Second Most Amazing Day in Barbados

Today, 12/10/13 was the second highlight of my last two months here in Barbados.

After waking up well into the afternoon and making the 40 minute trek to collect my belongings at school (laptop, keys, wallet, phones),I found my phones with two sets of messages. One from someone who I wished I could have taken the next flight out of here to be, to give that person the biggest hug of life and just to be there for them, to reassure them. The second was from my friends letting me know that they were heading across the island to surf and watch some surfing. I was totally down for that.

Only thing was that these messages were both hours old, one 12 hours old so my response was useless. Of course I only figured this out after responding to it. The second was a gamble. If I went, it would take over an hour to reach and the comp might have been finished, the sun may have set by then, my friends might have left already and of course that meant travelling across all 7 miles of the country by myself. Sure seven miles is nothing but here gets really sketchy sometimes. Simultaneously, I love the ocean and it’s where I feel most connected and inspired, it clears my head and has been a constant in my life for as long as I remember. Also, people I love back at home were also on the ocean at the same time. Knowing that we were both at the sea at the same time just in different places got me completely stoked, as it usually does. Yet if I didn’t go I’d be missing out on an adventure if it went well and well, an ‘experience’ if it went wrong.  I took the adventure.  I’m really happy I did.  The bus ride is about 45 minutes and takes you through the cane fields, which pretty much reminds me of some of the scenery from home.

I reached right as it began to drizzle and in true Rushell style went to the wrong place first but it was totally worth it. I saw literally one of the most amazing land forms that I’ve ever seen and it reminded me just how powerful the sea is. Soon enough I got to the right place met up with my friends, watched some surf, got a few beers, chatted. Just enjoyed being in the presence of the sea. If you’re anything like me you’d completely understand my relationship with the sea. There is nothing like it. But for those who aren’t I’d try to help. Its like climbing up a mountain, then standing at the summit and having the breeze blow against you as you take in the amazing natural scenery below you, your spirit is just in a good place, no matter your condition you feel a sense of health, reassurance and wellbeing and in that moment nothing can take you down.  So, this is where matters most.

I went for a walk on the shore to get my ocean and Rushell alone time. The swell was easing off, on the west coast the sun had set already and there were rain clouds hanging out above. Just me chilling, taking in the scenery, being with the ocean when I walked into an experience that I’ve seriously wanted to be a part of for the past two years.  This little turtle, recently hatched, was now crossing the sandy shore, about to being his/her journey and life with the ocean. Then there was another and another and soon enough there were about 30 recently hatched turtles scurrying across the beach, all just following their predetermined instincts. Head to the water! That’s all they did. These little fellas made my day.

If you’ve hung out with me enough, you’d know that my goal in life is to sell coconuts on a beach in Bali. That’s what I work towards, it’s what I think of when I’m having a hard day or when I feel like I’m fed up of the consumerism driven lifestyle that is so commonplace in this side of the world. That’s my dream and there are very few other things that I want as badly to gain from my experience here on Earth and today I got to live one of those dreams. I know that most Trinis have seen turtles hatch and many have been part of the experience numerous times. I’ve scuba dived at 100 plus feet with turtles, I’ve seen them in tanks and aquariums, I’ve seen turtles everyday of my life for the past like 11 years of my life thanks to mom’s collections both at home and on the boat. I spend just about 48 of the 52 weekends a year at the sea but I’ve never seen a turtles make that triumphant and life changing journey from the nest to the shore and into the ocean. Today that changed. Thus, today was one of the most amazing days of my life and I will certainly remember it for as long as my memory upholds its well being.

If you don’t get why I’m so excited it’s like this. Today I went on a completely unplanned adventure, took a few calculated risks and ended up seeing beings begin their lives. Nothing about all of this is out of the ordinary but at the same time it totally is. I saw these turtles have triumphs and failures just minutes into their lives, I saw animals just a few minutes old persevere; they got washed back up the shore tonnes of times but they did not give up. I saw the excitement on the little local kids faces’ when they learned that the turtles had hatched. I was there as these beings entered into a whole new sphere.

I’m 19 years old and I have a promised 70 years to live, it might be more, it might be less, I’ll never know. As unsettling as it is I know that some of those guys are dead already, others won’t make it through the night and a few will last the following week but out of all of those hatchlings, one or two of them are going to last many, many moons longer than me. Possibly, even longer than my children, if I were to have. Today I saw something begin that’s going to last beyond my time. It’s like being in a time capsule. I shared a moment with a being that’s going to be here in the next hundred, hundred and twenty years into the future. By the time his days are done, the world would be a different place. Laws will be changed, countries will be different, tourism may or may not still exist in Barbados, the USA may or may not still be a confederation of states. Trinidad and Tobago might have more parties contending the general elections, maybe even one that seriously takes into consideration serving the greater population. iPhones may not be the biggest thing, China may be falling from its place as a world super power if it happens by then, or they might be at the peak of their reign as such. World hunger and widespread poverty may just become another ‘failure’ of the past, or they might be ten times worst. People might know of me, maybe they won’t. The grade that I got on my first university Mathematics test sure as hell wouldn’t matter. Many things that aren’t worth it but we spend countless hours thinking and worrying about wouldn’t either. In 100 years from now, I most likely wouldn’t be here but this evening I shared a few moments, the first few of life, of beings that will. AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE!

Hence, if you see me grinning randomly into nowhere just sitting around campus over the next few weeks, I’m not going crazy, I’m just thinking about one of the most amazing things that I have ever experienced… unless I actually do go ‘cray cray,’ in that case I have no clue what advice to give you.

There are so many lessons to be learned from the sum of experiences today, some I haven’t even come realised as yet.

>Don’t be afraid to be alone
>Take risks, calculate it, see if its worth it but take ’em
>ALWAYS go on adventures, they tend to be really rewarding. Sometimes they teach you a really important lesson through experience, other times you experience something great. Either way they are totally worth it!
>12 hours without my phone ended really well, in a completely unexpected way
> Appreciate nature
>The sea is AWESOME!
> Seek the real meanings of ordinary situations.  I’m really happy today turned out the way that it did. Thank you God for putting me in the right place at the right time.

I hope you dance,

Rushell Rousseau

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