Friday, January 4, 2013

Carrying Chattels to Curacao

I'm starting the new year off with an adventure. Actually, it's not my adventure although I have volunteered my services as a participant. Let me explain.

In June 2011, (Graduation Part Deux), I reported that I thought my daughter was finally finished with her education. Apparently, I was mistaken.

A few months ago, "the girl" grinned as she announced that she had applied to CMU medical Curacao. I was in shock. I couldn't fathom this since she had earlier refused my generous offer of a one way drive to Alberta for chemical engineering employment opportunities. She made it clear back then, that she wasn't venturing far from hearth, home and her menagerie. She then returned to school and decided that a business career might be more to her liking. It wasn't.

I remember asking, "What will you do if you're accepted?"

"I'll go," she responded.

 And go she will. Her first semester begins on January 14th.

I thought back. Why would she feel so confident about going to Curacao and be so hesitant about other places? Then I remembered.

In May, 2009 she and I were on a cruise. We went to some nice places, some not so nice places, and, we went to Curacao, one of the Dutch ABC islands in the Caribbean. As we stepped off the ship in Willemstad, it seemed like another world. Buildings looked like doll houses. People appeared to have stepped from the pages of fashion magazines. There was a sense of formality. There was organization. My daughter loves both. 
  As we walked, we saw plaques describing the people, the languages and the culture. There was art on the  walls. There were chimes and bells, flowers and sculptures. There were historical sites and a fabulous museum describing the history of slavery.

There's a pontoon bridge, the Queen Emma Bridge, built in 1888 and connecting two districts in Willemstad. It swings open using powerful ship motors and allows pedestrians to cross. When the bridge is open, ships are able to go through from the harbour. Pedestrians are then ferried to the other side using water taxis. (See blog "Captivated in Curacao" Feb. 2, 2012)

Large maps are very helpful to assist tourists negotiate the city of Willemstad. In fact, we laughed when we discovered the police officer standing on the exact same corner as illustrated on one of the maps.
    We enjoyed seeing the large open air fruit, vegetable and fish market. Yummy mangoes, papayas, bananas and watermelons tempted us. Alas, we were not allowed to return to the ship with any produce in tow. We watched as some older ladies shopped while dressed as elegantly as if they were attending a wedding. Going to the market was not just an outing, but a celebration.

And so, the adventure begins. We will be leaving in two days and staying in Willemstad for a week. There'll be treks to CMU at Piscadero Bay to make deliveries to the dorm.
We'll enjoy the climate, the culture and the Caribbean. We'll also enjoy the food.

Some parents load up their vehicles to help transport their children to institutions of higher learning, I on the other hand have crammed as many essentials as possible into a much smaller space. I have a suitcase containing 50 pounds of imports. I am carrying "the girl's" chattels to Curacao.

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