Holetown, Barbados

Ouch!  Direct hit!  Nailed me in the arm!” Me to Evie.

We were in a game of dodgeball-lite, using little green apples we found on the beach.

Me to Scott, “Incoming on your 8!” He narrowly avoided a lobbed apple from Jack.

The beach is a 5-minute walk for our little rental in Holetown Barbados.   The commercial catamarans come in every evening with a boatload of tourists to snorkel the wrecks just offshore and play with the resident stingrays and turtles.  I like it here.

Earlier in the day, our first full day together on the island, Scott deftly handled what could have been an uncomfortable situation.  One of the beach drug dealers catering to the needs to rich and gringo, approached him.  He was very friendly and had a nice smile.  “What can I get for you, man?  A little of X, maybe some Y?”  Scott didn’t really share the specific details of the conversation with me because he’s never sure if and when I’m going to pull out my DARE graduate badge.

Whatever Scott said back when he declined, he must have been friendly because the drug dealer became our buddy.  He now gives Scott a real Caribbean 4 or 5 step handshake whenever he sees us on the beach and he offered to make intros if we need to hire a boat or a car.  Typical stuff outside the LOR (Land of Rules).

Hey Scott, can I talk to you?” the drug dealer to Scott during our dodgeball game.  Scott strolled over, ready to decline again.

As I watched them, Scott stiffened.  Not a good sign.  Ok.  Scott {military Scott}, “Traci, drop the apples. Now, please.  Evie, Jack.  Drop them.”

Confusion of course, but the 3 of us are well trained so we immediately dropped our ammo.  Que paso?  What happened?

Scott shook the guy’s hand in earnest this time – American style – before he came back over to us.  “The apples and the trees they come from are poisonous.  The locals won’t touch them.  Look – see the red bands painted on the trees?  That’s what it means.

Really?  Is this like how the settlers thought tomatoes were poisonous for centuries because of the lead leaching out of the pewter plates?  I’m not buying it.  Calling Dr. Google.  Dr. Google to Traci’s phone, stat.

Yup, Manchineels, aka super poisonous plants… known by their more popular name “Little Apple of Death”.  Solid name. 

“…Manchineel is one of the most dangerous trees in the world.”  They can kill adults.  There is suffering.  No word on kids, but let’s just go ahead and assume.

How is it that I consistently manage to stumble us into the most benign dangerous situations on the regular? Who knew dangerous little apples lurked on the beautiful beaches of paradise?  I see your bet and raise you, Snow White.  I can’t even wrap my mind around telling that story to the Grands.  ‘Yeah… we let them play with the world’s most dangerous fruit.  What?  Why are you getting angry?’

Moral of the story – play dodgeball with balls and always be nice to the local drug dealer, especially if you’re declining.  I’m open to suggestions for what to bring my new favorite drug dealer as a thank you for saving us… a bottle of wine?  Is that appropriate?  I’m new to demonstrating respect and thanks to criminals but I feel compelled.













This situation lasted less than 30 seconds.  I was very careful to make sure we observed this little critter and let him return to the wild ASAP so as not to traumatize him.








These are “those” trees:

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Watching a resident tarpin with other families:


Cost of 1 week of groceries for a family of 4.  It’s in Bajan dollars, so divide by 2.  But still…. STILL.  How does anyone afford to eat here?!?!?  I almost had a heart attack.