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, since as far as I can tell, we get all of our water on the island from cisterns.  Yes, you read that right, CISTERNS collect and store rainwater.  If you use all your water and it doesn't rain, then you don't have any water.

When I am in a foreign country, one of my favorite things to do is to try to work out as many traffic laws as I can.  In France, they love round-a bouts and seem to go through them willy-nilly.  In India, besides the occasional stop sign, the only traffic law I could distinguish was, what I called, the "Law of the Horn."  Under the law of the horn, you can pretty much drive however you want, you just have to warn other drivers what you're doing by honking constantly.  You want to speed up?  Honk.  You want to make a left turn?  Honk.  You want to make a right turn?  Honk.  Here on the island, the only rule I can discern is do what you're brave enough to do.  If you're comfortable brushing the cliff-face while going 45 mph down a mountain, go for it.  If you want to pass on a hill and you've got the balls, do it.  Basically, people drive crazy.  Straight up crazy.

Between the burning of the trash,the water from the cisterns, and the no traffic laws, I am sensing this is only the beginning of an eye-opening experience....

More to come about classes and science and the actual process of being a doctor....


  1. Ok, first of all: I was talking with Andrew about the cisterns and he was all "What about diseases? Like, what if one rat gets in the cistern for your dorm? YOU ALL GET CHOLERA AND DIE" And after I explained how cholera works and said that other diseases were more likely, we agreed that this system is sketchy. But like you said, so are landfills. So I guess to each his own. Surviving on a tiny little island with a population waaaaayy over carrying capacity necessitates weirdness like cisterns and trash-burning.

    As for the traffic laws: just shut your eyes. And don't try to drive yourself anywhere.


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