I am not ready to leave. Last year, when we left Tahiti after two weeks, I was more than ready to leave. I would have left earlier, as beautiful and charming as it was.
We were talking to a tour operator on the beach this morning after we'd taken our final stroll along Playa Del Agua and I felt a sudden pang in my chest at the thought of not being able to spend the day under a beach umbrella with a "coca-lite" clutched in my hand and a paperback flipped open in my lap. I think it has to do with the people. Many of the homes and business are run down and sometimes it's frustrating to see the garbage lining the roads and piled up on the beaches. It's frustrating to see because Venezuela is such a rich country but the current government doesn't want to pass the wealth on to the people. It's a complicated situation that you can't really make clear in a brief blog, but despite this, there's something about the friendliness of the Venezuelans themselves that makes me want to stay.
Even though I couldn't understand them most of the time, they were always kind and welcoming. Once they heard my husband was born in Venezuela, it was like they were old friends. I was particularly touched this morning when we were leaving one store filled with of a combination of tacky tourist souveneirs and beautiful handmade hammocks, carvings and cuatros. As we headed out the door the owner called us back and told us to each pick three tiny polished stones out of a large wooden bowl.
He gave me a big smile as two of my stones were the same and he told me their meaning as my husband translated for me. The stones I'd pulled out meant that I had two angels and I was a beautiful person on the inside. (I had to put on my shades quickly when I thought about the potential of one being my mom and the other being the baby I miscarried 26 years ago tomorrow). The three my husband pulled out told him that he was a kind man, had a good soul and someday would have a lot of money, so much he wouldn't know what to do with it. We laughed about it and the cynic in me thought he probably said the same thing to everyone, but the fact remains, it was still a kind thing to do. He didn't ask us for money or a donation and he could have let us leave the store without saying anything. It made a memorable and touching moment for our last day on the island.
Here's a few shots I took on our final day in Margarita.
Our trusty steed. We'd used about 3/4 of a tank of gas and it cost us about 4 Bs to fill it up. That's the equivalent of 50 cents. Not 50 cents a litre....50 cents for 3/4 of a tank.
One last dip in the ocean.
Cleaning oysters to sell to tourists on the beach...glad I don't like oysters.
A frigate bird.