Today I chose to take the bus home from town. My host mother has a friend who works in town which I can ride with but I know it’s a better way to meet people when I ride the bus. Boy, did I pick a fun day to ride! The 4 o’clock bus is the last bus out of the city on any day of the week, but Mondays and Fridays are the busiest. I got on the bus and waited until it was time to leave. There were others already on the bus and they greeted me with their casual, “y’all right?” and introduced me to others on the bus I had not met yet. I did recognize many faces and others recognized me since my new community is so small.
We began our trip out of town and stopped at the local gas station to fill up. We sat here for about 10 minutes while we waited for deisel to open up. In the mean time a couple gentlemen bought beers and further asked me why I wasn’t drinking. Luckily there was no pressure to drink they just continued on joking and having a good time. Another 15 minutes down the road and we made another quick stop when two men got out and relieved themselves on the side of the road. I couldn’t help but chuckle as I thought about the situation I was in and extreme difference from back home. We cruised along the pot-holed roads listening to caribbean music, chatting and laughing. The three men in front of me seemed to be the jokesters of the group and continuously poked and probed at everyone around them (me included). Still aways from the village we made another stop at a bar where these thirsty men bought more beverages and others relieved themselves. Kids stared at me and youth made conversation but overall I felt included – I was new and different. If only they knew how new and different this all was to me. even though I rarely have riden public transportation in the states I know they don’t make frequent stops for bathroom breaks and ‘beer runs’. It was the most exciting bus ride of my life (so far) … there’s a good chance I will have more like that!