During quarantine, everything became about the small. How nice a shower is, being grateful for having enough food. Spending an afternoon day-dreaming. I could get used to small.
Then we came out last week and found the world still rotating. In Bonaire, except for flights from the US placed on hold, no visiting cruise ships and recognition of ‘risk’ zones – life is going on fairly normally.
They even have a dance school here. I made enquiries and found this week is try-outs for the next term. This meant Delphine digging out her dance gear. She did. Ballet slippers and leotard were in a special box she’d placed them in almost a year ago. We got in Edna and dinghied to town in the afternoon. Google Maps said the dance school was about ten minutes walk from the dinghy dock.
On the way in, we noticed a sea swimming area. Just off the promenade, it’s buoyed-off like a normal swimming pool. From the dinghy dock, we could see a swimming instructor and a bunch of kids playing water polo with two floating goals.
I’d already heard about the swim club. I had a recommendation on Facebook. Bonaire Barracudas they’re called.
Lulu and I jogged over from the dinghy dock to the edge of the concrete prom and waved at the swimming instructor. I explained Lulu wanted to join the club.
‘No worries,’ she said, ‘Lu’s age group swims three times a week. In fact, this is the bunch.’ She pointed to the group of kids. They all grinned back at Lu. My eyes got big. Friendly teenagers? Lu smiled shyly back at them. Next class is tomorrow.
We went off to find Delph’s dance class. Hadn’t been sure what to expect with Bonaire being a small island, but this definitely exceeded it. A lovely building, dance posters everywhere, studio upstairs with industrial-grade fan and lots of light. The lady at reception informed me this session would be free since it’s a try-out. I filled out a form before she could change her mind, using Google Translate from Dutch to English. Everyone speaks perfect English here, but the forms are in Dutch.
We met the dance teacher, Jadey. She explained that she’s from Amsterdam, but likes Bonaire so much she moved here. She grinned at Delph. Delph smiled back. Only thing; Delph turned out to be her only dance pupil.
Jadey said that normally around five girls attend this dance class – and they were all probably still in summer mode. I nodded. Sounds like teenagers.
She started with Delph and I secretly watched and messaged back and forth with my mother.
‘Take a picture of her!’ she wrote.
‘I can’t without it looking super creepy!’ I stared at Delph from round the corner – super creepily. She looked happy dancing.
After class finished, Delph got changed and we went to meet Jack and Lu who were in a clothes store in town. They’d found the TK Maxx of Bonaire. Three tops later and a ten dollar pair of sneakers Delph chose – which unfortunately lost a sole as we walked back to the dinghy. Jack looked back and saw it lying still on the pavement like a shoe corpse – now unattached to the rest of Delph’s foot.
After we finished laughing, we decided to go back to the store tomorrow. Delph put her old sneakers back on and we headed to the dinghy dock. The sun was just setting. Wow. Haven’t seen a sunset for weeks.