On Monday morning, Dominic and I took a walk through Paopao, the residential village nestled in the hills behind Cook’s Bay. We strolled over the bridge and passed through the school, winding gently upward on a well maintained dirt road that was paved in the steeper sections. There were birds to photograph, bungalows to rent, and pineapple farms to explore.
The homes were modest in size, but comfortable and modern. Some were corrugated tin, others were stucco, almost all had glass windows and some kind of fencing surrounding them. We even spotted a BowFlex on one shady patio.
There was a ten year old girl who seemed to be running the place: we saw her first in the morning as we started, and despite wearing only underwear, she had no problem staring us down and asking what we were doing strolling on her street (or at least, that’s what her tone was asking, neither of us speak French, but this girl could probably move mountains with her eyes).
She cruised passed us on her mountain bike later wearing a zebra print jumpsuit. She seemed to ask how the walk went; I motioned toward the vista surrounding us, saying “tres magnifique” to try to get on her good side. She pointed at the camera inquisitively (or was it just an inquisition?), and I flapped my arms like a bird in an attempt to convey our subject. It must have been a successful avian interpretation because she flashed us her first smile and she started saying, “oiseau! oiseau!”
Despite our budding friendship, she wouldn’t let us take her picture. But the mountains, the birds, the fierce guard dog and the wandering puppies, they all were willing to strike a pose.