So last week, I got my hair braided so I wouldn't have to worry about it for a while. I also continued trying to fit more things into my suitcase than what was supposed to fit. I was very glad that my grandma drove down from North Carolina to Atlanta to see me off. She also packed my suitcase. You gotta love grandmas!
My last meal in the United States was at a seafood restaurant in Hampton, GA called Bay Breeze. The fried shrimp and tilapia were good as usual. I overstuffed myself because I figured it would be the last time I had extremely good food until I got back. This was the last meal I had until Sunday morning.
|Train in Atlanta Airport|
So I landed in Fort Lauderdale airport. Honestly, I do not like this airport. At all. I went through TSA in Atlanta with no problems but I had to go out of the terminal to go through TSA to go to the next terminal. I obviously went through at the wrong time because they were very busy and of course I got flagged. It was my hair products that were creams. In my book, a cream is not a liquid. According to this agent, a cream is a liquid. He told me that I had two options: mail it home or pay for the carry-on suitcase to be checked. Neither of those options sounded very appealing to me immediately. So I asked where the mail boxes were and was told they were downstairs. Needless to say, they were actually at the terminal that I just came from building. And there were no boxes. Then I just said forget it, I'll throw it away if I don't get through. Well, I took off my shoes this time through TSA and I wasn't flagged or anything. So one thing I learned is that it depends on who is reading the screen if you'll actually get through or not.
So, I made it to St. Martin!!!! I got off the plane and walked over to a bus to be transported to the terminal. Then I waited in line for.........IMMIGRATION. Yep, it took quite a while. But the only thing I really needed to show was my passport and the form I filled out on the plane. There wasn't much exchange with this clerk but it was a smooth process. So then I went to baggage claim to claim my two checked bags. Carrying 70 and 53 pound suitcases while also carrying a carry-on and a 45-lb backpack is pretty challenging I must say. I have never been happier to have another individual meet at the airport to help me with my luggage. I used Funtime Charter ferries to get to Anguilla because it made more sense to pay to have them pick me up from the airport and take me to the ferry than attempt to get a cab and take the public ferry and it be the same price. I also went through immigration with them and they set us up for immigration with Anguilla.
By this ferry ride, I was a little overwhelmed and wondering what I had gotten myself into. What have I done to myself? I have left my family and gone to school in Anguilla to do all of this? But I honestly think it all came together when I saw this sign:
|Welcome to Anguilla|
I arrived at my new home above a very good bakery! It is two bedrooms with one bathroom and the hugest kitchen that I've ever had to myself. It's always the small things that make me feel so blessed. Although, the challenge afterwards was to unpack and get acquainted with my new surroundings, I also needed to eat. Let's just say that I was so tired from the lack of sleep I got the entire week leading up to it that I just passed out at sundown which is around 7:00 pm. I didn't wake up until the next day around 6:00 am. I went and ate at the bakery downstairs called Le Bon Pain. The chocolate croissants are amazing! The gas for my stove was out and Anguilla is very good about observing the Sabbath.
I went searching for restaurants so that I could eat something but only found a grocery store that wasn't far from my house. I learned that only the Chinese have stores opens on Sunday. I wasn't given a reason why but that's what I've been told. Also while searching, I found the beach. Yes, it was beautiful. Beautiful beyond my imagination.
So Monday morning, I spent with my landlord getting money to get gas and electricity put in my name. Apparently some of the students have left with outstanding debts resulting in other students having to put large deposits on utilities when they move in. I was happy that I could actually have food! So these are my accounts on getting to the island. I still have a week before anything starts and plenty more to explore and learn.
This week, the theme was that I was going to make it to my destination. How I was going to get there was not the question. And the path that I thought I was going to take was not necessarily it either.
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19, NIV