Saturday, July 31, 2010


Ok, had a heart-to-heart chat with a driver that I trust last night, and he reassures me that he doesn't think a restaurant would serve cat meat. He says that while some people here do eat cats, it's not a common thing, and it's more just dumb teenage boys being wild in the summer. Guess I don't need to go vegetarian. haha Good thing because I don't like enough vegetables so I would probably end up pretty malnourished!

In other news, despite my lack of any particular ethnicity I will now work PR for the Organization of Latin American Students next semester. I just want to be a part of something again, so I hope they don't hold my whiteness against me. Considering the current club president is black and the new one is whiter than me they can't be too picky. ha

Friday, July 30, 2010

Tastes like Chicken...

So today I’m preoccupied with the idea that a local eatery may be providing cat meat in their chicken meals. I’ve eaten there several times, and to me it’s always been chicken (and the fried chicken is amazing actually), but you know how people talk, and upon discussion of determining a lunch stop my friend decided to tell me what her friend told her one day. I don’t know what kind of person examines the bones of their devoured meal, but apparently he did, and decided, ‘gosh, this doesn’t look like a chicken bone.’ So he asked one of the workers. Of course she denied it would be anything but chicken at first, but I guess he continued to press the matter until she said something along the lines of ‘okay, it’s actually turkey.’ But come on people, aside from turkeys typically being freakishly larger than chickens, why would someone lie about that? Turkey is perfectly acceptable & desirable to American students. Plus, one day they had run out of stewed chicken and asked if turkey would be okay. I accepted that, and it was a much different preparation. I won’t get it again because of the way the bones were cut (I’m afraid to choke on a piece), but still, turkey is fine.

That being said, now I don’t even know how the subject of cat came up, but someone believes that’s what they serve. Being that I’ve never eaten cat or even dreamt of such a thing, I don’t even know if it’s feasible to think that cat meat could pass for chicken. It seems to me it would be more like beef. In any case, I’m contemplating going semi-veggie for the remainder of my island time. I’ve thought about asking my cleaning lady, whom I trust would be honest with me if I asked her too, but I’m afraid to know the truth. I feel like if I heard I’d eaten a cat I would vomit and cry, and just generally be traumatized for life. It’s hard enough to think that the kitten I was ready to adopt was probably taken for that reason (though I console myself with the fact that it would be dumb to eat such a small animal rather than get a full-grown one. Yes, I know it’s dumb. Ignorance is bliss I tell you.). However, I think at my next chance I will at least ask her the chances that local eateries would lie about the origin of the meat that they serve us. Just to be certain that I’m not over-reacting. I have a feeling I’ll be eating a lot more lentils and beans, and bringing back an abundance of canned chicken breast over the next break. Oh blessed island adventures.


Welcome to my blog. I’m going to warn you now: don’t expect too much excitement from me. I just feel like having a place to relate my tales.

That being said, hello there, I’m Heather. I’m 25 years old and halfway through my 2nd year of medical student at Ross University. For those who may not know Ross is located on the little island of Dominica way down in the West Indies (between Guadaloupe & Martinique (??). The way Ross works is that students spend 16 months down here completing the first 2 years of their medical education, and then head to Miami, FL or Saginaw, MI for a 5th semester before starting clinical rotations in US hospitals.

Coming here has turned out to be more of an adjustment than I could have imagined, but so far I’m still breathing, and as time has gone I’ve become less miserable than the end of my first semester. At that point I was convinced that the island hated all of us American & Canadian students, and wondered how I could possibly survive another year here. Eight months later I realize that they don’t *really* hate us. The Dominicans just live differently than we do.

Aside from the people, it is also noteworthy that some of the facilities are a bit more primitive than most Americans are accustomed to. For example, there have been multiple occasions where the water has just randomly stopped working, or my shower switched from the temperature that I chose to freezing cold to scalding hot in a matter of 2 minutes. There’s also the lovely quirk that the internet at my apartment is unreliable [has been in & out of service for roughly the past month, though these past few days the “in” hasn’t happened]. However, these factors likely seem insignificant in light of the fact that some/many of the locals live in tiny concrete buildings with no screens and bathe in the river.

Anyway, that’s enough of an idea to get you started. Unfortunately you’ve missed the tales of most of my time here, but if I get bored I may recount some info.