QuarterLife Ventures

A twenty-something nurse, runner, and world traveler.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

We're Almost Done With Year One!

It's hard to believe that two weeks from today I'll be back in Minnesota. Pat and I had lunch together today (something I've been trying to do weekly to catch some rare, uninterrupted quality time with him..) and we talked about how fast this year has gone by. I cannot believe it's been nearly 9 months since we first arrived in Grenada and that Pat is almost done with his first year of medical school. What an incredibly eye opening, adventurous, challenging, crazy (almost) year it has been. On that note, I also cannot believe I am going to be 26. My irrational anxiety over this approaching day is so high that I often already think I am 26- that is how often I think about my ever-increasing age and all that comes with it. In my early 20's it was hard not to feel like I was going to be young forever. The dreaded 30 seemed so far away (and SO old) that I rarely thought about it. I felt this way all the way up until May 29th, 2012. That was the day I realized I was halfway through my 20's, and with nearly one more year under my belt the dreaded 30 is that much closer. I do realize that 26 isn't that old, but back at 22 I thought I would have become this mature, sophisticated adult by now. Quite honestly, some days I still feel like I'm 22- with slightly more life-experience under my belt. I may be a bit more mature, but I am far from sophisticated. That image in my mind has slowly eroded to blend in with reality. Now I have to start thinking about things like retinol creams and when I should get my first mammogram (I am young, but as my mother is currently in remission for breast cancer I am supposed to start doing this now), not to mention the increasing importance of my credit score and, what will happen to my eggs if I don't use them soon?!

Ahhh, deep breath.
I should really put this energy into something more productive, and lets be honest I don't want kids any time soon and there is always botox to consider...

Now for a look back at the past two weeks:

I have been back to St. Augustines for the past two weeks with Amanda. It is a much more pleasant experience driving up to the hospital in her car instead of taking the hot, crowded city buses. It was so nice to be back and it felt good that everyone was happy to see me again. Amanda and I were surprised to discover that Brian, who is actually a medical assistant (not a nurse as I previously stated), has been taught to do sutures and has done them on patients. In the US only a nurse practitioner, physician assistant or doctor is legally allowed to do sutures but as Amanda and I both have hopes of becoming an advanced practice nurse, we asked Brian to teach us!

Brian, preparing for a dressing change. 
Amanda's pro suturing skills at work.. kind of. 

You can see were were quite busy that day...

 On that note, I am almost done getting everything sent in for graduate school applications. The frustrating part is waiting for my references to get their recommendation letters sent.  A few schools are completely done, but as the competition is great, I am trying to apply to as many schools as possible. This notion makes me anxious and a little bit insecure. I am confident in my skills and my academic background is competitive, but I know that this field is gaining popularity at a rapid pace and many, many qualified people are also applying. If things do not work out this year, I can always take classes at home and apply again next year. I'm trying to let that settle in my mind...

Random updates: I made a craft! I wanted to add some decor to our boring white walls, so Jessica taught me how to make these pictures durable with canvas and mod podge. Running continues and Cayley is finally cleared to join me again! AND we are number 1 in kickball!!

Patrick continues with facilitating DES and attending another selective on top of studying 24/7. He "can't wait for this term to be over" and we both are looking forward to the laid back 3rd term that starts in July. I am still super proud of him and I can't wait to have some medical school-free time with him during break this summer!

My craft project with Jessica! Pat and me jumping the cliff behind campus- Thanks to Nick for the photography! 

A view from my run. 

Thurs- Creamy Tomato Pasta

Fri- Tilapia- Po Boys with Brocoli

Mon- Canellini Bean and Tuna Salad, and Breaded Parmesan Ranch Chicken- I loved the bean salad. I was iffy about adding the tuna but it turned out very good.

Tues- Maple Salmon with Brocoli

Weds- Black Bean Burgers

Thurs- Buffalo Chicken, and mixed green salad-

Fri- Vegan Pinto bean and Sweet Potato Tacos- AMAZING.

Sat- Chicken Adobo with cooked Carrots- I thought this turned out really good. Pat seemed to like it but he wasn't raving.

Mon- Butternut and Blackbean Enchilada Skillet- This was SO good. I will make this again before I leave. It was easy, quick and seriously delicious.

Weds- Supper Club at Nick and Cayley's!

Thurs- Pepper Crusted Salmon and Pinto Beans -Thanks to Courtney, I have become slightly obsessed with reading the backs of cans in the store to get recipes.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Grenada: The Land of Ambiguity

I booked my flight home today; a surreal moment as I realized it's almost the end of the term! I am actually leaving about two and a half weeks before Pat, but if I waited until the end of the term, the prices almost triple. It's also crucial study time for Pat so I'm not missing much here and it gives me a few extra weeks to be back on the schedule at Lynnhurst. I have been keeping in contact with my coworkers and it sounds like they are in desperate need of nurses right now, so I'm sure I'll get plenty of hours which I'm looking forward to. I am not looking forward to a quasi-long distant relationship again, but I'm hoping to get some Minnesota and Boston trips scheduled during his mini-summer break soon!

Not ready to leave this yet! 
The end of March marked the expiration of the tabs on our scooter, and our 3 month visitor drivers license. This probably shouldn't be such a hassle, but when the rules are as ambiguous as they are here, it can be a very frustrating experience. Pat and I had to first head into St. Georges to get the title of our scooter switched into our name, and then we could legally get insurance for it. This part was simple enough, and we even had time to grab lunch downtown. After doing this, I had to go back to the police station to get our bike, which goes something like this:

Me: Hi! I have the bike outside, what do I need to do have this registered?
Ms. Officer: blank stare
Me: ......patiently waiting with a smile (I have taken to live by the phrase "you catch more flys with honey" while in Grenada and have lightened my usual forthright attitude because it doesn't seem to work as well despite how blatantly rude you are treated in return)
Ms. Officer: *puts out her hand* license....
Ms. Officer: *staring at drivers license* is this you?
Me: ahhh yup... That's me, would you like to see another identification?
Ms. Officer: .......... *continues to write something in a big book that looks like it's been around since 1972*
Ms. Officer: *begins to talk to everyone else around me*
Ms. Officer: You have 30 minutes to get it inspected- better hurry; they close at 3.

I look at the clock and it's 2:15. After getting to the inspection building as quickly as I can, I am told that we need a new front tire (huh? it's the back one thats deflated multiple times...) and to secure our blinker light. I head back to the police station where she repeats what the inspector told me and tells me that after I get it fixed, I'll have to come back to the station to get another written "okay" to drive back to the inspection site again (Ooooh thats what the piece of paper was?! thank you for explaining that the first time...).

The next day I take it to get inspected yet again; I am crossing my fingers that I get a different inspector from the day before, which I do. Magically, it passes! (me: ?!?$%???) I then have to go back into St. Georges to prove everything I just did to another set of similarly enthusiastic police officers at the finical complex and we are finally rewarded with our sticker. It is times like these when I miss being able to simply renew my tabs with click of a button and my credit card number....
St. Georges is VERY hilly 
Planned Parenthood

Downtown St. Georges 

Lance Aux Epine beach- about a 3 minute walk from our apartment 
After nearly a month of not feeling well, Pat is finally starting to get better. From what I have heard and experienced, it takes a while to kick an infection down in the Caribbean; I would think maybe thats attributed to the high humidity and constant heat.

Cayley and I went to yoga on Sunday which has left me sore for the second week in a row! I think I am making progress though and I know it is helping my running.

And finally, we won our kickball game last night! whooop. So that's it for updates; here is what I have been up to in the kitchen:

Tuesday: Balsamic Glazed Salmon : Salmon was on sale this week, finally!

Wednesday: Charcoals take out- Yum!

Thursday: Spicy Quinoa Salad: this was amazing!

Friday: Curried Salmon

Sunday: Chicken Chili : Simple and tasty!

Monday: Pizza; I had a packet of pizza dough and a few cans of beans and left over chicken that needed to be used up. I also threw on some onions, peppers, and of course a lot of cheese. While it didn't look so much like a pizza, it turned out really good!

Tuesday: Honey-Ginger Chicken  and Cuban style Black Beans (I love beans. Cheap and healthy)

Monday, April 1, 2013

What You Think You Become- Buddha

So midterm week has come and gone and yet again I am impressed and proud of Patrick's dedication, and the results of it. He has definitely chosen the right career path for himself. I'm excited for his clinical rotations and residency when we will have so much to talk about and learn from each other in terms of our similar careers. That being said, it has only been a mere 7 weeks and I'm already missing my job and my patients. It's all a part of that living in the moment thing I talked about a few months back. I think that is also why I have begun to like yoga so much, as it is difficult to think about much else when you are trying not to fall on your face out of triangle pose in a room full people.

The past few weeks have been slightly uneventful as we don't do much pre-midterm and midterm week. This past week we reestablished "supper club" which ended around 1 am after long and intense night of Scattergories. It was awesome.

Saturday I went to the Hash, which was conveniently in my neighborhood of Lance Aux Epines. It was extremely muddy, and I'm severly disappointed my camera was not working to capture the mess!

Roxie, Andrea, Cat, Cayley and me overlooking Secret Harbor

Since I have nothing else significant to report, I'll talk about running:

Cayley, my good friend and running partner, has been on the DL for the past two weeks which initially put a slump in my running schedule. I hate to admit it, but it's tough to go run 11 miles when you know you're going at it alone! The two of us work pretty well together to get the other one motivated, even when one of us is too hot, thirsty or exhausted to keep going. However, after reading plenty of articles on the subject of marathon running, I decided to put one topic to the test. It appears most long distance runners are innately less anxious than the rest of the population (among other atributes, but this one stuck out)- I would not describe myself as less anxious than anyone. I over think, I worry, and it's something I have tried to get a hold on since I can pretty much remember. While I do share some characteristics with typical runners, this was not one of them. However, I realized it made sense. If you don't over think that you are about to run 20 miles (will I be able to? will I get too tired? what if I can't make it home?), it makes it much easier to get out there and 'just do it'. So today, I decided to attempt this and go out and do my long run, solo. Although my Runkeeper app said I was supposed to run 12 miles, I realized I probably didn't leave myself enough time to do the whole thing before it would get dark, unless I drastically improve my  speed. I started by telling myself to run as far as I could without thinking about it, making sure to leave myself enough time to turn around and be home before dark. I ran from my apartment in Lance Aux Epines, to the end of Port Louise, which was exactly 4 miles. To be honest, I think part of my ability to turn around and run home was due to adrenaline, as I was actually kind of nervous being that far away from home at dusk. I did bring mace. I ended up running 10 of the 12 miles, as my ipod died in the midsts of mile 8 and while I have proved that I can run alone, I have yet to be able to run without music. I have no desire to conquer this.

A view of Port Louis

I am thankful this is where I get to live :)

That's a wrap; I am still obsessed with cooking so here is what we've been eating:

Garlic-Olive Oil Tilapia

Baked Red Snapper with Quinoa salad

BBQ Beer Shredded Chicken

Wednesday- Bacon Meatloaf

Thursday- Quinoa Pizza Bites and Parmesan-Ranch Chicken

Monday- Thai Peanut Sauce over Chicken and Noodles.

Tuesday-  Tilapia and Macaroni and Cheese; this was actually pretty bland and not something I'll make again.

Wednesday- Clam ChowderBean Salad- Pat loves Clam Chowder, which made me even more nervous to attempt to make it from scratch, but he gave this one a thumbs up :)

Thursday- I hosted supper club: Chicken Gyros with Homemade Tzatziki Sauce; IGA happened to be out of Greek yogurt (go figure) so I found a way to create my own! Here is how I did it: Make Your Own Greek Yogurt

Friday- Honey Orange Tilapia: SUPER easy and quick.

Sunday: Since Pat is currently under the weather, I found a soup with ginger in it since that is supposed to help with loosening secretions (TMI!); this was super easy since most of it comes in a packet and was really tasty! Coconut Ginger Soup

We've also been indulging on this a few mornings this week: Amazing breakfast French Toast

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A sad turn of events

It is now pre-midterm week, and that means long days of a studying and a mildly stressed out Pat. I know he is holding up better than I would be, and now that he has first term under his belt, he *appears* to be a little more mentally prepared. Similarly, Cayley and I are up to running 8 miles already, and somehow it seems much easier than the first time we ran 8 miles back in October!
This post refers to my dengue-fever fake out after our first 8 mile run.

Tuesday of last week I picked up our new passports from the embassy, and it went a lot smoother than most things do in Grenada (did I mention we lost our passports in December..?) 

I guess not.. so here is the backstory: About two weeks prior to going home for winter break, Pat and I ended our lease at Secret Harbor and moved into our current apartment. Well, sometime during the move, our passports were either stolen or thrown away in the midsts of packing and unpacking (I swear I am more responsible than this...) Even more embarrassing, I didn't notice they were gone until 10 pm the night before we were supposed to fly out of the country. I say this is my fault because Pat had finals the week leading up to our departure and I was the one in charge of packing and making sure we were ready to leave. So learn from my mistake and always check for your passports at least a week before traveling! Had I done that, I would have realized they were missing and we could have had our emergency passports before we left for our regularly scheduled flight. When it was all said and done, I realized we learned a few life lessons (after hours of intermittent crying/panicking/freaking out). I will lay out the positives we found in this seemingly terrifying situation: 

1) We got to spend about 4 extra days of med-school free time in the caribbean! 
2) We learned how to contact and navigate the ins and outs of utilizing the US embassy in a foreign country (yay for taxes!)- thankfully, the embassy is actually located in our neighborhood and they will answer the phone at 1 am on a Saturday morning if you call the emergency line. 
3) We learned that we could simply rebook our flight out of Grenada for FREE because Pat is a student at SGU (we had to pay for any upgraded seats they could put us on, and we ended up sitting first class the entire way home for about 50$ US; I definitely utilized the free drinks after this experience!) *This is only with American Airlines that I know of, so for any SGU students traveling to Grenada, this is a huge perk!
4) We know now what to do if we lose our passports in a foreign country. While I never want to go through that again, it's nice to have that kind of random life experience. 

Thankful for Netflix during our long layovers :)

First class!!! 

Anyway, back to Tuesday. I ran into a friend a few weeks ago who asked if I would want to help do volunteer swim lessons for some kids on the island, and of course I jumped at the chance. So Tuesday afternoon I was picked up outside my apartment and we headed up into the hills on the west side of the island. A couple from the US is running swim lessons and also runs the local swim team. There were two groups of kids with different levels of experience coming from a variety of backgrounds. They are such a fun group of kids and I anticipate adding this to my weekly schedule. 

On Wednesday we got some very sad news from our close friends Cayley and Nick. As we later found out, both of their dogs, Nyla and Elly, had been poisoned with an herbicide called paraquat; something that is apparently not unheard of in Grenada, and was most likely done maliciously. Since I cannot restate what happened nearly as eloquently as Cayley, she allowed me to provide a link to her blog: Cayley's Blog (don't read it in public as it will undoubtably bring tears to your eyes). 

Aside from what was mentioned above, the rest of our week was pretty uneventful. We won our kickball game (!) and our kitten mastered the art of hunting lizards. Patrick continues to prepare for midterms and I am definitely looking forward to a few free days with him soon. 

yup, that's disgusting

Sunday: Slow Cooker Chicken and Salsa: This recipe was given to me by another SO and Minnesota native, Jessica- it is super easy and we always end up with extra to eat later in the week.

Monday: Yummy Pasta: It has bacon in it; 'nuff said. 

Tuesday: Honey Soy Tilapia : This ended up being so good that I made it twice this week. Thankfully neither of us is in danger of hypertension or heart disease yet because this was a lot of soy sauce!

Wednesday: Cayley hosted dinner and served some amazing chicken pot-pies!

Thursday: Spicy Thai Noodles: Incredibly spicy! If I make it again (it was still good!) I would halve the sesame oil and red pepper flakes.

Friday: More Tilapia

Sunday: Honey Dijon Chicken Tenders and garbanzo bean salad with asparagus- Courtney and I made this for Brian and Pat while they studied and it was incredibly easy and extremely tasty.

Beer Bread: The website boasted this was the best beer bread recipe in the world. I haven't eaten much beer bread, but for how freaking easy it was to make, it's pretty good.

And, thats a wrap. If you're still bored after reading this, (assuming thats why you're here in the first place), here are some of the articles that have kept me entertained when I'm procrastinating essays and applications: Overuse of Antibiotics in the USMummies gettin' CT scanned, and this TED talk: Ted talk on charitable giving

Friday, March 1, 2013

I'm back!

After a much needed glorious six weeks in the US, I am back in warm, sunny Grenada. While I am extremely happy to be settling back in here, I definitely needed the time at home, working, to rejuvenate and feel like myself again. After typing that I realize how ironic that sounds; most people go to the Caribbean to rejuvenate. However, after a month and a half of nearly 60 hour weeks, I was ready to leave the sub zero temps of St. Paul and be reunited with my boyfriend, and our new feline addition.

Our adopted Grenadian kitten. I am pretty much obsessed with her. 
I have pretty much returned to the same routine as last term, but I think I've been a little more secluded. I am overly focused on getting into grad school; something I fear may not actually happen, and thus have been spending a large amount of time writing and rewriting essays, scouring admissions profiles, and narrowing down the schools I hope to get in to. More on this later.

I have jumped back into running, and I'm surprised how quickly my body was able to bounce back after taking nearly 8 weeks off. Since we've also started to incorporate yoga into our weekly workouts, running has been much easier this term (click the link to see Grenada's Fountain of Youth Yoga Studio!). Cayley and her husband are planning to run the Aspen Valley marathon in Colorado this summer, and I have flirted with the idea of joining them. Altitude running is not something I think I'm ready for, but hey, it will be pretty at least :)

Since I was working so much and jumping between couches, I didn't cook much while I was home. Now that I'm back in Grenada, I have become mildly obsessed with it. We have also added "supper club" to our week with our friends Courtney and Brian and Nick and Cayley. Each week one couple hosts and makes dinner for the other two couples. I made grilled cheeseburger wraps (thanks to Cayley for the recipe) and roasted potatoes during my week to cook. Aside from slightly burning some of them, they turned out pretty good! It was also my first time cooking for more than two people, so I guess that fear has been squelched.

Since I don't have much room on the scooter, I decided that meal planning was the best way to make sure I get everything we need for the week in one grocery trip. It takes some time, but I think it will help in the long run, and I am hoping to stick to it. I also want to get better about blogging the recipes we have tried so that I can remember them for the future (when I have less time to sit for hours searching the internet!).

Monday: Three bean chili- this is a modified recipe- the original one was found on our SO recipe swap facebook page, and it was fantastic- We ate it over bow-tie noodles.

Tuesday: Crispy Quinoa Bake- another one I found on the SO website. It was pretty good; Pat is not a huge fan of quinoa but he did finish the pan so it couldn't have been that bad ;)

Wednesday: This was Courtney's turn to cook and she made phenomenal chicken fajita's (I will have to get the recipe from her!)

Thursday: Crispy Tilapia and roasted potatoes.

Saturday: Mussels in White Wine Sauce: I have never cooked with mussles and I'm not even sure if we like them, but they were extremely cheap at IGA and I surprisingly had everything needed for this recipe already in my kitchen, so I look forward to trying them!

I also made Zucchini Bread this week, one of my favorite foods, and it turned out better than I ever could have expected. I subbed half a cup of white sugar for brown sugar (simply because I ran out of the former) and I think that helped make the bread even more moist and amazing.

Final updates: We started playing on a kickball team with Courtney and Brian and some other friends we met first term. So far we have won two out of three games and I really look forward to spending time with Pat in this atmosphere. He even had a home run this week! Other than that, he is pretty much study, study, study all the time. He is also facilitating DES anatomy sessions (review sessions for first term students) one day a week. I am dorkishly proud of him.

Most of our kickball team: Kickaholics Anonymous (please ignore my awkward stance..)

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Art of Negotiation

I read somewhere that financial issues is the number one reason for divorce. I’m not too sure how reliable this information is, as I tend to read things and then store it in the back of my mind until the information seems relevant again, usually coming out somewhat altered from the original version (ever played that game ‘telephone’ in grade school? That’s kind of how my brain recalls meaningless information), but if it is true, I now have a better understanding of why. Not that we have any plans of splitting up down here, but I do know that the weight of financial worry can cause one or both parties to become anxious, upset and seemingly intelligent adults turn into five year olds playing the ‘blame game’ before someone realizes that no matters whose fault it is, it won’t change the situation. I’m not going to say whose role was whose in this scenario, but overall these types of experiences can either make or break a relationship. In fact, we have been through many ‘make or break’ situations and are still pulling through, so I suppose that’s a good sign.

Anyway, back to the point. After analyzing our situation, we realized just how much our insane electric bill, multiple bike repairs and countless other unplanned events had put us in over our heads, leaving us essentially without food for the months of November and December. So we conjured up a few plans. 1) argue the utility bill because of it’s ridiculousness and end up not paying it, 2) pack up and leave in the middle of the night and find somewhere else to live 3) negotiate with our landlord to let us use our last months rent (December) in November, move to a muuuuch cheaper place in December and use our deposit money from the current apartment to get us through December- this plan also involved finding a new landlord to negotiate with, and whom would essentially allow us to move in on only one rent payment, because that is all we could afford unless we lived on ramen for two months.

Plan 1 was out the window almost immediately after a few short, snippy emails to our landlord and back. Plan 2 was rather dishonest, and really just thrown in there as a last resort. So that left us with plan 3, which meant I was the one who had to face Miss Marlena and somehow appeal to her in a way that she would let us out of the lease early- all in a mix of French and minimal English. So I finally got up the courage to confront her, and after a very stressful, hour long conversation, we were out of our lease. Yay! But now it was time to apartment search. Which meant more negotiations.

As luck would have it, I ended up running into a friend who happened to be friends with one of the SO’s and landlords of a nearby apartment. I told her about our situation, and what we were looking for, and we finally secured the PERFECT apartment. We move in on Friday, but I have been counting the days all month. It not only has free washer and dryer, but all utilities, including internet and cable (I will finally have a TV!) are included in the rent. And I was sure to ask about the electricity bill, which should be on average, a very doable 200EC (about 80 US) per month.

Here is the link to Our new apartment! I will update with more pictures when we are all moved in. Not only do we have a washer and dryer, but we will have an oven, a real refrigerator AND a television, and its also right on the bus route. No more 15 minute long and panicked walks to catch the bus.

So now that the apartment situation was out of the way, it was time to figure out how to get our bike fixed and back on the road. It had broken down in mid October, and was in the “shop” for nearly 3 weeks before they finally called and said they had to send it out to get repaired elsewhere. I had spent the past few weeks calling and dropping in to check up on the bike and every time I was given the runaround by a man who looked eerily similar to snoop dog and was guaranteed to have a joint hanging out of his mouth. So when it came time to pick up the bike, I brought along Courtney and my game face. I refused to be taken advantage of again. After a two hour debacle, we left, and made a deal with the third party mechanic who had ultimately fixed the bike. He is letting us pay him weekly, and about 180 EC less than the ‘original’ cost.

So all of that has pretty much occupied the past month. I am thankful to learn that with all the setbacks of living in a developing country, at least you can negotiate your way out of a situation when you’re in a pinch. I have been through my fair share of ups and downs throughout college and I am used to making a little go a long way. At the end of the day, I get to be with my boyfriend on a gorgeous island and that makes all the other ‘stuff’ worth it.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Westerhall, Grenada

Marathon Training: 11.50 miles, 1:52:57.

One of my goals before moving here was to run across Grenada. Being approximately 15 miles wide and 28 miles from top to bottom, I thought this was completely reasonable, I mean come on, what else do I have to do now? Then I got here. And after my first three mile run, I put that dream aside. The hills, the heat, the incessant humidty and sun that never seem to give up, squashed my goals. However, after over two months of dedicated training, we nearly did just that. Cayley's husband, Nick, drove us directly east, up and down the mountains, and deserted us in the rainforest miles away from what we now call home. You can see our route here: Our Cross-Island Route, it really is almost across the island!

Cayley, Tee and I (taking the picture) about to start 11 miles!
Nick had run the route the day before us and described his experience as nearly deathly as the hills are treacherous and the sun, inescapable. After hearing that, I began to dread 4:00pm Sunday. So I did what I do and I over prepared- even going so far as to make a huge bowel of pasta at 4 am with Pat (it’s not unusual for us to be up that late..). After completing the run essentially ache free and with energy to spare, I’m thankful for Nick for psyching me out.

Westerhall, Grenada, West Indies
In other news, I have a semi-job now! A busy and overwhelmed med-student was looking for someone to help with his laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, and taking care of his two huge, but adorable Labradors. Basically I’m doing everything I already do at home, but for money. It’s not much in pay, but it will bring in enough to help with groceries and my student loans bills. Which is a HUGE relief.

I also visited Calivigny Island for some potential income. The man who owns the island is a French billionaire who put 400 million dollars into renovating his own play ground just off the coast of Grenada. My land lord is his sister. I’ll update if this one pans out. At least I got dog walking and laundry for now..

Other than that, the past two weeks have been slightly uneventful. Pat has been almost stress free now that he’s over the midterm hump and aside from our monetary issues, we’re not doing too bad down here. But lets back up here to the ‘monetary issues’ part. We did some minor budgeting before coming down here, but we did not take into account the insane cost of electricity. Insane as in $700.00 USD electricity bill. After first receiving it, I immediately assumed we were being taken advantage of (paranoid a bit?). So I did my research and learned everything I could about the cost of electricity and wattage usage so I would have an arsenal of facts to present my land lord with, and thus, she would realize she was wrong and take away our bill. That did not happen. She says we use too much air conditioning and that she “warned us to keep an eye on it!”. Too much air conditioning as in we only run it for the 8 hours we are sleeping (and suffer the rest of the day in our mosquito filled hot box), and after some ‘careful monitoring for three days’ she says we are still responsible for the bill. Fail.

So our next adventure is finding a new apartment. We have some appointments tomorrow to go out with a landlord and find a new home. Since we are locked into our lease until December, we will not move until second term. But I have budgeted our entire life, and with a much more affordable apartment, and electricity bill, we should make it through next term just fine.

And since I can’t have a blog without some careful reflection, here is a small look into what’s been on my mind lately: I’m still trying to figure out the whole “live life in the moment” thing. Sometimes I step back, usually while running, and think “wow! I live here, this is amazing and not many people can say they lived in the Caribbean, much less in a third world country!” I look around and think about how this experience has already shaped me so much. Not just me, but my relationship, and how I view relationships in general. I have met so many amazing, warm, friendly, helpful people, that are now my friends. I have encountered cultural barriers and misunderstandings from a foreigners view- something I believe everyone should experience at some point in life. And not just while you’re on vacation, I mean really try to live and go about life as an outsider. It is immensely confusing, wonderfully entertaining, and incredibly frustrating at times. I now know prejudice more than ever. This is an experience I would not give up for anything. But at times, I am still antsy. I still need to know that I will go to school, work full time again, and be able to succeed in life. I wish it were easier for me to just sit back and soak in this experience. Maybe, with time, I will be able to do just that- cause I also never thought I would nearly run across Grenada.