The universe (and PC staff) have chosen where I truly belong for the next 2 years. My new home is the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The sea is as clear and bright as my future (humble confidence). This is exactly where I’m supposed to be. Everyone I’ve met is like family already. All the animals remind me of my puppy back home. The food feeds not only my body but my soul. I am truly blessed. I hope I have at least half the impact on St. Vincent as it has had on me already.
Since the first day I landed in St. Lucia, about 5 weeks ago, the people of paradise tell me I look familiar. This past Thursday, when I met my Vincentian Host Momma she said, “When I saw your face I knew I wanted you. You remind me of someone.” Every time I get introduced to someone they say something along the lines of, “Haven’t I seen you before?” or “You look like my sister, she’s in the states.” There is a sense of familiarity and acceptance here for me. I have to admit, I love it. I’ve longed for it. I’ve never been able to blend in or fit in. I am very much so at home in the Eastern Caribbean. It’s truly a blessing that I wasn’t searching for when I decided to serve here. Genuine serendipity!
In addition to blending in, I feel embraced. Things about my identity that made me feel less than or awkward back home make me feel appreciated here. With that, my inner empath feels the need to service beyond my best ability. I have been serviced and welcomed with open arms. I am, to my assumption, seen as a Caribbean/Vincentian woman. A part of me is Caribbean (quite literally). A part of me is in every person I encounter in the Eastern Caribbean. Me serving in the Eastern Caribbean is me serving myself. It’s me serving for the girls and boys back home. It’s me serving for Chicago. It’s me serving for the folks like me back in the states.
The diasporic love is real. I am blessed to be able to feel it to this degree. I hope I make you proud St. Vincent. Thank you for my homecoming.