Sunday, January 1, 2012


I got an email from my favorite aunt:
This is Tia Laura y Tio Ed. I lived with them for six months on a beautiful Caribbean island. I want to go back so bad. I miss it so much. I made many friends and enemies. I loved, I fought, I cried, I laughed, I worked, I struggled, I changed. I missed a lot of my freshman year of high school.

I will start at the beginning. Grandpa, Briant, Henry, Sonja and I got on an airplane at LAX and flew to Dallas-Fort Worth and then to St. Maarten. We arrived on Sint Eustatius on December 18th, 2009. On our first day there, we took a tour and went beach. (They speak pigeon english, so forgive me if I slip into it). My cousins were there because Uncle Ed was going to medical school. Anyway, here is what the island looked like on our tour (and for the whole six months I was there):

Christmas day came around, we opened presents and ate yummy food. Ethan, Briant, Kai and I went Scuba diving... on Christmas DAY!!!! It was fantastically fun.
Me, Ethan, Briant, Bian
It was so beautiful. I'll give you the quick and simple version:
  •  I met some friends

Ethan, Kim, Maryam, Winter (behind Maryam), Faraha, Me, Krystell

  • I went scuba diving... twice a week
  • I joined the Dutch swim team and went to meets on different islands; St. Croix, St. Maarten.
Matijs, S'Ade, Fernando, me

  • I flew an airplane from the St. Croix meet back to Statia
  • I learned Spanish from Soledad
  • I went on lots of dates with my girlies (aka Kim, Krys, Faraha and Winter)
Winty and I

  • I went beach every day. 
  • The leatherback turtle babies hatched. I got to help them along their way back into the ocean at midnight one night. That was quite the experience. Their little flopping movements, the black of their soft shells. You wouldn't think turtles make noise, but they were so noisy.
  • I went to the only American school there. My teachers were Hilda and Victoria. I played with the little boys, Jasper and Beau. 
  • I ate so much different food: fried chicken, chicken tiki masala, roti potatoes, tons of fish, a crab boil, lobsters, creme brulee, Ting, speculaas, satay, potatoes with spices.
  • I met Maryam, my only Muslim friend I have yet to have. She brought new insight to the American school. She is so smart and wonderful. Once, she took off her burkah to let me see her beautiful hair, which was down to her rear. She told me that I was the only one she trusted to talk about her religion with. I was so honored to hear that from her.
Isn't she beautiful?
  • I got tan. My hair turned really blonde and red highlights. The humidity made my skin like a baby's butt, and my hair was so curly and luscious. I loved it.
  • I found my inner black girl.
  • I loved.
  • I fought.
  • I loved.
  • I cried.
  • I loved
  • I laughed.
  • I loved.
  • I worked.
  • I loved.
  • I gained knowledge.
  • I loved.
  • I miss Statia so much. I loved it. I had so many new experiences there that I treasure every day. I talk about it a lot because I am afraid that I will forget about all of the amazing experiences I had. I am afraid that my friends there will forget me, but I still get emails from them all telling me how much they love and miss me. I became fearless. 
  • But, most importantly, my testimony of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was strengthened so much. I know that God was watching over me for those very long six months. I gained a testimony of change. I believe that everyone can change for the better. I know I did. I most certainly changed. I embrace and love the change that took place.

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