So, it took a while to settle here in Kingston. I haven’t been very patient with the resettlement process or the daily realities, or optimistic about building a more interesting life here for quite a while. And as complaining posts don’t make very good reading, my blog and the impetus to write went silent. But after the first disastrous year things have gotten better. We settled into a limited daily routine with occasional trips out to Negril, looked forward to friends and family visits, and the weeks have ticked by. Now here we are at the beginning of April and the countdown to departure begins.
Its become a familiar routine now of checklist items: how to sell the car and buy a new one, when to schedule the pack out and airline tickets, and a million other details. There’s also a separate list of things that you want to do one last time before you go. In Manila we scheduled repeat trips to favourite places or tried to squeeze in a last chance visit to somewhere we’ve never been. In Kathmandu, I planned a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go to Bhutan, a short trip to Delhi, one more visit down to Pokhara, and another to my beloved Sapana Lodge in Chitwan. Unfortunately, these never happened because of the earthquake and our departure routines were almost bulldozed by the realities of the disaster.
Then there’s things you have to buy: handicrafts or items unique to the place that will shortly stop being home. Its sort of a bittersweet ritual of remembering and appreciating your time, and how the 90/60/30 day post tradition started on the blog back in 2013. It would be easy to overlook the tradition this time around because my checklist is short. But we do have two more Negril visits planned and then there’s the embroidery project, which in itself is a opportunity to explore a positive takeaway from our time here. ( I’ve done a cushion embroidery project in three previous countries where we have lived.) Its a tricky assignment to pick a design that fulfills a number of requirements: I need to find the design aesthetically pleasing. It needs to be not too easy or difficult for my skill level, and it has to represent a positive aspect of my stay. Also it has to be a personal experience from that place, not just something generally representative. After much hunting for fruit, tropical foliage and rasta designs (that don’t exist), I was drawn to various birds as a subject. Jamaica has a lot of wonderful, exotic birds, but I finally I settled on this pelican design.
I hesitated at first, as working in multiple shades of grey can be a bit monotonous. But he has character and enough colour variation to make it interesting, and he makes me think of our regular walks around Mona Reservoir, which has been a real lifesaver for us. I doubt I’ll finish him before we leave, or even before we get to Serbia, but he’s arrived and on his way to being part of my small collection and Mr Pelican will keep me company in airports lounges and economy seats this summer.