Photo Credit: Kent Pierce

Little did we know when we moved into GTV in August of 2019 just what this place would come to mean to us, the peace that we would find here and the friends we would meet. This was meant to be a place for our family and friends to come and visit rather than us travelling back to Canada at every break. The first few months we did have regular visitors including an amazing Christmas holiday with our son and his family, a fun week with our nephew and his wife and finally a very special visit with our nieces and their Mom. The icing on the cake was to be a visit with our daughter and her family beginning March 23rd. Just perfect.

The ominous warnings of rough times ahead began in January with the rumblings of a nouvelle corona virus coming out of China, already hitting the news. This was over shadowed somewhat in Cayman by a large dump fire which closed the school down for three days, followed soon after by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck just off the east coast of the island. When an emergency evacuation of a cardiac patient from a passing cruise ship brought Covid-19 to Cayman resulting in thirty two positive cases, our life changed. The repatriation of many expats began in earnest and the the airport was closed on March 22nd.

With the island in a hard lockdown, this little piece of paradise and those who shared it with us, became our entire existence. Our dining room was transformed into an online classroom for the remainder of the school year and virtually everyone else in the complex were working from home as well. We worked out a pattern of visiting every evening at sunset around the pool at the end of every work day, with proper social distancing of course. We would send up a collective cheer whenever we saw the occasional “green flash” as the sun’s last gasp. We set up a lending library on our patio, and shared jigsaw puzzles and any special treats we had with our neighbours. Any opportunity for a celebration; birthday, anniversary whatever, was cause for a party. When our beautiful gardens became overgrown, all of our young lawyers and accountants stepped in to replace the landscapers who were not allowed to work during lockdown by mowing lawns and harvesting the coconut palms.

Moving on from Cayman and GTV will not be easy and the people we grew to know and love through this time together will always be special to us. Chief amongst them are two little miracles whose untimely entry into this world, about the same time as Covid-19 was beginning, at seventeen weeks early and weighing in about a pound each was pretty frightening. We prayed for them and their Dad and Mom for months before we were able to welcome them back to GTV where we’ve had the joy of watching them grow into healthy, beautiful, cheeky, happy little toddlers. It is always nice to have some babies around to cuddle!

To say we will miss GTV and all our friends from here is a gross understatement to be sure, but we count ourselves as incredibly blessed to have been able to weather Covid-19 in a country which took the pandemic seriously and protected their people. We cared for others and felt the loving care of others for us. We leave this all with heavy hearts but also with the reminder that this is what community is all about. We also know we will find new, loving friends wherever we go from here.