Tag Archives: Marriage Preparation

Highlights of Trinidad Living

The best thing for me about living in Trinidad is getting to see Kevan every day. I am realizing that I have swapped one problem (being far from Kevan) for another (working here and getting a work visa, currently), but it is so worth it. The frustrations of figuring out the paperwork/hoop jumping also feel less significant when I get to do cool new things!

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The more I look at this picture the funnier my face looks. Tan face, white neck, and I’ve somehow achieved a Zorro mask sunglasses tan. Kevan, of course, looks handsome as ever in his outdoor adventure hat. The was taken aboard the “Island Prince.”

A couple of weeks ago Kevan and I participated in a beach cleanup, which was the reason for the boat ride above. Ocean currents cause floating trash to end up on the island of Chacachacare, which is one of the islands off of the northwestern tip of Trinidad.

At the actual beach cleanup, where Kevan was excited that the volunteer in the background fit perfectly into the little container.
At the actual beach cleanup, where Kevan was excited that the volunteer in the background fit perfectly into the little container.

Kevan and I also did a marriage preparation weekend retreat at Mount Saint Benedict. We attended sessions where married couples spoke about their own experiences, and then together Kevan and I went through questions and topics about our future. They were mostly things we had talked about before, but it was nice to have the chance to discuss things intentionally.

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One of the views from where we stayed at the monastery. It was worth braving the mosquitoes to sit outside there for a bit.
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The volunteer who took our picture said, “Pretend you just got married!” which is why I am making that face.

That same weekend we went on a short hike up Mount Tabor. There was once a fire there which wiped out all of the forest, causing potential for a huge landslide. It was reforested with fir trees, which aren’t native to Trinidad. It’s pretty much the only place in Trinidad you can find fir trees, and when you’re walking along there’s a very clear line of deciduous trees ending and fir trees starting.

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It felt a little like being in the U.S. because of the trees 🙂

Last Saturday Kevan’s parents and grandparents threw an engagement party for us. Kevan gave a little speech and did a really great job. He told a short version of our story, which I thought was cute. I was also quite glad that I didn’t have to speak!

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This picture with Kevan’s dad is my favorite from the evening. Also, a lot of people brought us wine, which was a happy surprise.
Most of the guests were the parents' friends, but I met a few new friends of Kevan's as well.
Most of the guests were the parents’ friends, but I met a few new friends of Kevan’s as well.
A nice picture, in case anyone wants to see :)
Here is a nice picture for posterity!

Those have been the big events of the past few weeks. As I think about it, it’s not the big things that are different, just the details. An engagement party can happen anywhere, it’s just that this one had lots of LLB and rum cake. A beach cleanup here is like a highway cleanup somewhere else. You can hike anywhere in the world, the scenery is just different. Despite this, Trinidad feels different to me. The weather, roads, food, people, customs, and many other things are quite different from what I’m used to. Perhaps I’ll try to write about that in the future, too.

 

 

 

 

Long Distance Wedding Planning

A big percentage of my travel preparation is wedding planning. Since the wedding will be in Illinois, and will take place 8 whole months after I move to Trinidad, I’m scrambling to get the big things booked before I leave.

I guess I’m working on the small things too.

And the medium things.

And also working full time and still cleaning up my thesis to submit before the extremely soon deadline of 4 days from now.

From the movie Ponyo

It is much easier to get items shipped in the U.S. rather than sending them to Trinidad, and since the wedding is here it seems counter-productive to plan to get things there just to bring them back here. For these reasons, in addition to thinking about the venue and the photographer and everything else that is supposed to go in the 8-10 months before the wedding time slot, I’m also attempting to order bridesmaids gifts and make name tags and get everyone’s address so that all of the invitations (which I already have) can be addressed and stamped and ready in order to limit my wonderful Maid of Honor’s responsibilities to simply dropping them in the mail in five months. (Not that she wouldn’t gladly write addresses for me, but she’s already doing a ridiculous amount of work for this wedding for me out of the goodness of her heart.)

To be fair, I am enjoying brainstorming details like (inexpensive yet cute) centerpieces so early, and this past weekend I had a blast wedding dress shopping with my mom and three of my very best friends.

Something I am excited for that is lacking, though, is Kevan’s involvement. It’s more than a little depressing to go meet with the priest to discuss wedding details by yourself. In terms of some of the major decisions, there’s only so much that can be communicated through pictures and explanations, and he’s kind of just trusting me to do an alright job.

In 39 days I will go to Trinidad. You’d think after 3 years of long distance, just over a month wouldn’t feel too bad. Yet here I am, complaining to Kevan over Skype every few days that I am tired of being apart and I do not want to be apart anymore, and when we are together I never again want to be apart for more than, say, two weeks if it’s really necessary, but of course less than that if at all possible. Honestly, I think if Kevan lived nearby but happened to not be able to come meet the photographer, I wouldn’t care. It’s just that him not being here for things like that are another reminder that he’s far away. Still.

Oh, well. It’s probably edifying me somehow, right? Redemptive suffering. I’m hopeful that when we’re finally together for good it’ll be that much sweeter.