Since making the decision to teach and live abroad, I have felt myself actively appreciate what our life has to offer in a way that I never did when I was living in the States. We have so much family time, spending whole afternoons sitting around at the park with friends, weekends full of micro adventures and get togethers and laughter. Weekly massages. And definitely Shelly, our nanny, with whom most of this is made possible. Our life here is a party where our venue is paid for, the booze is chilled to perfection, and all we have to do is show up.
This past weekend highlighted how grand our life is here. We were invited by one of Husband’s student’s families to use their house in Casa de Campo, La Romana. For those of you unfamiliar with the geographical locations of the this island, Casa de Campos is like the Beverly Hills of the Dominican Republic. Fancy AF. There was no thinking about it: we rented a car, packed the whole family and left. It’s quite possible we forgot to lock the door.
Even a migraine (which I got Friday night) would not stop me from enjoying this weekend. Each moment was a delicious,powdered doughnut – we didn’t want to get used to the indulgence but damn was it good. We found ourselves gazing around the grounds, rhetorically asking How did we get here? The same conversation came up over dinner one night as we sliced into a steak bought at a local butcher shop that was in part prepared by the butler who worked at the house. It was paired with an Argentinian Shiraz Malbec that I found at an Italian Specialty store down the street from our apartment – made even more beloved by its affordable $10 price tag. How did we get here? Nana would roar with laughter, “Tu? Y esta Cubana? (You? Imagine this Cuban.)”
It dawned on me that none of us were taking for granted this moment that we were fortunate to be living.
In general, I find myself doing that a lot here: appreciating more and having an unobstructed view of all the beautiful things being offered to our lives, mostly time. Time to be with this family, time together, time to write and create and fulfill a part of myself that makes me whole, time to make memories with friends while eating delicious food and listening to great music and laughing until you pee on your pants. Time for wine.
Now if I could just get my parents to move in with us for part of the year, I’d have it all.