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Showing posts from September, 2012

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…

JOY AND HAPPINESS

WE GOT AC!

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

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Apparently I overestimated the Dutch...

On orientation day a school administrator gave us a little pamphlet about conservation.  I figure, this makes sense, because I know there is no "away" when it comes to trash and the like.  And, it is a small island, so it seems reasonable that resources should be scare. Most of the information was reasonable and referenced water conservation and trying to minimize trash.  I was a little blown away by the fact that their way of dealing with trash on the island is to burn it, but then I considered that the islanders would probably think our method of dealing with trash was ridiculous as well.  Since landfills are America's great solution I guess I can't judge them for burning their trash.

Before I got here, I figured that there must be potable water available on the island.  I mean, the Dutch wouldn't have colonized a place hundreds of years ago if there was no fresh water.  That just doesn't make sense.  However, I apparently grossly overestimated the Dutch, s…

Caribbean Style

Things happen here in the Caribbean that I am pretty sure wouldn't happen anywhere else.  The Dutch army is here, doing hurricane preparedness drills or something.  Let me tell you what, the Dutch army?  They are FINE.  I was sitting with some friends on the terrace of our dorm when a convoy of soldiers drives by, which should be no big deal (other than the aforementioned attractiveness), except for the fact that a hen and her chicks are in the middle of the road.  The driver of the lead convoy stops the truck, and the passenger, who is dressed in full army fatigues and is probably 6'2",  gets out and waves his hands at the chicks to get them out of the road.  It was like something on a postcard.  It was adorable.

After orientation yesterday they offered to give us a tour of the island.  It sounded pretty cool, so my roommate and I hopped on a bus.  I should have known better.  In fact, I do know better.  I was in a middle seat by a window, so I should have been fine.  An…

Lime Time is the place to be

Lime Time Chinese Restaurant is where it's at; that place is hopping.  From what I can tell it's the only restaurant in The Bottom.  When I popped in yesterday the old veterinarian/government guy was there again- making me rethink my earlier decision that he was there for an after work beer the other day, because this time I was there at 3PM...  Maybe in the islands no one cares if government officials are a little buzzed?  Or maybe it was because it was a Friday?  Either way, the place was happening.  The bar was full of patrons drinking cheap beers.  Wait a second, now that I think about it, NO ONE WAS EATING...  Maybe I should stop eating there....  This is all of a sudden very upsetting.

Anyway, that's not the story here, the story is Henri, the potentially crazy, definitely buzzed, rapper-dancer-local entertainment.  Every cliche of the Caribbean you can think of = Henri.  He had dreads, he was all "mon" this and "mon" that.  He danced.  He sang.  …

I really really live here

It just hit me today that I really live here.  That I'm going to be living here for the next two years.  That this is the real deal.  Which might be one of those things that other people have a firm grasp on before they pack their life into suitcases and board an international flight, but, nope, not me.  No siree, it apparently takes me about five days.  I always expect to miss people- that part makes sense.  It's missing that intangible feeling of home that I think is going to be a problem.  It's knowing today is game-day and that there are 90k people in The Swamp and I can't even watch on TV.  It's not having anything to cook with but a microwave.  It's not being able to get in the car and just drive and drive and drive and get the hell out of here.  It's having to make new friends.  It's not being able to blow off steam at an impromptu hipster dance party.  It's the smell of fall in the air.  It's indecision and confusion and adventure and co…