The alarm clock buzzes at six in the morning and I immediately shoot out of bed. Despite the early start, I contentedly wake up and start packing as I review my checklist—towel, fresh ripened mangoes from the backyard, coconut water and a bathing suit. While everyone else is still frantically running around the house packing, I climb the narrow steps to my grandmother’s balcony. As I watch over the colorful rooftops of Curepe, I hear the animated chatter from the neighbor’s backyard. A blaring horn roars distinguishably from my grandmother’s beat-up white 1982 Mitsubishi Gallant. We leave while the sky is still dark purple and watch the transitioning colors to vibrant pink and orange sunrise blanketing the skyline of Port of Spain. Quietly, I absorb the change of scenery to the peaceful rural area of Chaguaramas following an hour of intense heat and traffic, as I watch the dense greenery flying past my open window. After parking the car, I gaze at the staircase leading straight to Macqueripe Bay, pointing us in the direction of a small mystical paradise. Walking down the lengthy stairs and letting the salty sea breeze brush past my face as I begin to near the ocean, a refreshing euphoria washes over me. Upon reaching the beach, I nestle my feet into the warm sand in appreciation of the seclusion and the picturesque blue-green sea surrounded by cliffs and forests. Suddenly, the tiresome travelling is completely forgotten.
Immediately, I start running in the direction of the vast blueness, slowing down as the wet coolness sloshes and splashes around me. I am the first one in the water, avoiding the blistering heat that chased me until I was immersed in the wintry ocean. Soon, my father and sisters join me. Momentarily, I look back at the bright sandy beach waiting for my mother to come in. She disappears behind a vivid blue mass of blanket, flailing in the wind as she puts it down for my grandmother to rest on. Bearing sliced mango in bags, she walks towards us, cringing each time the frigid water hits her legs. I wade around until I find my favorite spot. The ocean floor makes a sudden drop about two and a half feet down. This dip in the ground was close enough to the shore that you could sit on the ledge in the shallow water while letting your feet hang. Gently making small kicks, I leave my feet dangling over the edge as the warm Trinidadian sun bathed my back.
Delicately, I let my hand hover above the water’s surface while the small serene waves softly slap my palms, tickling my fingertips. My mother’s ring—previously my grandmother’s—gleams in the light piercing through the clear blueness. Brilliant rays shooting off of the tiny gold band on my finger shine on the school of fish’s skin. A swarm of silver swirls around my hand. As I inhale deeply, the aroma of green, leafy trees, salty mist spraying when waves crash and a hint of doubles wafts into my nose. My father is already standing on line at the cart. I walk through the soft sand that cools as it comes in contact with my wet skin and stand next to my father, reminding him I want some mango kuchela on mine. Nearby, a man yells, “Coconuts! Fresh coconuts!” When I arrive in front of his scratched wooden table, he holds up the juicy fruit in one hand and the sharp machete in another. With a swift incredulous slash, the top of the hard coconut slides off and falls to the ground, revealing the sweet water inside. I trade the colorful blue and red bills for the smooth green fruit. My family sits on the blue blanket eating as I bring the refreshing coconut. We enjoy our food in quiet peace at Macqueripe—untouched by tourism—broken only by our laughter.
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