And Michael Phelps just made history with a seventh gold medal – winning the 100m butterfly by a hundredth of a second. He…is human, right?
Work in Jamaica finished up nicely. I spent my last night at the hotel bar, watching Olympic gymnastics and shooting the breeze with an American Airlines pilot. Jack, the seasoned veteran, explained the airlines’ hierarchical system and how he ultimately became a pilot. A handful of drinks later (boy could he pound them down) and he had my full attention, recounting story after story of all the places he has traveled. He made sure to point out that the alcohol would wear off before his next flight. Funny guy.
Thursday morning I made a few final phone calls, wrapped up paperwork in Kingston and called my favorite cab driver for a quick shuttle to the airport. My plane to St. Vincent, connecting in Barbados, was a bit delayed, so by the time I landed, it was almost 11pm. Fatigued from nearly a day of travel, I went straight to my room, took a cold shower and proceeded to sleep like a log.
Today I woke up to rays of sun streaking through the window, slanted shafts of haze beckoning me to a glistening ocean rife with activity. With the weekend on the horizon, I sought to crank out a big day of work. After hitching a van ride into town with a crowded mass of squeezed locals, bouncing to the loud puntz puntz of Caribbean hip hop, I darted around rapidly and opportunistically from store to store, writing down gas and phone and washing machine prices like the fiend surveyor that I am adapting to be. It was exhausting.
During dinner I met Allie, a retired IMF employee who now spends his time teaching a world economics course for a Professional MBA program in D.C. and consulting for governmental bodies in the Caribbean. Hopefully, after a half day of work – most shops close Saturday afternoon – I can hit the beach and join him and his friend for dinner at one of Kingstown’s nicest restaurants, French Veranda.
Life on the road has been invigorating, unpredictable, and thus far satisfying, a mélange of tales that I am excited to share.
(photo credit: Patrick Moberg)