One of my favourite things listening to the girls’ lessons has been the concept of foreshadowing in English. This is when the writer drops hints of what’s going to happen in the story. They use different techniques to foreshadow, like stories within the story. Or the weather. Oh dear.
In the hurricane season, you get periods which are windless, but rarely for the whole day. And the heat is dry here – so yesterday had that oven-baking sensation every time we stepped outside. Like we were going to be turned over and basted. We did our shopping in the morning, but in the afternoon we hid inside the cool of the boat. We did feel like the luckiest yachties in Bonaire.
During the day, news dribbled in about sixteen new virus cases on the island. The air felt heavier with each case. In the evening, the breeze came – in the form of an announcement. Bonaire announced it’s going to enter a light version of lockdown, starting on Monday.
Restaurants are closing. Dive operators too. All non-essential shops will shut from Monday morning – for ten days at least.
In a population of just over 20,000 people, there’s been four, particularly worrying new cases – each from people who worked in very public jobs. A GP, a nursery teacher, someone from the tax office and a person in customs. This means Bonaire has potentially entered the phase of community transmission.
Only a few weeks ago, we were tripping over the constant comment from everyone we met. ‘No virus on the island,’
I remember thinking back, ‘Yeah, you haven’t got the virus – yet. But you will do with your flights from Europe and how no one’s wearing masks around here.’
And I was right. I didn’t want to be right. In the meantime, I stopped wearing a mask like everyone else on Bonaire. Because there was no virus. Urghh.
This Sunday morning, the day started hot again. Windless again, but cloudy. I went off to do my coral clean. It’s the last day before the dive shop closes. I like doing it because that’s what they do here in Bonaire. They grow corals. This is one of the few places which are trying to turn the tide for coral reefs. They’re going to let me know if I can still borrow tanks during lockdown, go down and help keep the coral trees clean.
The sea had been still as a mirror before I went down. When I came up from my dive seventy minutes later, the water was as lumpy as a camel. The sky was now set to thunder. It rocked and rumbled. I took my gear off in the shady area. The two staff at Buddy’s came over to me.
‘We were worried about you in this weather,’ they both exclaimed underneath the graphite clouds.
‘But it was peaceful down there,’ I felt like saying to them. I felt like saying it.
Instead, the thunder split in the air. Oh bollocks.