Right now I'm sitting in my hotel room in Atlanta, Georgia (sidenote: If you're ever staying in the Atlanta area, Hotel Indigo is absolutely fantabulous) eating breakfast and preparing to make the rest of my journey home to Spokane.
We went to Lobsterfest on Friday night. It was the perfect way to have an island send off. Rum punch, lobster, bbq ribs, rice and beans, plantains, pumpkin fritters... Proper St. Kitts food done right. Vanessa and I studiously ignored each other for the last hour we were there because we wanted to avoid saying goodbye and crying as long as possible.
My flight out of St. Kitts was stressful. To all incoming students with pets, just know that when you try to leave the island with your pet you can expect a struggle. They overbook the pet spots on the flight, and that's just the ones that actually make reservations. There are plenty of students who don't make reservations and get there early to check their pets in before the students with reservations show up. It's a nightmare. Delta called me as I was on my way to the airport to try and tell me that I couldn't have Mama with me on the flight. I remained calm and didn't yell, but spoke in a very firm and businesslike tone that I made the reservation and double checked it just last month, and that she would be traveling with me in cabin, and that was final. The Delta rep at RLB airport called corporate, and everything worked out fine. But still, that's a heart attack I didn't need yesterday. And now my Kittitian kitty is an American citizen!
Flying over the ocean yesterday, and realizing that it will be years before I can swim in tropical waters again, was heart breaking for me. I had the crazy urge to jump out of the plane when we'd fly over an island where I could see the water turn from blue to turquoise to green over a stretch of reef. Salt life has become such a part of me now, it feels like something is being taken away from me that I'm not ready for.
As sad and painful as parting is, I'm excited to begin this next phase. I'm happy to be seeing my husband and my family and friends back home. I'm not the same person I was when I left them. I'm more patient, less easily stressed, and more laid back and understanding. I don't judge as harshly as I used to. St. Kitts, Ross, and my classmates changed me into someone who is going to make a better doctor than the person who arrived there 2.5 years ago.