The Sounds of Barbados

“You’ll get used to it.”

“I can’t even sleep, now, if I can’t hear the frogs.”

As I put my pillow over my head, earplugs in, I contemplated the advice offered on the Barbados Expats Facebook page on the sound of the frogs at night. Our place is right beside a field and the creaking, cracking, high-pitched cacophony drowned out the surf that was the dominant sound during the day.

How can something so tiny make so much noise?
photo credit of whistling frog to Shannon Coutts

And then the rooster started crowing. What?!? I could understand if it was dawn, but it was two in the morning! Maybe the security lights outside were confusing it? But before I could give it too much thought, a mosquito buzzed in my ear and distracted me. Here they call them “mozzies” instead of Canada’s “skeeters” or “tiny winged emissaries from Hell.” (OK, maybe that last one is just mine.) They are smaller, but just as torturing.

I must admit, there were a few nights during those first weeks when I lay awake wondering how wise of a move I had made. But they were right; after two months I find the frogs a soothing background noise, although I do wear earplugs some nights to cut the shrillest tones. I don’t even notice the rooster anymore.

South coast surf

During the day the surf again takes over. I hear in the distance the tootle of the ZR bus horn, coming to the stop up the hill by the church. A quick courtesy beep usually accompanies the sound of a passing car, as there is a blind corner by our place. There are not many cars on this dead-end road by Silver Sands.

Sometimes the wind in the palm trees matches the surf, and I still delight in the pounding rain of a tropical rainstorm, not just because I know it will cool the air. A month ago there was wild thunder and lightening to go with it.

And here comes the wind and rain!

But now it’s dry and the weed wackers start. Good God! Does no one have a lawnmower? They even clear the grass of empty lots with them, revving, revving, revving… The gardeners at the high-end complex across the street finish off with leaf blowers. Even with headphones on during Zoom calls, we need to close doors and windows. And then it gets hot.

Yes, he is in our back yard.

Not everyone Scott works with knows he is in Barbados. On a recent group call, someone paused and said, incredulously, “Is that a rooster?”

Some nights there is music from Tipsy Tequila, the bar and bistro close to us, but usually we are either not home or at the event ourselves, those weekends when they have live bands. Other times, Wednesdays or Sundays, we hear distant singing from the church.

Live music at Tipsy Tequila
”All Covid-19 Protocols in Place”

These are the sounds of my new community, and I accept them all for what they are, the soundtrack to this new life I am living.

Well, except for maybe those mozzies!

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