To go to the beginning of this book, Tropic Moon: Memories, click HERE.
June 4, 1981
Dear Mom and Dad,
Jeanie left saying she hadn’t written in two weeks, and that I had better get a letter out to you. Well, since Monday is a holiday here, if this doesn’t get written tonight, and in tomorrow’s mail, it won’t get written at all.
Things are progressing here. I finally got all the forms and paperwork filled in to the effect that my work permit was issued, and my BVI visa extended until November. So I guess I am now totally legal. One hears horror stories of how nasty and incompetent the local officials are, but in my case, it appeared they were bending over backwards to be helpful.
Of course, the Labor people were somewhat embarrassed when they couldn’t find my file. Mike had submitted a proposal requesting my work permit. He got a letter in reply stating that it had been approved. I made some copies, and went to the Labor office, saying I wanted to fill out the necessary forms. That’s when they couldn’t find the file. Come back tomorrow, they said. I did, and they still hadn’t found it, but they gave me a phone number to call before I came in again. I had to call twice more before they finally located the file. So they knew who I was, and from there on in, they were most helpful in seeing that I filled in all the forms and got the necessary approvals in proper order.
The Immigration lady was unbelievable. I had seen her last week, and she gave me some forms to fill in. When I returned with them this week, she recognized me and called me to the head of the line, and took the paperwork from me. Then while I waited in line, she processed them while she was ostensibly serving other people. When my turn came, everything was ready. I don’t know why she thought my time was so valuable, but I was certainly amazed.
Work is going so-so. Last week we actually ran out of work, so I didn’t go in on Friday. Anyway, the workload has presumably picked up, and things may be better for a while. But then last week, what with running to the government, and the hospital for the required medical exams, and the lack of work, I only earned $100 for the week. Hardly worth the effort.
Yesterday I had a grand altercation with a cow! There was a small herd grazing along the road by the little dock where I leave the dinghy. In fact, one cow was grazing at the foot of the dock. So when I approached on the way home, the cow ran out onto the dock to get out of my way. Well, this cow soon ran out of dock. Since the dinghy was tied at the very end, things were at an impasse. Had I proceeded out onto the dock, I felt the cow would have jumped into the water, i.e., right into the dinghy! So I parked myself up by the road and waited ten minutes while the cow got up enough courage to come off the dock, and scurry away along the road. Only in Tortola…
Things are quiet when I get home from work, what with Jeanie not here. And the day is lengthened by having to fix dinner and tend to the dishes. But I am surviving. Aside from finding the stove was out of fuel, and that the curtains in the bedroom have rotted and need to be replaced, the boat seems to be holding together.
Happy Father’s Day!