I'm pretty bad at keeping certain secrets, mainly because I get too excited to contain myself and my facial expression is a dead giveaway. So I realised I was up for a challenge when the opportunity arose to surprise my Mum and brothers for Christmas.
I wasn't planning on going home this year because of my internship and had, after a long period of denial, accepted the fact that I would be experiencing my first cold Christmas. But it seems that Fate had other things in mind and after a change of plans, I was face with the prospect of actually spending Christmas with my family in Barbados. My Dad and step mum Ana very kindly offered to help me with my ticket - I cried a lot of happy tears when I was told this and continued to do so whenever it hit me thereafter. Just over a week later my ticket was booked, I quit my internship and was on my way home. I hadn't seen my brothers and some of my best friends in a year and I was filled with a sense of relief and a joy that I hadn't felt in a while.
At this point my friends and immediate family were sure that I wouldn't be making it and the pity card had been played well in order to pull of my planned surprise. I even had friends offer to pay for my ticket! I had to write down a record of my 'lie'plan, so that I didn't mess up and tell a different story at any point - I was spending Christmas in The Hague and New Year's Eve in London as far as they were all concerned.
The 18 hour trek home dragged on at an excruciatingly slow pace; waking up in Amsterdam at 3.30 am, waiting in Frankfurt for what seemed like a week and then transferring in St.Lucia before finally touching down in Bimshire. That enormous sense of relief that washes over me when I first glimpse our little rock from the plane window never fades makes all the chaos of travel disappear. It's so worth it - I'm home!
Kathy (my neighbour) had developed quite an elaborate plan for my surprise; I was to be picked up from the airport, smuggled to their house and hidden in a box disguised as a giant Christmas gift. I was worried about someone 'spotting' me at the airport and telling my family before I got home - goes to show how small Barbados is! Being the techie geek that I am and wanting my Dad, Ana and Alfie to feel as involved as possible after helping me, we set up some cameras & the ipad beforehand to capture the moment of truth:
I am so incredibly grateful to be home to celebrate another Caribbean Christmas in the sun.