It has been a week since our flight left JFK international airport and touched down at Norman Manley. I am still processing all that has taken place. Our cab came for us at 3:15am. Shine was bright eyed despite the early wake up call. He sat in the back seat of the cab with me counting our numerous suitcases. As we sped down Ocean Avenue, Shine made a game out of the passing street lights. They were helicopters he said and the red lights were dragons. Mo sat up front with the driver and commented on the quiet and lack of traffic. Baby Q was still.
When we reached JFK, there was a slight bustle of activity as passengers checked in and past the security checks. Explaining to Shine that both he and his beloved teddy bear, Winston, would have to go through a scanner proved difficult. He couldn't wrap his sleepy four year old head around it. He and Winston should be able to go through the scanner together he reasoned. Only a few tears were shed as they were parted for a few brief minutes. All in all, it was the most smooth transition through an airport we had ever experienced. By the time we finished breakfast, our plane was already boarding. We found our seats and made ourselves comfortable. Mo had his "Economist" magazine, I the in-house airline magazine and Shine his sketch pad and colored pencils. I was only slightly surprised that Shine did not sleep at all during the 3 1/2 hour flight. The anticipation of reaching the long awaited destination kept him awake.
For months we had been preparing him for the move, calmly explaining that we would be leaving our home in Brooklyn for a new adventure in Kingston. He was excited about the prospect from the very beginning exclaiming proudly, "I'll have a brother and a sister" referring to his then far away half brother, Warrior and half sister, Earth Mother. Then there was the list of animals Shine would get once we settled in our new home. "When we move to Jamaica, I'll have a pet dog and kitty cat and goat." His eyes were big and expectant. Only once did he reflect on leaving behind his Brooklyn friends. "But what if the kids come knock on my door and I'm not here?" he asked. We talked about how sad it would be to leave our friends in Brooklyn but how exciting it would be to make new friends in Kingston. We talked about keeping in touch with our Brooklyn friends by sending pictures and emails and this seemed to satisfy him.
The flight continued without incident. The only notable thing was how many empty seats there were. Baby Q seemed to enjoy the ride choosing to sleep for the duration.
When the plane finally touched down and the requisite applauding ceased, we gathered up our carry on items and prepared ourselves for our new life. It took a bit of time getting through immigration mostly because we filled out the immigration cards improperly. Apparently we were supposed to put our Brooklyn address in the space marked "Home Address". Shine and I both had entry visas from the consulate in New York which are good until September.(A trip to the embassy is in the near future...)The immigration officer was pleasant enough and welcomed Mo back home. He was beaming.
As we moved on to luggage pick up, we noticed that someone was kind enough to place all of our many heavy bags onto a cart for us. And so we were off to customs. The customs officers peaked into a few of our suitcases but seemed uninterested in our tale of relocation. We were through customs quickly and off to wait for our ride.
It wasn't long before Grandma and D's red mini van pulled around the corner. We loaded up and off we went to meet our new apartment. Auntie L was waiting for us along with a kitchen full of groceries. The next couple of hours were a whirlwind of driving about the neighborhood seeing the sights, eating some food and meeting the neighbors. We were already for an early bed that night.
The week has flown by. We have already had many adventures which I will write about soon. We are carving out our little niche and it is slowly starting to feel like home. Mo goes around the apartment knocking on the walls and floors. He loves how solid and sturdy the construction is...not at all like the paper walls of our Brooklyn bungalow. I like that there are mountains out our windows. Right now they are clouded by mist and rain clouds. When the sun is out, the are a green majesty! There are coconut trees in the front of our building and mango trees in the back. We have already eaten some of the mangoes and I must say they are even better than I expected!! Baby Q enjoyed them as well and told me so with kicks and flips. Q also really enjoys the oranges which although not grown on a local tree, were grown on the other end of the island and are juicy sweetness! There is certainly a lot of potential here for us. I see great things happening for all of us.
Peace and Wellness...