Meeting My Birth Father: First Evening

Distant is the best word I could use to describe the days that followed this one. Two days before my trip, I received the following e-mail:

Dear Lance, Just to let you know, there will be a taxi driver to meet you when you arrive tomorrow. Take care see you soon. Keith.

Passport cleared, no phone and one hour late, I worried about my travel arrangements. I exited the terminal and was greeted by the friendly taxi driver. He helped me load my luggage and I apologized for the long wait.

In the taxi I went filled with questions about St. Lucia and my father.

The driver was a friend of Keith. A winding path led to my father's abode with a simple sign designating his property.

We arrived at Keith's home, Apartment Espoir. The sun had set past six, the day's warm, humid air cooled and the sounds of St. Lucia's island life permeated the air. I met my father as I stepped out of the taxi. Feet firmly planted on new terrain, I met my birth father, the first time since I was less than a year old. We exchanged a handshake followed with light hug. He expressed concern about my late arrival–he must have been anxious to see me. I offered to pay for the taxi. Keith waved away my offer and handed the driver a generous tip.

Twenty three hours, with four hours of rest, had passed me  by in a tired haze.

Keith briefed me on the two gates that separated the upper and lower parts of his property.

The second gate led to the housing units of his property. Keith instructed me from above with directions to my apartment. He came around the other side of his property to meet me.

Keith showed me to my room, a studio apartment with a shower, stove and bed. It was my home for the next week.

Our conversation was brief. He discussed the workings of my temporary living space. I agreed to a nice, morning walk before breakfast. My father bid me goodnight and it wasn't long before I fell asleep.

6:30am: To Be Continued