group. Seeing you sitting at the table would be an insperation for anyone. Yeah it's a good guess the guy in Sunshine Cottage is gay. Wow, does he not know who YOU are?