At least according to Apple.
What this means, until he figures out how to fix it, is that I can't download apps because "this app is not available in Jamaica." Thank you, Apple. Thank you, 7 year old.
CUTEST little plant ever---an ornamental miniature pineapple. Grows from a long stem coming out of a spiky, aloe-like plant. You can eat them, but it's a whole lotta work for a little bit of nothing.
One of my very favorite things to do on earth is garden. I can have a terrible, rotten, no good, very bad day, and an hour digging dirt and pulling weeds makes me forget all about it. I was more stressed out and saddened by having to get rid of all my plants---some which were cuttings from family plants, others I've had for over 10 years (and one I've had since college)---than I was about getting rid of furniture, cars, appliances, etc. So when I arrived and saw all the beautiful native species, and then my sad little neglected yard, I was pumped about getting my hands dirty and making it pretty.
But, alas, the NEX doesn't sell plants. And the nursery, like many other things here, was hard hit by Hurricane Sandy. It's usually open every other Saturday and the plants are native (and FREE!!!), but there are so few choices that I feel guilty taking anything at all.
I did kinda sorta run into a huge plumeria at my work with a large pair of scissors. Took a cutting, let it dry, put it in a pot, and we'll see. Who knows what will happen, since the biggest, baddest, meanest looking toad dug a hole and has taken up with the plumeria. Yep, they are cohabitating now in a very crowded pot. And I'm not real interested in taking it back.
A little problem solving never hurt anyone, and up for the challenge, I found plants, plants, and more plants---mostly thanks to a little Gitmo ingenuity which includes---what else?---recycling. What comes around definitely goes around in this place.
We have this thing here called "the roster." It's an email list and a way for people to get word out about items and services for sale/barter and a place to inquire about such things. Think of it as Craigslist/Freecycle combined. Need piano lessons? Have lots of clothes your kids have outgrown? Want a petsitter while you jet away to Puerto Rico for the weekend? You can advertise it on the roster. About a week ago, someone leaving the island (and there is always someone leaving) advertised plants for sale.The roster is a real necessity in a constantly shifting place like Gitmo.
And that is how I got several succulents that are, one week later, doing great on my screened in back porch and my back door step. I even got a large pencil cactus---I had to abandon 2 nice sized ones in Texas, so that made me very happy. The plants were well-loved and well taken care of, and the next day I got a really sweet email thanking me for taking the plants because they know I will take good care of them. I could tell it pained the lady as much as it had pained me to give away her plants, so I was genuinely touched by her gratitude.
But that's not the cool part of the story.
As I was picking plants out from their back porch, the couple said, rather casually, "If you really like plants, we have two very large ones you are welcome to dig up out of our yard. We already know the guy moving in after us, and he's not a gardener."
I thought it was odd that someone I barely know is telling me to dig up trees out of a yard they don't own, but hey, when I recounted the story at work and three people at the same time shouted over each other, "Wait! Where do they live? Can I go with you? PLEASE," I knew that I was on to something.
Yep, when someone with a green thumb moves out, other people (sometimes strangers) go to their yard and dig up their plants. And not just things out of flower beds---we are talking small trees from the middle of people's yards.
So their offer has been gnawing at me, and I finally gave them a call to ask if they were serious. "Yes! Bring a shovel! If we aren't home, the gate is open." The fact my 14 y/o didn't even bat an eye when I said, "I'm going to the place that lends stuff to get a wheelbarrow and shovel, and then we are going to the house of some people I just met, and we are going to dig up their plants" speaks volumes about his expectations for weirdness with his mother.
So we packed up our shovels and rakes and implements of destruction, including a huge wheelbarrow with "Government Property" stamped on it that a rather large Jamaican working at Self-Service and I could barely lift together and fit in Pearl. The 14 y/o was a trooper---he helped heave and ho---not a small feat, since his hands were blistered from kayaking the bay that morning---until ultimately, the plant guy couldn't sit on his couch and watch Sunday football anymore while we tried to dig up his rocky backyard, and he came out to help.
Times like this, I'm happy that the speed limit is only 25 mph.
That would be frozen fish. It's the second time since I've been here that someone has handed me a bag of fish. And one night this week, that will be supper.
The big plants/small trees are beautiful. One is a plantain that actually produces fruit, and now sits outside my dining room window, and the other is a coral tree, which is in a perfect spot in the middle of the front yard.
Gitmo booty: sea glass and give away plants
That was just what I need to hear before our express shipment and our household goods get here---I'm hoping to pare down even more and prepare for a lifetime of treading lightly and leaving (almost) everything---starting with plants, of course---as we globetrot.