Showing posts from 2012

The Chicken Incident of 2012

We have this saying back home "You stick your hand on my plate, you'll draw back a nub."  I would like to think I am a pretty tolerant girl, but I am real serious when it comes to food. 

At the beginning of the semester, my roommate put some bagels down in the communal freezer in our dorm kitchen.  Someone ate them.  Now, I'm not talking, "Whoopsies, I accidentally ate one of your bagels," I'm talking "Hahaha- sucker I ate FOUR bagels in the span of two days!"  I figured we learned a valuable, if upsetting, lesson: don't leave stuff in the communal fridge that isn't wrapped up or labeled. 

No big deal right?  Lesson learned.  We moved on.  Fast forward a couple of months to last week.  I had gone to the grocery store and bought some staples.  I had a grocery bag with chicken and spinach in it.  I baked a couple of pieces, tossed everything back in the bag, tied the bag, and tossed it back in the fridge.  Now, imagine my hunger fueled…

I will soon live in a place called "Heritage House"


Flora and Fauna- wait, just fauna

Cool things I've seen once on this island and didn't manage to photograph:
1.A giant iguana 2.A brown tree snake with a rounded snout and big raised eyes (I described it to my mom and was all “oh, it wasn't venomous mom, it had huge round eyes.”To which she started hollering “THAT'S ONLY FOR PIT VIPERS CAITLIN. DON'T TOUCH IT.BACK AWAY.IT'S PROBABLY A BROWN MAMBA OR SOMETHING.”I managed not to tell her it was in one of the trees on school, I didn't want to freak her out any more than she already was) 3.Some sort of island red-tailed hawk, the size of a large crow 4.Hermit crabs real far away from the ocean 5.A rat in the kitchen (it was dead- I still can't decide if that makes it better or worse) 6.Zebra fish swimming in schools in the bay

Sing-a-longs and soul food

If I think too much about all the things we're missing here, I'll go crazy.  The delicate balance I have in my mind between crazy and not crazy will get overwhelmed and then there's no telling what might happen. 

Things I try not to think about: the internet never works, we only seem to have hot water every other third Tuesday (not kidding), there was a rat in the kitchen that died and no one noticed but my roomie so it was there for days, the mosquitoes are eating me alive, nothing is open on Sundays, nothing, the bus only runs like twice a day and not at all on Sundays, a worm came out of the tap the other day, and the sugar ants have invaded our room (even though there is nothing for them to eat).

Then, there are days like today.  Days where I get to sleep in and then go to the coffee shop (which is only open from 11-2).  Days where I get to join in with my classmates on impromptu acoustic guitar sing-a-longs.  Days like Thursday where my friends make me delicious food …

Fenestrated sinusoidal capillaries

Black is the night and weird is the day

For Corey, Thank you for always calling me on my BS
The other night I was walking with some friends over to the other dorm (dorm is a fantastic understatement, they're much more like lovely apartments compared to our actual rudimentary dorm..) and one by one all the lights went out in The Bottom.  I don't think I've ever been enveloped in such darkness.  It was blinding.  I had to convince my friends not to turn their flashlights on and wave them like SOS beacons.  We twitched and mumbled small talk for a minute or two, waiting to see whether the power might magically recover.  Of course, it didn't.  We were in no-man's land, smack-dab in the middle between home and our destination.  The time we had spent waiting for the power to come back on had let our eyes adjust to the darkness.  There were so many stars, so so so many.  It made me realize once again how really remote we are here.  We decided to bust out our flashlights and trek up the steep-windy-covered-in-g…

Big rocks in remote locales

After exams everyone likes to blow off a little steam.  Post-exam Tuesday afternoons are the only free time we get on this island.  We do have weekends and afternoons after classes, but all that time is pretty much dedicated to studying....  So post-exam Tuesdays are it. 

The joke remains on us though, because we live on the only island in the Caribbean without a real beach.  Instead of white sand and quiet coves, we have cliffs, giant surf, even bigger rocks, and a beach so tiny it's laughable. 

We make it work- because in the end, everything here is beautiful- see for yourself... 

Doctors and Dr. Seuss

It's a full moon and I feel like philosophizing.  2012 got dubbed the "Year of Feelings" early on- thanks for that QJax- and has so far lived up to it's name.  One might think that philosophizing and discussing feelings wouldn't have a place on my med school blog, but that's where one would be wrong. 

There's this class that we're required to take every semester; it's called Doctor-Patient Relationship and each semester builds on the techniques and skills learned in the last semester.  It seems like it ought to be my favorite class- it basically screams INSERT LIBERAL ARTS DISCUSSION HERE- but it isn't, instead it just makes me sad.  We have to have a class to teach us how to empathize and how to be nice to patients and how to listen and how to deal with stress and how to discuss "uncomfortable" topics.  We have to have timed and segmented mock interviews where we practice empathizing with each other.  As in "now give 30 seconds…



Goats and Boot Camp

And... One month later...

Tuesday will mark a full month of me being on this little Bermuda Triangle of an island. To mark this special occasion, my roommate and I went swimming for the first time today.  This adventure, like pretty much everything else on Saba, was at once endearing and sketchy as hell.  The roommate was all "oh yeah, we can just go to the harbor."  She said this in a very sure tone, so I followed her.  We walked down The Road to The Bottom.  She kept saying we should catch a ride, so we eventually piled clown-car-like into a passerby's car.  I know I've waxed poetic about The Road before, but it got serious going down to the harbor.  It was a 45 degree decline the whole time with hairpin turns that make you wonder whether the engineer was trying to test the laws of physics...

The harbor was less of a harbor and more of a giant concrete dock with a tiny man-made cove on the side of a mountain.  There was no natural cove, no marina, no nothing.  There were however several sma…

Let's get down to business

Okay, so first exams are done.  This is all at once a relief and a huge slap in the face.  For today, I am going to focus on the relief and try to keep the panic down, and then tomorrow I will get down to business in a way that you've never seen anyone get down to business before.

There has been a serious adjustment period to living here.  It's not just the obvious things, like being in school again, or living in a dorm with a roommate, it's the more intangible things that are getting to me.  I can't go to a grocery store past 8PM or on a Sunday.  And, when I go to the grocery store I can only buy what I can carry back up the mountain.  There are no cafes that are open reasonable hours.  No one drinks the tap water (oh the joy of cisterns).  The hot water doesn't work half the time.  There's no TV or books (I've ALREADY read everything from the lending library) or streaming internet. I have mysteriously lost my magical power to understand all accents; now I…

Chickens in the kitchen