Friday, February 29, 2008

Farewell, Dominica...


There are really no secrets on Dominica, or for that matter, amongst those of us who love Dominica where ever we live. So, I will share publicly that I am returning for now to the frozen gray wasteland of my birth.

There is no one reason for my decision, and it may not be permanent. But for right now, it is the easiest way for me to once again have my own home. You see, I have been longing to have my own home again for the two and a half years we have lived on Dominica. We have had difficulties here that few encounter, like a major landslide which rendered our land unbuildable. Anyway, we bought a tiny alternate plot and were poised to build when we did some reevaluation and decided to wait. Here is why:

  • Our finances are diminished and we are reluctant to invest more money before the government pays us for the purchase of our land which they are excavating to keep the road open to Laudat. We have been assured by all in government that they will pay us, since they must have the whole property for the stabilization of the hillside. But they have yet to make an offer of payment for the land. Meanwhile we wait and watch ourselves getting older and sadder. Mr. Wizard is going to stay on the island a while to try to nudge some resolution along. Once our palm is crossed with silver, we will be better positioned to proceed with building.
  • As you may recall, Dominica declined to give me a license to practice as a nurse here. I miss my profession of over 25 years, and I look forward to working a while longer. Already several US hospitals have written me about openings, which is gratifying.
  • I am tired. Perhaps we both are. We know that building a house here will not be easy, and my ability to fight is depleted.
  • Property is so damn cheap in the US, I can go back, buy a small house and have the immediate gratification of painting my own walls without having to go through the fight of building. Maybe eventually we will summer in the US and spend winters here. Who knows.
  • I am concerned about some of the choices currently being made here. Nuff said. Clearly, it is for Dominicans to decide the future of this island jewel.
I feel ambivalent about this decision. I love Dominica. I know I will crave the shades of green, the unique smell of this blooming island, the sight of the sea outside my door. And I love the friends we have here, who have been wonderful. But I am tired of the struggle all the way to my bones.

I do look forward to seeing forsythia, dogwood, redbud, and that peculiar shade of pale newborn green you only see in springtime. Until then, picture me wrapped in an electric blanket set to high, only wandering as far as the next outlet...

livingdominica: Thank you for your kindness and support, Gentle Readers.

18 comments:

Tom said...

A little regrouping may be just the thing. You can squirrel away some money and refocus on the future.

You scared the bejeepers out of me when I saw Leaving Dominica. I thought that one of you was ill. I will continue to follow your madcap highjinks as you reaquaint yourself with antifreeze and all things Woolen.

Jen Miller said...

Thank you, Tom! We are both healthy and sure this is the right decision for now.

I gave my cashmere sweater to a friend who is kindly returning it when I arrive. So, at least my reintroduction to wool will be very soft...

blueright said...

With a twinge of sadness in my heart I say 'Thank you for your gift of giving through Living Dominica.'

-Larry

Jen Miller said...

Thank you, Larry. Your support and kindness is so appreciated.

Barbara said...

You are really leaving Dominica?
I was shocked when I read your blog this morning although I know it has been a struggle for you.
Life in the Caribbean! it's not easy.
I also did not know that they turned down your license for nursing. why?
oh shit, I shouldn't even ask. I can just picture the whole process.
I had good friends here who moved from the States. he is a psychiatrist , started his application for a license before he even got here,was told no problem, was told we need you, yadda yadda yadda.
2 1/2 years later..still no license.. can't practice.. stuck.
they finally cashed it in and went back to the States a few months ago. I lost good friends and the island..the stupid island..lost a qualified psychiatrist who could have done so much good here.

When are you leaving? Do you know where you are going?
I am sure it was difficult for you and your husband to come to this decision.
I hope things do work out for you.
Barbara

Jen Miller said...

Hi Barbara! Yes, I am going on Wednesday back to the Midwest to torment my friends and relations. It is a sad time, not an easy decision.

Canuck said...

Wishing you happiness and peace on your journey, Jen, Wiz & pups.
I know this cannot have been an easy decision for you guys and I'm sure this isn't the last we've heard of you and Dominica...good, bad or otherwise!

Billy said...

good luck

Kendra said...

You will be very missed in Dominica. But I understand your reasons for leaving. I can always send you pictures to bring a little piece of Dominica to you in the States!

Islander said...

I just want to wish you all the best. Maybe things will be better for you next time around.

Rhea said...

What a big decision! I am intrigued. I will stay tuned.

Anonymous said...

Ouch - sad news! I enjoyed vicariously experiencing Dominica through your blog. Best of luck with your return to the Great White North.
Dan.

PS: For them to deny you a nursing license seems absurd beyond measure..

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

Oh my, haven't been here in a while and am quite saddened by your decision. But, you and yours have to make the best choice for yourselves. So, best of luck on the move. I am going to read some more to get some context to what is going on.

God bless!

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Leslie said...

Hey Jen- Good article in the WSJ.
I was hoping to meet you sooner than later, but I have faith we will eventually. It goes without saying, but I'll say it - reading your blog and emailing with you was a pleasure on my own road to DA.
Leslie

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Anonymous said...

You are really melodramatic.

Jen Miller said...

I agree with you, Anonymous. My emotions were out of control then.