>Living in Guadeloupe, amazing things can happen even when it seems unlikely

19 May

>The other day I watched an incredibly beautiful sunset over Guadeloupe, the island of slow moving everything. At times, something gives me pause and I feel my solar plexus relax and I take a deep breath and think that I really can get past the differences between here and home that test my patience and my morale. Like what? A few things:

The Pirate. He is extraordinarily patient. He makes me laugh my ass off, which helps tremendously. Laughter really is one of the best medicines.
Les Monstres. I’m attached.
The friends I have managed to make here.
Exercise, when I get to it.
New comments from strangers who are reading my blog. So cool! I know, dork alert but bear with me…

I have received a small handful of comments on my blog about living in Guadeloupe. The people leaving the comments are living here now and like me, they are from someplace else. They are learning French also, or at least speak English, although I can’t speak to the level of French for all of them. The common denominator amongst us is the perception that living in Guadeloupe certainly presents some challenges.

Just the other day I was thinking that on some level I had lost the battle here in Guadeloupe. I was feeling that I had tried to befriend her, tried to work with her, and ultimately could not figure out how to exist with this strong, slow moving beast. I was feeling unequipped. Then I received the comment from Jack, a reader on the island who wrote almost exactly what I was thinking. Wow. Really? Someone who feels the same as me and doesn’t just shrug their shoulders in quiet acceptance of things? Intriguing.
Suddenly, I did not feel so alone in my seemingly typically American stress-outs about Guadeloupe. Suddenly, I’m feeling that perhaps together those of us who are baffled by some of the culture here can come together and find some inspiration, recall the great points of Guadeloupe in order to stay positive and create a more successful experience. We could exchange learned information in order to save time and energy. We could drink Budweiser and eat steak and clean our rifles….not exactly…but you get the idea.
So in combination with my attempt to look for inspiration rather than despair, I think I’ll offer up a meeting with the folks who have contacted me specifically about life in Guadeloupe. No, like an actual in person meeting – old school – I know, CRAZY but it could be cool. It could be awful, who knows. All I know is I’m legitimately trying to focus on the good. I’m trying to remain calm, to find the zen spot more often than not. I believe that I can find the balance point. I believe that I can adjust. Some. I still stand by my beliefs in some spots though: I still believe it should not, in 2010, take three months to transfer internet service from one freaking house to another. Not. Budging. On. That.

…see? leaving on a positive note already! Good, right?!


2 Responses to “>Living in Guadeloupe, amazing things can happen even when it seems unlikely”

  1. Allen July 18, 2011 at 08:54 #

    Nice to find you writing about your life on Guadeloupe again. (I used to read your earlier blog.)

    I live on mainland France, and am of British birth and English mother tongue. I think that some of the things that you refer to as causing you to loose your cool, are evident here in France, too. Maybe my age (I’m retired) has made me able to take a deep breath and remember all the reasons why I came here in the first place… listen to the birds and so on.

    I have learned a lot about Guadeloupe – both from your blogs, and from deliberate research – and I’m pretty certain that you will have some pretty powerful reasons for wanting to zen out and forget the frustrations.

    If you do get together, you entrangers, I hope you have a really good time. And, please, do tell us about it in your writing.

    Best wishes from the Dordogne.


    • Girl in Guadeloupe August 2, 2011 at 12:27 #

      Thank you, Allen! You make a point that I have been mulling over for the past few months and trying to write about with some grace. Someone told me in the beginning of my life here that there was a lot to learn on this island, and it’s just now that I begin to really understand what that means! Stay in touch from ‘metropole’!

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