Monday, December 27, 2010

Goodbye Dominica, Hello Frozen Michigan

Hey, guess what, I'm still alive, and I am now back in America. The last test & final exams went alright so in a little under 2 weeks I will be moving to my new place in Saginaw. So a brief review of the month of December:

After Mini 3 I had every intention of heading to the beach for a last time to go snorkeling - changed into my swimsuit, started walking to the beach, and 1/3 of the way there it started raining. So spent the rest of the afternoon playing games & visiting with friends in the CAC. The rest of the week is a blur of studying micro & pharm for finals.

Now finals for 4th semester are cumulative over 2 semesters & broken into morning & afternoon segments. Well, I finished the first part around 10am, giving me 3hrs to kill until part 2, so I decided to walk down by the beach for the last time & take some pictures. Unfortunately, the waves were huge...

Yeah, I had to walk home & change into dry clothes. After finishing the rest of the exam in the afternoon, I tried a second round at the beach, determined that I would bid the island farewell from the Caribbean Sea. Well, the waves were just as big, but this time we meant to get wet. Riding the waves is a blast, right? My friend Dan & I walked to the end of the beach, and we were getting back into the water on our way back, but on my way in, a huge wave swept up & washed the beach out from under my feet, and oh great joy:
I walked the rest of the way back the beach with blood dripping down my leg. Lovely. Yeah, that was enough of the beach. Limped home to shower & change before meeting some friends for dinner, and as I walked up my steps I realized that my keys were in my locker on campus. Oh yeah, yippee. Thought about calling my landlady to see if she had come by yet to drop off my security deposit because if not maybe she'd come let me in & we'd kill 2 birds with one stone (wow, that's a horrible & cruel expression...). BUT guess where my cell phone was. No, not my locker. It was locked in my apartment. So had to walk back to campus for my keys & then back home to clean up & then back toward campus for dinner. Had my last island dinner with Mike & Ana to say goodbye. Love & will miss them.

So then, I had smooth travels home on Friday the 17th. One hour in Puerto Rico, then the 13-year-old Puerto Rican boy sitting next to me for the 3hr flight was very bored & chatty. He highly recommends that I read the Twilight books. Then I walked off the plane in Miami to pretty much walk right back on the last plane home. Woot, no delays or missed connections this time!

Monday rolled around and brought with it my first meltdown dose of culture shock. It started with my car doors being frozen shut, thus making me slightly late for my morning doctor's appointment. I pulled my dad out of the bathroom to help me with my doors, and when he went back in he closed the garage door. So I try to put in the code to open the door, but it only went part of the way up, so I freaked out thinking I was locked out of the house. Went around & pounded on the front door to get my Dad to let me in when I think he's in the shower. Come to find out the door was unlocked (which makes no sense), and he had put the automatic garage door opener in my car too. All very minor things, but when I got in to my room at the doctor I laid there & cried & it just dawned on me that a part of my life had ended & it was time to start the next adventure...

Stay tuned for the next post all about the beautiful new addition to my family.
Storm :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Tis the Season

Alright, in case you've lost count I will return to my American life exactly 2 weeks from today. Being that I'll be returning to a Michigan winter I decided that I'm going to dedicate this post to the things that I appreciate about winter/the holiday season... you know, in case I forget about 3 weeks from now when my car gets stuck in the snow & I can't feel my toes.

- fires in the wood stove
- fuzzy socks &/or slippers
- wearing pants again (nobody will know if I don't shave! lol)
- hot chocolate
- Christmas movies on ABC family & Lifetime
- decorating the tree & putting up lights
- baking cookies
- flannel sheets (the softest, most wonderful sheets I've ever had)
- getting cozy & snug under mounds of blankets
- Christmas shopping
- cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning

Yeah, that's a good start. I tried to keep that to the things specific to the season, but there are just so many things to look forward to about going home. Definitely can't wait to curl up on the couch with the cat & read a book. Anyway, add to my list. What are your favorite things about winter?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 30 - The end of the challenge!

Day 30 - A picture of someone you miss.

The first one that came to mind was my grandma on my mom's side. Unbelievably, she died over 12 years ago now. I don't think you ever really stop missing people like that though, and yes, I still think of her quite often. Anyway, since it has been so long I don't have any digital pictures of her.

I did recently bring up some old pictures of James, however:

He was my most serious high school boyfriend. A part of me thought I was going to marry him, but he broke up with me when he went out of remission. James had Hodgkin's Disease, which I didn't know about when we met (though I was a minority in that respect), and he died in October 2004. I never got to say goodbye. I never told anyone, but the next spring I went to his grave with flowers that I picked myself.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 29

Day 29 - A picture that can always make you smile.

Ok, so being that this is my blog & I can do whatever the heck I want, I am once again cheating & posting 2 photos of completely unrelated things. The first is aww-worthy, and it's a picture of one of my favorite people in the world, my godson:

Beautiful moment, right? I sure miss that boy.

Ok, and now the second is just goofy & fun-spirited. My surprise kiss on the cheek from Mr Liles of Love & Theft. :D I feel like the look on my face is priceless. ha As is the look on Eric's face (toga boy in the yellow shirt ;))

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day 28

Day 28 - A picture of something you're afraid of.

Alright, I found the perfect image here. However, being "all rights reserved" or whatever, the best I could do to share that one is the link there. Go look at it. It PERFECTLY conveys my feelings toward an immensely evil creature... bees. Yeah, my arch nemesis:

Scary, right? Those who have spent time with me outside in the summer already know this fact about me since just hearing a buzz by my ear makes me jump & squeal & run for cover. I can't help it, seriously. And yes, realistically I know it's not that bad. If I see a bee, I can usually suppress my reaction now, but if I'm caught unaware, well, the neighborhood will know there's evil lurking near me. Also, you can save your "if you stay still it won't bother you" spiel for someone who doesn't know better. The only 2 times I've been stung were when I was standing still & unaware. No more!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Day 27

Day 27 - A picture of yourself and a family member.

I already featured my mom, so here is my dad & me in Frankenmuth last Christmas. :) He sorta spoils me & dotes on me. I don't mind. ;)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Day 26

Day 26 - A picture of something that means a lot to you.

Ok, admittedly I have a bunch of Chuck Wicks autographs, and I love them all. But I really love this picture, and it means a lot to me because Alea (my friend in the picture with me of course) got it signed and sent it to me right before I left for Dominica. It's always nice to know someone is thinking of you, and the picture was in this wonderful card, both wishing me well.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Day 25

Day 25 - A picture of your day.

So it's not a holiday here, but it's hard enough to be away from all your loved ones, let alone on a holiday, so a few families organized a wonderful potluck dinner on the seaside deck. Actual turkeys, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, the works. 100x better than the pathetic excuse for a Thanksgiving I had last year buying dinner through SGA. That's a story for another day though.

And here is a group photo of everyone who came (minus the photographer who was all too glad to escape the photo).

The End. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 24

Day 24 - A picture of something you wish you could change.

If I could change anything right now it would be the date. Screw November. If it could be December 18, when I'm done with my ICM practical, mini 3, and that terrifying cumulative final, and back home, that would be amazing. It's so time.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 23

Day 23 - A picture of your favorite book.

I don't even remember why I decided that I wanted to read this book, but I got it off of which is a website that lets you trade books with people all across the country. Sadly you have to pay almost $5 for shipping now, so it's only worth it if you are wanting to acquire books that would cost $10+ at a store. Anyway, back to the book. I wasn't disappointed. It might be a little hard for some people to follow since he's bouncing around in time, but I didn't think it was that difficult. And actually, it helped me keep up with the happenings in the movie (also good, but they changed some things). If you haven't seen the movie yet, please please read the book first. A little warning though, some people may cry.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 22

Day 22 - A picture of something you wish you were better at.

I don't have a picture of my own guitar here, but this one looks like it. I've already decided to pick it back up when I return stateside next month. Even asked for new strings for Christmas. :) Gotta finish learning "Stupid Boy" - beautiful guitar part. Any other song suggestions for me?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Days 20 & 21 - oops

Yeah, yeah, it occurred to me around 11 last night as I was trying to fall asleep that I didn't post yesterday's challenge. It was an easy one though. In fact, so easy that I already posted 2 pictures that qualified. BUT ok, I'll do it again (and even come up with a fresh new answer).

Day 20 - A picture of somewhere you'd love to travel.

This would be a picture of Hamilton Pool Preserve in Austin, TX. Doesn't it look cool? I found it on this site. But in general I'd like to go to Texas/Austin, and then I could see my friend Veronica!

Day 21 - A picture of something you wish you could forget.
I feel like this is a dumb challenge, because who takes pictures of things they don't want to remember??

Ok, here goes:

I wish I could forget how stupid/naive I was to believe that Luke Bryan was actually reading & responding to my messages on myspace. In retrospect, I should have known better, what with the likely large volumes of mail he receives, but honestly, it IS signed "Luke" as if he had written it. I asked him in person at his fan club party in 2009, and at least he was honest with me, but lying isn't cool, and the whole scenario made me lose a lot of respect for him as a person.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Day 19

Day 19 - A picture of you when you were little.

That would be my 5th grade picture. Wasn't I a cutie? This is the only picture I have here of me when I was little because I had my mom scan it & send it to me to enter a contest. I won a Joe Nichols autographed copy of Country Weekly back before he was on the celebrity edition of "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?". :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 18

Day 18 - A picture of your biggest insecurity.

Yeah, the bathing suit body of course. Not a fan of my belly so I always wear tankinis to keep it in. It works to preserve my modesty too. ;) That pic is from Traverse City btw. I'm standing in the freezing Lake Michigan in August.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 17

Day 17 - A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life recently.

Well this is slightly disappointing. You can't read that, can you? [edit: it looks like you can click the picture & see it if you care] That's the e-mail I got telling me I get to move home to Michigan for 5th semester. Exactly 1 month from today I will be done in Dominica & going home for Christmas, and then I'll move to Saginaw in January, and I'll actually get to see my family more frequently than every 4 months again. Granted, yes, I'll be out of town where I have to go to classes, study, and do clinicals, but I can go to the mall with my mom on weekends. I get to hug my parents on my birthday, and go to my Grandparents' house on Easter (most likely).

Aside from the specific joys that were the reason/s I wanted to go to Michigan instead of Florida, there's the general things about being back in the US that are super exciting too. Let me tell ya, you don't know think about how awesome Walmart and Target are until you can't go to them anymore. If I have a craving for chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream at 2am or feel like renting a movie or realize that I forgot to buy post-its (for instance), I'm gonna be able to hop in my car and go get them. Even if it's a Sunday...

Now somebody please remind me of this excitement in about 2.5 months or so when I'm whining that I can't feel my toes and don't want to die of hypothermia.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 16

Day 16 - A picture of someone who inspires you.

Whew, let me tell you, this one took some effort. I haven't felt terribly inspired lately. I threw around some ideas, and even considered putting off this challenge until tomorrow, but I sort of felt like that would be cheating. Being at a loss, I decided to look up some definitions, and found this one from "to produce or arouse (a feeling, thought, etc.): to inspire confidence in others." SO, I decided to choose someone who did just that, inspired confidence in me.

Dr. Van de Merwe was my college physics professor at Indiana Wesleyan University. I've gotta say, physics definitely was not my cup of tea. That stuff is hard! But he was super encouraging, and he went above & beyond to help me through the class when I was feeling hopeless. He actually met me in the student center after hours to help me work on problems once. He pushed me to succeed and made me feel like this insurmountable obstacle could actually be overcome. And in the end I made it through physics, so I can make it through the rest of this crazy schoolwork, right?

Also in the picture is Jenny, another amazing & inspiring person, but that is perhaps a story for another day.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 15

Day 15 - A picture of something you want to do before you die.

After careful consideration I decided to stick with the classic: tour Europe. Particularly I want to visit:

Venice, Italy and

Valencia, Spain. I've been in love with Spain since high school Spanish class, and who doesn't want to go to Venice? Seriously, a city where the roads are water? Heck yes. Now if only we could solve that pesky problem of paying for the trip...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 14

Day 14 - A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without.

So I thought I already had a question like this, but it wasn't quite the same. So anyway, that's my aunt Karen, mom, and Aunt Cheryl. Love my family. We have lots of fun on our "girls' only" type trips, and they're all super supportive & encouraging.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day 13

Day 13 - A picture of your favorite band or artist.

Clay Walker - my first country love. :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day 12

Day 12 - A picture of something you love.

Cuddles with Oscar. :) He is such a sweet wonderful baby. I seriously don't understand how anyone can not love animals. They're great companions, affectionate, and can behave crazy to entertain you. hehehe

And another love:
My wall of musicians. Some of the pix are autographed, but mostly it's just good memories of good times.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day 11

Day 11 - A picture of something you hate.

I think it's safe to say that I HATE smoking more than anything. I hate the smell. I hate the attitude that smokers have. I hate the fact that if someone is smoking within 50 feet of me, even outside, I can't freaking breathe. Pretty sure my right to oxygen trumps your right to this disgusting habit. And I chose this pic because that's how they sell the cigarettes here. It's perfect. ha

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 10

Day 10 - A picture of the person you do the most messed up things with.

Alright, I don't think of myself as doing anything actually "messed up", so I'm gonna stretch this one to "crazy things", and since my range of crazy varies depending on who I'm with, I'll make today "A picture of the person with whom you've done the craziest thing". (noticed I fixed the grammar too. haha)

This is my best friend from back home, Tami, and this pic is from May 2009 at Coyote Joe's for a kick-off for the Downtown Hoedown. We went to see Luke Bryan, but that's not crazy. Then we saw him again the next night. No, that's still not it. But on Saturday, we got up at like 6am and drove 3 hours across the state to see him again at Walmart. I just wanted a hug. lol Granted, he was supposed to be there for 2 hours, and we only saw like 5 or 6 songs because he started early, and then left early as well. But ya know, it was still fun, and we got hugs & autographs & I got Kent to sign my drumstick. And we made it back in time to catch Bomshel play in the afternoon.

Sorry if that's not "messed up"/crazy enough for you. ;)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day 9

Day 09 - A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most.

My mom is amazing. If I ever have a problem, she's the one I call, no matter how ridiculous or embarrassing it is. She supports my decisions, encourages me to appreciate my life, and helps me feel better when nothing can really be done.

BTW, this picture is from the Eastern Caribbean cruise my family went on for spring break in my senior year of high school, and it goes everywhere with me.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 8

Day 08 - A picture that makes you laugh.

Alright, I decided to bend the rules & use 2 pix for this one. First there's the goofy pose with Chuck Wicks at his fan appreciation party - CMA Music Fest 2009.

Then there's also Alicia with the awesome chicken mailbox.
As you can see, we love the chicken mailbox. I don't remember which one of us pulled over the car for this, but it was beautiful. lol And this was in April 2010.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day 7

Day 07 - A picture of your most treasured item.

Yeah, I know it's kinda lame/sad, but I rely on my laptop for so much. This is my connection to all my loved ones back home, my source of entertainment, my study tool, and storage for all my pictures & music. Computers = awesome.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Day 6

Day 06 - A picture of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day.

Alright, I'm struggling with this one. I considered saying my aunt because she spent today shopping with my mom, haha. I also thought, well, maybe Clint, the Love & Theft merch guy so I could spend the day with those boys, but not sure I'd want to see the boys being boys. Might not like everything I see, right? Then I thought, maybe I should be someone who has a horrible life so I appreciate what I have more. Anyway, I've finally settled on trading places with...

the incredibly talented & beautiful Keith Urban. I'd like to know what it's like to play guitar like that man. Holy smokes. And to be so adored and stalked. I think it would be interesting to experience the talent & fame & fortune, both good & bad aspects, and I think it would give me a different sort of perspective & appreciation for my musicians. Plus, I feel like men are this whole other species, so why not be one for a day? lol

Friday, November 5, 2010

Day 5

Day 05 - A picture of your favorite memory.

It's amazingly hard to pick ONE favorite memory, but CMA fest 2009 was wonderful. This picture was from Thursday night, after a 2.5hr storm delay that cut Reba's set to 3 songs & had like 50,000 fans taking cover in the halls of LP Field. Afterward Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, and Brad Paisley still played (tho shortened sets), and since a lot of people left thinking the rest of the night would be canceled security was more lenient with the photo line. For anyone who is unfamiliar with CMA Music Festival, if you buy a 4-day pass you have access to a photo line that walks right in front of the stage no matter what seats you buy tickets for, as is evidenced by this picture. Anyway, normally security rushes the crowd along, but with the lack of people they let us stand and watch for the last 3 songs of the night. I got my first (& probably only) picture with Brad Paisley (hahaha), and he reached down & touched my hand. woo. Besides that though, it's just a night that I'll always remember: going through the photo line for Reba, camping out in the hall waiting for the rain to stop, chatting with strangers, watching the storm in the stadium lights from the hallway, running barefoot back to the photo line so I wouldn't fall in my flip-flops... Yeah, probably not things most people would recall fondly, but it was good. :) And Dierks joining Brad onstage was incredible.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 4

Day 04 - A picture of your night.

Being a Thursday night, I required 2 pix. I know, my life is super exciting, but this is just how it goes. Private Practice is going to be intense though since Charlotte got attacked at the end of last week's episode. Ya know, I keep saying I'm gonna stop watching because I hate that they killed off Dell, made Sam an immoral murderer, and had the characters all abandon Dell's daughter to social services. I actually dislike all of the characters now, but I have this problem that I have to know what's happening. I can't even stop watching terrible movies (like I sat through The Boogeyman, and Napoleon Dynamite).

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day 3 & Wet Dominica adventures

Day 03 - A picture of the cast from your favorite show.

So if you know me you know that Lois & Clark is my all time favorite show. Dean Cain is the reason I love Superman. hahaha

In other news, today is Independence Day in Dominica. Since we had no classes and just had a test, a group of us took the day off for some fun in the sun. We took a boat ride that was rough and wet and fast, and basically amazing. They dropped us off at Batibou Beach for a couple hours for snorkeling, and some of us played frisbee (fyi, we're not good. haha). The water was a little too wavey & murky, and I didn't see many fish, but I collected some shells. Oh, and Gabe cracked open a couple coconuts for us. Coconut meat is harder than I expected, but it was cool. :)

Then we got back on the boat & went to a restaurant called Pagua Bay for lunch. They were super slow, but the food was good, and it was definitely a nice change. The view there is unbelievable. AND there was pretty much the best cheesecake I've ever had in my life. Unfortunately the weather turned and we had to take a bus back to Portsmouth. All in all, it was a great day.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day 2

Day 02 - A picture of you and the person you have been close with for the longest.

So this is me & Sarah. We met when my family moved in across the street from her when I was 3 & she was 5. We sorta grew up together, and I used to drive her crazy by pausing the game when we played Mario. hahaha She taught me a lot about life, and we were apart for a while, but fate has brought us back together. That picture is from the May of my junior year of high school I think. It was a mock awards show at youth group. :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day 1

So a friend started this 30-day challenge on facebook, and I decided to do it for the month of November. Enjoy.

Day 01 - A picture of yourself with fifteen facts.

1. I love cats.
2. My favorite color is purple.
3. I still love & miss my undergrad school (Indiana Wesleyan University).
4. Even if I have a lot to study I like to get my 8 hours of sleep.
5. I used to want to be a country singer, and I wrote songs & played guitar.
6. I don't mind being a moderately spoiled only child. :)
7. My family means everything to me.
8. I love to play board games.
9. I am fiercely loyal & dedicated to each hobby I get addicted to - in no particular order: giraffes, Elvis, Superman, the Backstreet Boys, concerts...
10. I like to create things.
11. I have never owned toe socks and still feel deprived. lol
12. Fire is one of my biggest fears.
13. I am super stubborn when I set my mind to something.
14. I want to learn to milk a cow.
15. Cell phones annoy me, and I hate hate when I'm hanging out with someone and they are continually texting or talking on their phone.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I have a feeling we aren't in Kansas anymore...

Went on my second hospital visit last week. Rounded on post-op patients, and learned about ovarian cysts, uterine polyps, spontaneous miscarriage, D&C (which I used to think was only for abortions, but apparently is to remove uterine polyps & just generally scrape off the uterine lining), and leptospirosis. Cool huh?

Unfortunately, I also heard a father ask the doctor whose life comes first, the mother or the baby, after a tragic loss of a child delivered at 33 weeks. It seemed that he wanted to be sure that his baby mattered to the doctors. Yet both parents were amazingly calm. I can't imagine the pain they had gone through, and I also can't help but wonder if that baby might have survived if it had been born in the US. It seems that at 33 weeks it should have had a fighting chance. That's just a fleeting thought though, because the wonder won't change the facts. Never dwell on the "what if"s. It's going to suck to someday face a patient's family and explain to them why I couldn't save their loved one. Yet I'm not God, and everyone can't be saved. Think there's any chance that knowing that will make it any easier? ha

Another amazing thing about this hospital visit is a more complete awareness of the conditions. For my last visit I spent the morning in the nice cool OR, and then went to the internal medicine ward, that, albeit was different from what I've seen before since it was all one big room with probably at least 30 beds. This time the lack of air conditioning, or even window screens, followed me around. The heat almost made me pass out in the morning. When I started to see dark spots I had to interrupt the doctor & sit down. At least, I'm assuming it had to be the heat. It was just so weird because I've only ever passed out once in my life. Then in the afternoon, the internal medicine ward was so packed that day that there were extra beds lining the middle aisle. While we were interviewing our patient, a guy 2 beds down had a mask put over his face (hopefully he wasn't the Tb patient I had heard was in the hospital), and the guy in the next bed was coughing & spitting stuff up into a basin on the floor between his bed & our patient's bed. Awesome.

Alright, back to studying for Monday's mini 2.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hurry up! but wait for me...

I was hoping to find a better video, but since they don't perform this song live, this was all I could come up with. Anyway, this is how I've been feeling lately:

"Slow Down" -Love & Theft

And yet, at the same time as I feel like there's not enough time in the day to get everything done that I need to, I also want time to hurry up so I can go home! I'm ready to reenter my world & pick my life back up. While I have had some amazing experiences here - like canyoning last Saturday:
- I also feel like I'm living from break to break. This place I'm at right now, it's not really real, ya know? This isn't who I am. It's sort of crazy, but sometimes that's what it feels like. I left so much of myself behind that I'm ready to go back and be whole again. 59 days.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Water, water, everywhere...

So this morning started at the unGodly hour of 4am. Well, to be precise I was awakened in a steamy sauna-like sweat to the sound of running water at 3:48. After the initial confusion I realized that something was leaking. So I stepped out of bed into an inch of water and followed the sound the short distance to the kitchen. Not sure if I had put on my glasses or turned on any lights at that point, but I was able to discern that there was a crazy geyser happening under my kitchen sink, and it was semi-hot/warm water. I removed my sparce cleaning supplies from that cabinet & closed it back up. And I picked up my backpack & a small pile of clothes that I had left on the floor. I sat on my bed & thought "crap, now what?" I mean, it's 4am in Dominica. The world shuts down pretty early around here. Should I call my landlady & wake her up? Eventually I deduced that there would be nothing she could do about it until morning, and I probably wouldn't be able to get ahold of her anyway... so, I went back to bed. The rushing water was kind of loud so it woke me up multiple times over the next 2-2.5hrs, but at least the water got cold & the sauna conditions diminished.

Now fast forward to about 6:22am. I hear a muffled knocking and make my way to the door, and there, miraculously, is my landlady. One of the neighbors had called her (not likely in my building because there are only 2 of us living there & my fellow-student neighbor typically sleeps in). She looks under the sink and asks when it started and tells me I could have called her. In retrospect that would have been a better thing to do since she could have at least turned off the water, but apparently my brain is not at full throttle at 4 in the morning. She also apologized like 10 times for reasons that are beyond me. It's not like she could have foreseen my plumbing woes.

After she left my apartment I decided to get ready for class. So what do I do? Get in the shower of course - the cold shower, mind you, since the hot water reserves from our solar powered water heater have long since dissipated throughout my apartment & out over the balcony. I get my hair all shampooed & behold my shock when halfway through rinsing my hair the water turns off. Duh! So I'm standing there half-covered in shampoo pretty much busting a gut because now that I'm awake I realize how ridiculous it was to bother trying to shower. I manage to use the contents of my water bottle to finish rinsing my hair & wash my face & sort of sponge-bath & shave. It was really quite the accomplishment. And thus began my day...

I didn't think to take a picture of the geyser, but here's the trouble:
Note the tiny hole in that hose right above where it comes off that silver oval.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Are you my mother?

Thought of the day: What would you do if you found out your 8-year-old child was switched at birth? Yeah, I know that's not really realistic, but it happened on Desperate Housewives! lol In any case, just think about it. Regardless of what happens after finding that out, your life is drastically changed. Say you keep the child that you've raised as your own. You still have to live your life knowing that the little person you produced is out there somewhere. I feel like at that point I wouldn't want to give up the child I'd been raising. Ultimately that would be my child. We'd have a bond & a life together, and that's sort of stronger than blood. I mean, it's like adoption. However, I wouldn't want to or be able to ignore the existence of my own offspring either. I think I would want to meet him/her (we'll call it a her to simplify & closer relate to the show) to know who she is, what her life is like, but at the same time I think it would be cruel & selfish to demand to take her away from the only life and family that she's ever known. As long as she's not being mistreated I think I'd push to keep the status quo, and begin a bond with that family - get together for vacations or something. It would be difficult, but a parent's duty is to do what is best for their kids, right? Of course, I'm sure nothing could be quite as simple as my scenario, but it would make for a good Lifetime movie. ;)

Anyway, I'm thinking I'd like to start some sort of format for this blog (like different kinds of lists or some specific purpose) since not enough exciting things happen in my life to constitute full journal blogging. Let me know if you have any helpful ideas or suggestions.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Random collection of thoughts & happenings

Well, I didn't feel like going to salsa tonight, but after 9+hrs of sitting in classroom 4 I figured I should get my butt up for a little bit. It was a small group of regulars so we learned some fun more advanced moves, and the hottie instructor complimented me. I can't lie, got a little crush, but don't tell. ;) Anyway, I don't catch on very quick, but I love the comradery.

Other than that, nothing has been happening lately. Except the day of our test (Monday) we had a freakin' downpour. It was raining so hard that an umbrella could only serve to keep your head & shoulders dry. So I looked super cool walking to campus in a poncho and still holding my umbrella, but ya know, only the bottom 2 inches of my shorts got wet, so I win. Now aside from the downside that pretty much every student had to take their exams in soaking wet clothes, any time there's a heavy rain our water turns a lovely shade of "dirt".

yum, are ya thirsty? This is when you bring home filtered water from campus to drink, brush your teeth, wash your face, whatever.

Alright, so I also have this mini tirade inspired by last night's episode of Grey's Anatomy. For anyone who didn't watch, there was a 27-year-old woman who was a virgin saving herself for her wedding night, and this led to all the characters laughing and mocking before learning that one of their fellow residents was also a 28-year-old virgin. At that point they also incessantly made fun of HER as well. Now seriously, what is wrong with our society that having varying morals warrants such harassment. I feel like abstinence is a valid decision, as is choosing not to drink or smoke, but in our society when someone doesn't do one or all of these things there is something wrong with them. They're uptight prudes or goody-two-shoes. If I choose not to drink, why do people feel the need to coerce me? I don't tell them, "no, no, you should get a Pepsi". My actions aren't hurting anyone. Can they say the same? If I've never had a hickey or gotten to 2nd base (which, ok, I don't actually know what the bases are, but you get my point), why is it anyone else's business to say "wow, you need a boyfriend"? Granted, yes, I would like a boyfriend, but seriously people, it's my life, not yours. What is right for your life isn't necessarily right for mine. I have my own thoughts and ideals. That being said, if you're my friend, you are perfectly welcome to introduce me to any eligible bachelors you may know - that's not judging my life, that's just being helpful. ;)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

"Pack my bags and never look back"?

I just had an admired Dominican man ask my advice about his life. His parents have helped him obtain a Green card, and he has to decide in the next 4 months if he wants to leave his home and live in the US permanently. With no family or job options lined up there, the prospect of uprooting one's life and starting new & alone seems terrifying to me. Granted, he wouldn't be completely alone as he would be bringing his 4-yr-old daughter along, but wow, that makes it even more difficult. I couldn't do it, not alone, and not without a strong driving force/goal in mind. It's way too hard to be gone for long. I only left my own life temporarily, but I'm constantly looking back - I make a terrible runaway (pretty sure nobody that reads this will catch the reference, but it still felt good to say ;)). I always wanted to get out of Michigan, move somewhere warm & make a fresh start in some exciting new place, but as time passes I find myself appreciating the familiarity and taking pride in the place I was raised. I still maintain that I don't want to spend the rest of my life in my hometown, but I doubt I'll make it quite so far away as I had intended.

In other news, mini (test) 1 of 4th semester is Monday, and I've been busily trying to cram drugs & bacteria & viruses into my brain, and it sort of makes me (along with everyone else) crazy. [For any non-Ross readers, a mini is a test that contains roughly 4 weeks worth of material from all of our classes packed into ~120 questions & 2.5-3hrs. The week leading up to that is pretty much chaos for all those involved.] On top of the already tense situation, the box that my mom sent is now a week overdue, and I ran out of a medication.. oh, about a week ago. Rock on. Just another reminder that you can NOT rely on island mail/international shipping.

Okay, now for the joy of the week. Are you ready for this? So I have some friends that went to Roseau (the capital) on Thursday to stock up on supplies (because the options are slightly more plentiful there), and they asked if I wanted anything. I'd heard tell that real milk existed at times, but never witnessed this miracle for myself. So I laughingly asked for milk. Mind you, the one time I went to Roseau to visit the new Save-a-Lot I had that one mission in mind, and my hopes & dreams were crushed as they were sold out (a frequent occurrence of island life). BUT... drumroll please....

The shocking thing is that that beautiful stuff costs ~$9.40USD/gallon. The even more shocking thing is that that is CHEAPER than the ~$11.25USD/gallon that I pay for the not-so-awesome shelf milk:
Yes, I know that's an insane price to pay, but I only use it for my cereal in the mornings, and there are some comforts a person just needs. And those 2 half gallons of milk that Gabe brought me back from Save-a-Lot brought me more joy than a normal person could imagine. One is in the freezer to potentially help me survive the week prior to mini 2. ;)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

But why is the rum gone??

Alright, do I have anything to post about? Ok sure.

So last Friday was "research day", meaning no classes. I was hoping to go to one of the many bodies of water that exist around here, but shockingly could find nobody to go with me. Silly med students with their studying. Who does that?? lol Anyway, I ended up going to the rum distillery with the spouses' organization. Shockingly I was the only single person there, but there was another student at least. haha Now when I signed up for this I foolishly thought 'ok, it'll be like a factory tour' like bright & indoors & shiny/clean/new, right? Oh silly girl, this is Dominica... However it was pretty cool.

Here's the first area we saw. I think there's crushing of sugar cane that happens on this.

And I don't know what these buildings are for. I'm afraid I don't listen very well, sorry.

oh, but fermenting happens in these:

And our lovely guide was clearly delighted that I was taking his picture.
He was telling us about the different kinds of rum they make, and the one in his hand was like 64% alcohol instead of the standard 40ish%. No, I don't drink. But yeah, this was the taste testing portion of the tour, so I decided to taste it. Let me tell ya, I remembered straight up why I don't drink. Yeck! The others enjoyed it, but it's not for me. I'll stick with my chocolate milk & juice with the kiddos. lol

Anyway, that night was the Ross Christian Fellowship free campus cookout, so I went there & waited in line for an hour for dinner. Chatted with a nice new 1st semester student that plays guitar for RCF and went to the standard salsa that night too of course. And then Jedediah invited me to join them for game night on Saturday! woo! I LOVE playing games. I'm a dork that way. We ordered food from the Tomato (my chicken taco salad was amazing. best meal I've had there), and played Apples to Apples (which I won! *victory dance), and they taught me how to play Texas Hold 'Em (I did not win. lol).

Other than that, classes as usual. Oh, and it's season premiere week on ABC, so I'm soaking up new episodes of all my shows. Also, some of my favorite friends down here are expecting baby #2! Congrats Kelly & Josh (& Shane!)!