St. Eustatius Airport Expansion Project: Day 10 (April 30, 2021)
We started the day doing lab work while we awaited our covid tests in order to get out of quarantine. The test itself was the nasopharyngeal swab test, i.e. the deeply penetrating, brain-scratching swab. To the credit of the nurses who conducted the tests, they were very gentle and made the experience as comfortable as possible.
We weren't surprised that we all had negative results, but there was always a lingering fear that someone may be asymptomatic, particularly someone who hasn't been vaccinated yet. If that had happened, we'd all have to undergo another 10-day quarantine again.
Our resident stray dogs and puppies have grown increasingly protective of our group, and they got a little vocal with the nurses. They quickly settled in, though.
One of the adult stray dogs actually killed several chickens in front of us the other day (which was rather traumatic), then proceeded to bring a half-dead one onto our patio just after dinner. The chicken, biding her time, freaked out and tried making a run for it, causing us to scatter because we thought it was dead. This happened three times, until the chicken finally half-flew into one of our specialists who caught it and chucked it over a wall where the dog couldn't get it.
Back to the topic at hand...
Once our quarantine was lifted, a few of us drove to the harbor to pick up supplies. This was the first opportunity I had to visit Lower Town since we arrived, and was the closest I got to the water's edge. It was very liberating, albeit brief.
I stayed back after lunch to work on more inking and rendering while most everyone headed back to the site for a few hours. At 2 pm, I video-chatted with my daughter's kindergarten class about archaeology, and showed them some drawings of ceramics from our prehistoric site. I gave them a little tour of the Science Institute and its surroundings, and they showed a particular interest in the The Quill. They were so much fun to chat with, and they were really engaging. Their questions were thoughtful and on-topic.
Being Friday and out of quarantine, naturally people wanted to socialize in public. After dinner, we headed up to SECAR for a few drinks before heading to The Boardwalk in Lower Town, a popular outdoor bar and patio. It was our first opportunity to mingle with the locals and, I believe, was just what we needed to unwind and feel somewhat normal again.
Pre-game social hour(s) at SECAR
Being out of quarantine means that we don't have to wear masks anywhere on the island except in the pharmacy and the hospital. This was a strange notion for most of us, considering it has been well over a year since we've convened in large crowds without masks. It's amazing how quickly one assimilates back to normal after such an experience. So, to those of you back home, don't fret. When things finally do return to some sense of normalcy, you'll take to it very quickly! Hopefully that day comes sooner than later.
Tomorrow being Saturday, I'll likely sleep in a bit, considering we returned from The Boardwalk around 1 am and chatted til 2. Then I'll catch up on some work, which will leave me free to explore all day Sunday.