Returning To Trinidad After 8 Months- 5 Things I’m Looking Forward To & 5 That I’m Not

Well, folks, somehow eight months have passed by. Eight months and five days to be exact. Two hundred and fourty-seven mornings have gone by. Two hundred and forty-seven sunsets.

Some days were warm, others were not. Some days I wore boots, others flip flops. Some days were blue, others were grey. Some days I was happy, some days I dismayed.

I’ve been here in Montreal for the majority of this time. In addition, I’ve gone out to Rigaud, QC, for sheep-shearing and maple extracting. I spent Christmas in Toronto, ON with my grandmother and aunts. That trip was in the middle of two other trips to Aven’s family cottage; one for the Winter solstice, and the other for New Years, in the Laurentides, QC.

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Lac McDonald in the Laurentides on New Years Day 2017

After Easter, I went back out to the cottage, surprised to see how different it looked without snow.

 

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At the same lake, only it is no longer frozen!

 

 

When I was leaving Trinidad on September 1st, 2016, I was extremely happy to be escaping for at least eight months but I was also stressed out to be leaving my family in an uncertain time. I cried quite a bit. Yet, when my second plane for that day, banked and turned over Montreal, giving me a view of Mont Royal, an ocean of good vibes washed over me. Immediately I knew in my gut that I was going to be okay. I knew that this was going to be an entirely fulfilling experience.

Boy! Oh boy! Was I correct. 

Now, the time has come to an end and it hurts to leave.
What I found in this city, is better than gold.

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There are many things that I am not looking forward to returning to and some things that I am.
Things that Rushell is looking forward to in Trinidad:

1. Spending time physically with my family. Just us being in the same space together. Having evenings on the boat or mornings at home where everyone is doing their own thing and the house is alive. It never ceases to amuse me how we fall back into rhythms and it seems as if whoever was gone never left. (I would like to change some rhythms though!)

2. Sailing! It has been so long since I’ve gone sailing. I think this is the longest that I have not sailed since 2008.  If things go certain ways, I just may be sailing very, very frequently come July.

3. Beach days out in the sun. I’m looking forward to feeling the sand under my feet and early morning drives along the North Coast Road to Las Cuevas. More weekends in Tobago are on my agenda.

4. NOT FREEZING! This wasn’t higher up on the list because being cold is almost comfortable- you can always put on more clothes. Unless of course you’re already waiting at the bus stop and it is 3:30 am, you’ve taken the wrong bus initially and you’re waiting for a bus that was supposed to arrive 23 minutes ago. In these instances, you’re just going to be uncomfortable and freeze. You can’t put on more clothes now. You should have thought of that six hours ago when you thought -12 was warm enough.

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5. So, when I first wrote this list, it was on my phone in the notes application and I wrote something under number 5 but auto-correct has made it indistinguishable. So I’m thinking of something else that I’m looking forward to. I think it would be driving although I really enjoy taking public transportation.

Five things I am not looking forward to:

1. The inevitable anxiety that I feel continuously when in Trinidad.

2. small nation; BIG problems -government systems, politics, corruption, crime. Unfortunately, these faulty systems have impacted me in a hugely negative way.

3. Traffic in Port-of-Spain- Wrightson Road to be exact. I have to meditate to get through this traffic on my way to UWI.

4. Paying Bmobile’s fees for data.

5. Lack of community. What made Montreal so special for me was the community of people that I found there. We were able to connect in ways that I’ve always wanted to connect to other people in. At home, the conversations that I really want to have- Goddamit I don’t give a flying fruitcake about who put on weight and looks weird because her bath suit was too small- are so rare and in between here. There are projects that I want to work on but I haven’t met the right people here who are interested in working on them with me.

There ya go!

That’s what’s floating through, some weighing heavily on, my heart right now.

Stay adventurous, stay in!

Rusharella

Update on Life: Photos,University, Study Abroad, Summer Plans & More!

Hello, folks!

This is a relatively short post talking about what I’m up to these days. I’ll cover school, ballet, Montreal, blogging, submissions, French and summer. (Photos at the the bottom!)

Summer is the most exciting, and possibly the least certain, but in the glory of fun times, I’ll start there. Once the semester ends, I’ll be in Montreal for at least the rest of May. From that point on I’ll either stay in Montreal for a few more months or head back to Trinidad.

Having a student permit allows me to work here and the possibilities are endless. I could go cherry picking in BC, work in Banff, remain in Montreal doing freelance photography or ride across the continent to BC then go south to California. Perhaps the bike trip will be to Gaspesei or to Vermont. I am also exploring the possibilities of going WWOOFing for some portion of my summer. I’ll be back in Trinidad by August, and I intend to visit one of the other beautiful Caribbean islands for a week or so. Can you guess which?

I’m not at all excited by school next year right now. I enjoy my course, but the larger picture and focus on me completing my degree has me very disillusioned. I know the value of having a degree in today’s world. I see how having a degree would be beneficial to me and my future plans. Particularly the plans surrounding me teaching English in Japan and China upon graduation. I’ve dedicated two and a half years of time to getting a degree so far, and it is not something that I am passionate about. Further, spending time working on this degree is taking away time that I would like to spend building the future me that I would like to be.

While becoming a RYA certified Yachtmaster and a PADI certified Divemaster are my real goals, I live in a disillusioned society where university degrees, hold more societal value. Certainly, I can attain both types of education. However, I am concerned about the invisible timer over my head with decreasing numbers. Also, becoming a Yachtmaster and Divemaster were goals that I have had for a decade now. So many other goals have come into the picture, and I have been working on them instead.

At this point, I would really like to dedicate some time to achieving these goals. I’ve put in two and a half years of effort into getting a degree and I’ve dropped out of university once before. I don’t intend to drop out again. I have only half of my degree left, and I intend to get it over and done with.

Ballet! 
I started back ballet, my great joy. Then I stopped because my job took most of my time that wasn’t dedicated to school. Now I’ve left that job but I don’t have the extra funds to pay for ballet. So for the while, I’m no longer doing ballet.

Submissions
I am so very excited to say that I have been taking my writing one step further. I have been sending in pieces to different campaigns. Some are competitions others are not. I enjoy writing very much and I am excited by the amount of work that I get to put into a well-crafted piece. I focus mostly on Travel Writing and on The Individual’s Interaction.

I was also going to enter a photography competition; however, I did not agree with the Terms and Conditions, so I did not enter in the end.

French
Learning French is difficult. No one told me that it would be otherwise, though, so I am not surprised. I have not been putting my best foot forward and dedicating sufficient time to practising. Of course, the only way to learn a language is to practise. Also, while Montreal is fantastic in that English speakers can travel comfortably here, it is not that great for learning French as there is no challenge. Montreal is very much a faux-immersion city. If you decide to only interact in French (as a learning tool) you may succeed. However, conversations will switch to English very quickly.

Blogging
I’ve been computer-less for most of the last month which was a huge hindrance. However, I was able to maintain this blog with regular posts through using my phone. Unfortunately, my posts haven’t been laden with exciting photos as I would like them to be. The good news is that I have my computer again and I can upload and edit photos to my heart’s content. I’m super impressed that I’ve been blogging fairly regularly and I hope to keep it that way. I cannot give a schedule for which days. I’m thinking that if I put together more posts without posting them, I can schedule posts for the future.

PHOTOS! photos! PHOTOS!

 

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A few weeks ago I had a really bad flu and for the first time ever, I got ‘Red Eyes’ aka Conjunctivitis. It was so painful! I’m all better now.

 

 

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Just about every Sunday I go to Marche Jean Talon and purchase my veggies and fruits for the week. It usually runs me around $50 CAN
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A few streets away. This is the height of a three storey building.
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Bar Fly, an apparently awesome bar that I’m yet to visit.

Some art in my neighbourhood. I live in the Plateau which is a very artistic neighbourhood filled with university students.

 

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Well folks, that is all for now. I’ll be back soon with a few more stories from my trip.
Rushell