I am woman, hear me roar

Today was one of those days.  One of those great days.

Before I came to Guadeloupe, I knew that people here really enjoyed doing things outside.  This is partially because there is more to do outside than inside, and partially because it’s fun regardless of what the inside options are.  However, having grown up in Kansas (flat with no oceans), I had never really had an opportunity to try half of the things that people here do for fun.  I told myself before I came here, though, that I wanted to be willing to try things. It might test my body a bit, it might be a bit difficult, but I wanted to try.

Today I was invited to go to Ilet du Gosier, the small island off of Gosier, the town that I am living in. (In my new apartment, woo hoo!)  I went with Katy, Danielle, and Elisabeth.  Elisabeth and Danielle had planned on swimming to the island while Katy was going to take a small boat to bring our food and supplies.  I was welcome to choose either option. I chose taking the boat as I wasn’t sure how long the swim would be and I just didn’t want to get too tired and not be able to make it.  I wanted to get a good glimpse of the path before deciding to swim.  On the boat, though, I looked at the path and thought, “That’s doable.  Next time I come, I think I’d like to swim that.”

Katy and I got on the island and waited for Elisabeth and Danielle.  When they arrived, we found a spot on the island to put our things and then we put on our snorkeling gear and got in the water.  It was a nice swim.  I saw several different types of fish, sea urchins, and coral.  It was easy and relaxed.

After our snorkeling, we sat down and ate a lovely lunch together right by the sea.  We could see Katy, Hubert, and Elisabeth’s house from where we were sitting.  After lunch, Elisabeth and I took the short walk to the lighthouse on the island to get that view as well.  Essentially, everywhere you looked there was a ridiculous amount of beauty.

As we were packing up to head back to Gosier,  I was asked, once again, if I wanted to swim or take the boat.  I thought about how I wanted to try new things, what good exercise it would be, and how it looked far, but not too far. So, while taking the boat would certainly be easier, I said, “I think I’d like to swim it.”

And ladies and gentlemen, swim it, I did.

It was an interesting swim that was more tiring on my arms than anything else.  Swimming that kind of distance while competing with waves and such is hard work.  I would go fast, then slow, then fast again.  I saw the incredible sight of a school of fish swimming next to a boat.  I saw more sea urchins, seaweed, and other things crawling on the sea floor.  And yes, there was even one time when I looked over to my right and saw a jellyfish bobbing dangerously close to me.  The swim took about 20-25 minutes with a brief, minute-long break.

By the end, I was tired but also extremely energized.  I had conquered the swim.  I didn’t need any help.  My body could do it.  I could do it.  I am woman, hear me roar.

Photo 1: We swam the path where the boats are, from the small island on the right to the town. Photo 2: Me, in my snorkelin' gear. Photo 3: Elisabeth and me on lighthouse side of the island

Photo 1: We swam the path where the boats are, from the small island on the right to the town. Photo 2: Me, in my snorkelin’ gear. Photo 3: Elisabeth and me on lighthouse side of the island

I am thankful for these moments of trying new things, of getting outside comfort zones, and seeing things in new ways. They re-energize me, feed me, and help me uncover new layers of who I am and what I am capable of doing. They awesome and wonderful blessings, and I am so excited to see what other new opportunities God throws my way during my time here in Guadeloupe.

So. What new thing will you do today?

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