Somewhere I made a wish, on lucky Denver mint.

By 11:40 AM

Earlier this year, I had the amazing opportunity to work at Dive Grenada, a 5 star PADI certified dive shop located at Flamboyant Hotel, at the end of Grand Anse beach. For the 4+ months that I was there, I made lots of amazing connections and friendships as well as added to my list of amazing life experiences. 

What made it so amazing to me? Lots of things. Whilst the folks around me were busy becoming doctors and lawyers, even though I'm teetering well into my late 20s, there were a few things I've always wanted to do. Many years ago, when I was younger, I had come to that very same dive shop and asked about learning to dive and the cost. Of course then I was too young... probably about 10 or 12 years old. However, after I finally finished up university last year and wanted to get a job that allowed me some extra time to play with, I couldn't pass up this opportunity when I heard they were looking for a dive shop attendant. A few years ago, I had dedicated my summer to conquering my fear of the sea. I had developed a good relationship with the lifeguards and was able to persuade them to help me on my quest. As fate would have it, Andre, the lifeguard and dear friend that went out with me the most, helped me score my first(and only) job on a sailboat where I got to practice my free diving skills that he taught me on professional snorkel tours. Then, it so happens that he had worked at Dive Grenada coincidentally prior to my arrival there.

I had the delightful experience of being in the sea almost every day, carrying out tours guided by yours truly, learn about marine life live and direct and be in the position to find out as much as I wanted. Phil and Helen, the owners, were awesome. Phil was in the British Navy and Helen was a medical doctor in the UK. They were incredibly patient with my millions of questions regarding health and safety with scuba diving as well as identifying marine life. I was blessed to be around such highly skilled and highly patient people with so many amazing life stories they were willing to share with ease. I particularly looked forward to Phil's random life stories like when he told us, the staff, the proper and real way to walk with a staff as a shepherd if ever we ventured to become one in Scotland. It was so random, yet so precious and endearing. 

Also, as with everyone, nothing is ever perfect. However, they were among my best professional experiences to date. I don't remember if I had told Phil, but it was truly refreshing to have a boss that addressed personal and individual issues personally. I wasn't made aware of other staff transgressions, nor were they made aware of mine. He was incredibly patient and understanding and should something pop up that he doesn't like... he'd simply pull you aside and address it privately. My collective recent work experiences to date locally seem to trend with your boss either shouting at you in front of everyone or in other cases, shouting at the customer. I don't recall ever witnessing that there. The staff, including the two dogs Jack & Jerry, were just as friendly and welcoming as well. I made some amazing bonds there. I still meet up with my old coworkers from time to time to catch up. My most amazing underwater shots, that you're going to see (not in this post), were taken by Ricardo, who was also one of my dive instructors.

Ultimately, I was faced with the current job opportunity I'm at now which I felt was a good career move and we parted on good terms. I still drop by every time I'm in the area. I won't lie, I miss the place and the people. My current office is located in Black Bay, St. John. Every day as I venture to the office, I traverse the same route on land along the coast as I did when I worked there. It pulls my heart strings sometimes to be high up on land and not dashing to the Marine Protected Area by boat, prepping to gear up and enter the water. The good news is a few of my projects are going to be sea based and I was given the privilege and trust of the assignment from my experiences from Dive Grenada.

Working there is definitely not a decision I regret and one I would encourage any 20 something year old, even those falling into 30 to try at least once. The sea has a way of calming the spirit and reminding oneself that you're a part of the huge ecosystem and world, and not the one that controls it. Who doesn't need such a reminder from time to time?

Half way through working there, my Ricoh underwater camera finally arrived and I was able to get some beautiful shots from some of my snorkel trips and scuba diving experiences. Even though work has doubled up on me since I started the new job and projects are finally about to roll out, I'm finally dedicating time to edit and post about my experiences there in pictures. 

Hope you enjoy! These were taken in Flamingo Bay.

What did you think? Post a comment. (Click on the post title to open up the post and you'd be able to comment at the bottom.)

Oh... and I have more pics where these came from... expect some more underwater posts!
Love Shell-aye

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Memories in F minor

By 10:00 AM

Life Lessons #19: Sometimes in life.

I've been doing some reflecting on life's strange ways and perception. Often we can be placed in positions where it's easy to pat oneself on the back for being objective. However, being objective as with many things, is limited by the amount of knowledge and understanding of the situation.

You can spend most of your understanding to date believing a situation to be one way, and in one day learn that your perception was wrong. Like spending your life thinking your grandmother didn't like nor care for you, and a year after her death, discover letters and gifts for you returned to her due to mailing to the wrong address. Or spending most of your life growing up with your mother as a single parent, genuinely feeling like your father doesn't like or approve of your existence, and discover in one visit, it couldn't be further from the truth.

What do we do in such a situation? In some cases, it could be a happy ending. A new path to a different relationship is forged. A 'nothing happens before its time' moment. In others? What does it really change? How much time has to pass to make huge revelations irrelevant? To what degree of a revelation need to be to be considered valid enough to trump the experiences life tossed your way? What does it really change? The people in the situation are still the same people. While a revelation may cast them in a different light...does it always necessarily change what has become your truth to understanding how to deal with them? If someone beat you badly for years, does it matter if they reveal a sympathetic sad story in the end? Does it change the way that experiences shaped and molded your interactions with others... Because that is the reality. Life is happening while the secret life is happening. Emotions, defensive reactions learned and so forth are developed. Does this disappear instantly just because you learn to believe what you learn to be not? 

I've come to learn its too easy to pin selfishness on people. As a friend pointed out to me yesterday, who ISN'T selfish? As humans, at the core, are our actions based off of selfish desires? For example, let's say you have two pieces of fried fish and offer a piece to your friend. One of the pieces is bigger than the other. Who gets the bigger piece? Do you take the bigger piece because it's yours and your offer and you really want the fish for whatever personal reasons, be it hunger, etc? Or do you volunteer it even if deep down you want it to satisfy your conscience more than your stomach with this act of kindness and generosity? Either choice is motivated by a selfish desire on some level - be it to to quell self doubt on being a good, kind person or to give in to the raw desire of wanting and having what you want for the pure reason of wanting it. The desire of wanting even in the selfless ways are in hopes of gaining something. I remember coming down to the last scenes in "7" the movie (on the seven deadly sins), even though the man had orchestrated the 7 deaths to illustrate his point of societal flaws and insisted it was a selfless act of forcing folks to deal with something real and bigger than all of us... it was pointed out that he took pleasure in each killing. And he admitted that he did, but then he asked who doesn't derive some satisfaction from their work on a deeper smug level? Like when the cop was chasing him hoping to catch and kill him. Does it make the cop bad to have derived pleasure from the skilled chase and hopeful killing of a serial killer? He would've been doing a societal good, but the pleasure on a personal level goes deeper than that to pride at oneself and joy of illustrated skill. 

These situations then also beg the question of perceptions of good and bad.  It is possible to the perceived right thing to the masses for the wrong reasons. It is also possible to do something that looks immediately wrong but with good intentions. Is murder less of a murder if it was killing a serial rapist? Is a gift of full university coverage from a wealthy man less of a gift to a female if he has hidden intentions of "special" returns on his investment?

Life mandates that we each get faced with at least one of these perplex situations throughout our lifetimes. Some folks have a more dramatic revelation than others but the take away lesson is the same; Treat each situation as individual, don't discredit the notion of your own personal bias and perception is not to be confused with fact. Sometimes the reason behind the action is irrelevant and other times it is. 

To wrap this up I'll close with a quote by Chronic Future from one of their songs, "Sometimes you are the flight of the birds, sometimes you're watching the flight of the birds and other times? You're yourself." (Sometimes you’re the spectacle people can’t help but to watch; other times you’re watching things in life happen; and other times you’re just you, completely away from all of those things.)

Let me hear what you think, drop a comment. (Click on the post title to open up the post and you'd be able to comment at the bottom.)

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