OUR BLAWG!!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Another book.

Finished another book, one I'd been reading for awhile on the side. Highly recommended for anyone who doesn't really know much about science, but wants to.

Every once in awhile I would tell Denise a cool fact from the book, about something like the nature of the universe, and she would look up from her studies and say: "yeah, they taught us that in grade 12."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

'Arry Potter?

I have finished my third book since being here (on that note, we've been here a month now). I reread Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, just in time for the release of a movie I won't get to see until Christmas.


I am told that I should take this opportunity to note that Denise is very pretty.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

My stupid back

In keeping with the theme of rants, I have decided to take a break from learning about the lining of blood vessels to bitch about one of my favourite things to bitch about - my stupid back.

For those of you who read the blog and who I have only recently met, here is the quick back story of why my back sucks....

When I was 14, I was in a car accident on my way home from a piano recital.  I was mostly okay, but over that summer, I noticed my neck and shoulders were aching a lot compared to before the accident.  I decided to go see my doctor about my, what I assumed to be, whiplash from my accident.  On the way to that appointment, I got into another car accident.  Irony is a slutty bitch. (For the record, I was not driving in either case, as I was 14/15).

The second accident exacerbated the injuries from the first accident, and a plethora of health problems ensued.  I now have a chronic back injury (amongst other things) that my doctors back home have pretty much just told me to deal with.

Usually, I am pretty good at dealing with it.  Certain things, like long plane or car rides, picking up heavy things (like children, for example), or sleeping on a shitty pillow, make it a lot worse.  Even fun things like roller coasters and waterslides leave me aching for days.  Another thing that makes it worse is sitting hunched over a desk/cadaver for an extended period of time.  There is really no way of getting around this in medical school.

Since I am leaving next weekend for Canada and will not be in hard-core study mode for that weekend, I really wanted to get a lot done this weekend.  Unfortunately, yesterday, my back decided to be a complete piece of crap, and I pretty much couldn't even sit at a table.  I forced myself to go to an Anatomy Lab Tutorial, then spent the rest of the day in bed, feeling completely useless, watching my workload pile up.  None of my usual coping strategies (T3s, massages, naps, stretching) made it any better.

I tried to get SOME homework done from bed...readings and what not....but work of this nature was limited.

Needless to say, I was really pissed off.  It completely sucks when you actually have a MOTIVATION to study and physically CAN'T do it.  It is also kind of depressing, because it just re-affirms that I can never be a surgeon, since I simply would not be able to take the physical strain of that everyday for the rest of my working life.

Today, I am feeling a bit better.  I decided to go to the pool.  In Vancouver, one of the things I would do when my back flared up would be to hit a tanning salon (I know it's bad for me, and I already have a tan).  The endorphins from tanning really did A LOT to ease the pain.  It worked for me again today!  A couple of hours by the pool and I feel SO much better.



So, I am now studying.  By the end of the night, I assume I will still be behind on what I had originally planned to have done this weekend, and that sucks.

At least I got a tan.

Stupid currency

[Warning: Swear words below]

I hate the coins they use here.

At Island Thrift, I have to count the money at the end of the day, and because we transport our cashbox in a suitcase, the coins get all mixed up. Frustrating, certainly, but all I have to do is separate them. No problem.

Big fucking annoyance.

Here is an East Caribbean Dollar:

Note the charming boat.
Great.

Here is the East Caribbean Quarter:

Note the charming boat.

What the fuck? Why do both coins have the same fucking image on them? They're about the same size as their respective Canadian counterparts, so you have to see them close up or feel them to know the difference. What dumbass thought it was a good idea to make two coins the fucking same?

Now the rest of the coins:

Click to see them much, much larger.
Not only is anything less than a quarter essentially useless (remember, an EC quarter is worth about a dime in Canada), they're also made from some shitty plastic, it's like toy money. And someone - probably the same jackass from above - thought, "Hey, do you know what would fuck up everyone's day? Let's throw a 2 cent coin in there too". Why is it there? Damn it! They must know we're going to throw it away! Argh. And to top it off, all the coins seem to take different shapes: they can be round, they can be octagons, they can be squares, they can even be little bumpy flowers, like the 5 shown above. What the fuck?

What I miss is the nice, differently coloured loonie, and it's charming brother the toonie. Here, at the end of the day, your wallet could have 20 coins, but who the fuck knows how much money you actually have? Canada: nice and simple.

What the hell is this 50 cent coin doing here?

I hate this damned currency.

Rant done.

Friday, September 24, 2010

A good day.

Today we were welcomed with a package from home. Sheer delight, and if any of our fine readers happens to see my parents, please give them a good long hug. In it was a bag of Decadent Cookies from Superstore (Denise's absolute favourite; she just said that they are "birthed from virgin loins"), two different, high-quality spatulas, nice batteries, goldfish (the snack, yum), and, a signature move by my father, random article clippings from the many newspapers he reads. This was a fantastic way to start the day.


This goldfish is apparently large enough to eat the entire bag of cookies.


After getting some solid work done on my story, Denise and I played a game of ball hockey for the first game of the season (our team is entirely Canadian, and we're called "Coast to Coast like Buttered Toast"). We lost 7-3, but the second half score was 3-3, so it just took us awhile to adjust to the style of the game. We'll get better the more we play, but we don't have enough players. So glad to be starting hockey again.

This represents hockey.

Afterwards we went to the Tomato, which is one of the only restaurants here that is truly North American (I almost worked there, but have been told by most that I dodged a bullet turning it down). We had delicious burgers, and Kubuli on tap. Draught Kubuli is so much better than bottled, holy balls. We were joined by two couples, and since one of them is an avid reader, what's up Suzie?



So it was a good Friday. These tastes of home (packages, hockey, good beer) are nice breaks every once in awhile, and keep us afloat when we get overwhelmed by the fact that we're in the middle of the Caribbean with few reminders of Canada around us.

Birthday Shout-outs!!

Happy birthday wishes to Wendy/mom and SJ!!!


I made you this cake, but unfortunately you are not here to eat it, so I will do it for you.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mark reaps the benefits of the biggest hockey market in the world

Thank God.

I had been worried this entire time that I wouldn't be able to watch hockey. Not only would I not get to watch Hockey Night in Canada, nor even my precious Leafs, I wasn't able to see any hockey games at all (even American-only games on NBC).

The days of darkness are over, my friends.

With a flash of inspiration, I looked into Leafs TV Online. Not only do they offer Leafs games for pretty cheap (most of the games in the season for 40$), they apparently will accept the postal code of the Eaton Centre in Toronto as my home address!

And so, ladies and gentlemen, the Kubuli finally tastes alright. I'm in between periods, and have just watched Kessel and Caputi work some magic to bring the Leafs the lead.



After five years of crappy hockey, being a Leafs fan has finally paid off: they're one of the only teams to exclusively offer their games streaming online for a fee. I love Canadian capitalism.

f...m...l...

The fact that this image, while reduced in size, STILL spills over the margins of this blog,  is indicative of how lame this is...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hail to the Chief, he's the Chief and he needs hailing...

I hereby announce my candidacy for the Presidency of the Ross Spouse Organization.

I plan on running for the position which will be vacated January 2011. The RSO, the most powerful and influential spouse organization in the entire country, is in dire need of moral leadership. With a tyrannical fist, I will bring order to this eminent committee, and earn respect for all non-spousal spouses!

So please, though I run unopposed, support my candidacy for President of the RSO. Together we can bring morality, fiscal responsibility, and military strength to this prestigious office! Don't settle for economic girly-men!

Thank you.

The Honourable (?) Mark McLean

This is me.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Manicures, Mochaccinos and Minis on Moo Cow Trail.

Yoooooooo,

So today, I wrote my first Mini (aka midterm) in medical school.
Here’s a rundown of my yesterday…

I woke up around 9, had a quick snack, did my rounds on the internet, and then hit the books!  I studied at home for the first bit, which I am usually opposed to since I think home should be where you go to decompress, not study.  However, the lazy monster attacked me, so I stayed home.  When Mark got up hours later, we had an actual breakfast, and I studied some more.

Let me be clear that when I say I “studied” the day before my exam, I really mean I reviewed certain things for the 4th or 5th time, and really focused on material that I knew I was already good at…I think confidence boosts the day before an exam are key.  This is also the same reason that I wore kitten-heels to my exam.

When my productivity started to wane at home, Mark and I headed out to campus.  We walked with our friend Katie (also a spouse) who lives next door.  We stopped by Rituals (a coffee shop nearby), and I got an iced mochaccino.  It was good…but no Starbucks…

Mark and Katie went to the activity center to play board games and watch movies, and I hit the library.  We caught the 8pm shuttle home, getting home in time to make the most delicious dinner to date before Skyping with Mark’s sister, Jocelyn.  We put the laptop at the table with us, and it was like she was there.  It felt kinda weird, but cool…like many things in life.

I had a “no-more-studying” policy from 8pm onwards.  Instead, I painted my nails, gave myself a facial, and watched an episode of Sex and the City (thanks Vanessa!  I am definitely putting your gift to good use).  For those who care, we watched the episode where Carrie and Aiden break up for the first time at Charlotte’s wedding.  A real tear-jerker.


The happy couple.....FOR NOW.......

Then, it was off to bed around 10:30, 11pm.  Exam was at 8 this morning.  I had a hard time getting to sleep, and woke up a couple of times throughout the night, but I still felt pretty rested this morning.  I uploaded some new songs onto my IPod, and then Mark walked me to Rituals (again) and bought me an Americano.  It was delicious.
He went home, and I finished the walk to campus alone.

I listed to “Any Which Way” by the Scissor Sisters, and “Electric Feel” by MGMT on the walk down to my exam, and then an acoustic version of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” that I ripped off of YouTube right before the exam (check her out…she is from Maple Ridge and amazing… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YGBLt3y-ew ).

Here is a picture of the material from the first 2 weeks that I was expected to know for this morning…(for the record….I knew it…. ;) )


Contents include: Physiology, Histology, Anatomy, Microanatomy, Microbiology, Doctor Patient Society, Integrated Medical Education, and Biochemistry.

This pile might look smaller than last weeks, but that is only because the weight of all my knowledge is weighing it down. Also, that pile does not included assigned textbook readings (which I continue not to do anyway).

My next exam is October 8th, and is cumulative, as every exam will be.  I have my Gross Anatomy Practical exam (i.e., cadaver lab practical exam) on October 11th.  However, before then, I have a wedding to attend in Winnipeg!  My going to the wedding was contingent on (a) doing well on this exam, and (b) not being trapped here by a hurricane.

I have already started my list of things to get from Staples…those hurricanes better not fuck with me…

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mashed Breadfruit

This Saturday, at the Portsmouth market, we finally managed to find the coveted breadfruit. We'd heard they were delicious, but that they were going out of season and difficult to find. It was also hampered by the fact that I really didn't know what they looked like. But find them we did, and today we cooked one of them.


A breadfruit is about the size of a bowling ball.
 When we looked up how to cook it, the trusty internet told us to treat it like a potato, and so I boiled and mashed about a quarter of it, and added some chicken stock for taste. Holy balls it's tasty. Denise thinks it's her favourite food so far. It tastes a lot like potato, but has a more solid, creamier texture. We looked up the nutritional information, and it is loaded with vitamin C, fiber and potassium. And we still have three quarters left! Though after that, it'll be pretty hard to find until summer.

That's been one of the themes here, that is both frustrating and rewarding. Food is heavily dependant on the season. It's frustrating because restaurants will simply not have many things on their menus, and if you're craving a type of fruit or vegetable, you have to make due. The reward makes it worth it though, since you're forced to experiment (unless you want to eat beans and rice all year), and the results are almost always delicious.

Other new acquisitions from the Saturday market were 1.5 litres of coconut water, and a sweet potato. Yum!

The Attack of the Cows

Two nights ago, Denise and I were returning home late from campus. Normally we take the shuttle all the way to our house, but that night it was easier just to get off at a neighbour's place, and walk half a block. Little did we know the obstacles that were in our way.



Three cows lined the side of the road, like an honour guard welcoming us home. One of them, as you can see in the video below, had horns over a foot long. As we walked past them, two of them suddenly walked right towards us, as if to attack! (cows can barely walk, so any attack is really more of an aggressive saunter.)

We had to scurry through the protection of our gates, as the three cows menacingly followed behind us. We don't know what spurred them on; normally they stare blankly ahead and barely acknowledge your existence. For some reason, that night, they charged us. Our very lives were threatened.

Afterwards they just hung out outside of the gate, and we decided to take a video. Behold my magical editing powers! Also included, tacked on for ten seconds at the end of the video, is a clip of a symbiotic relationship happening with the cows. Herons hang out around them, often riding on their backs, because they eat little bugs that are on the cows body. Cool, eh?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJG5oNxrHNQ

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dead bodies and some literature.

Denise has taken to speaking of cadavers as if talking about a grocery list. Over dinner, she talked about how all the stray body parts have to be put in a bucket under the table, so that the body can be kept together for cremation. She said this as she munched on a cucumber. Charming.

In other news, I have finished my second novel while here, The Great Gatsby (The first one I read was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). It's good. I heartily recommend it.


Also finished is the rough draft for the novel I've been writing. Hopefully, I'll have it fully completed by Christmas.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"I think they named oranges before they named carrots" - Demetri Martin

Oranges here are green. And tasty.


Welcome Andrea! You're just as cool as everyone else who is now following us!

Monday, September 13, 2010

A longing for some good beer

I return from my trip to Roseau victorious. Everything there is much cheaper, so the hour long, winding road is well worth getting products that they don't have here.

I decided to splurge and finally bought a pack of the local beer. A "pack" is 24 small (200 ml) bottles placed in a plastic container which you can return for 10 EC (4$ CDN). For 24, it costs about 55 EC if you include the returned container, so the small bottles end up costing a little under a dollar CDN apiece.

*A quick note on the beer. It's slogan is "Dominica's Pride", and its name comes from a shortened aboriginal word for Dominica, Wai'tu Kubuli, which means "tall is her body."



It's pretty crappy beer. It sucks. I would compare it to Molson Canadian (which likewise seems to brag about being the pride of a country). The only thing is that you really can't get much else. They have a lot of Heineken and Guiness, but I might as well support a crappy local beer rather than a crappy German beer, and drinking a stout in this climate is madness.

More than anything else that I've missed from Canada, is a good, frothy ale. I'm talking about a dark amber coloured beer poured into a clear pint, with a couple centimeters of foam. My mouth is literally watering, and I'm staring at my Kubuli with disdain.



Still, a beer's a beer, and I'm increasingly suspecting that I'm a beer snob. It'll do for now, and really in this heat, a flavourful ale would have trouble competing against a cold lager.

We'll see how Kubuli mixes with hockey season. If I can get any hockey games here at all (fingers crossed) (Go Leafs Go!).

A week's worth of learning



This is all the notes from my first week of medical school (not including textbook readings...which I don't do anyway).  I plan on making this a weekly thing.  I predict the pile will be up to my knee by the end of the semester.


Overall, I am feeling okay about school so far.  I don't feel overwhelmed.  I'm not filled with a sense of dread.  I  have made time everyday to decompress and do things for fun.  I'm either (a) a better student than I remember, or (b) completely missing something and am going to flunk out.  


I ran into a 4th semester the other day who I recognized from UBC (we have mutual friends, but never spoke at UBC).  She reassured me that this stuff (meaning medical school) is manageable.  She also told me that UBC really prepares it's science students well for medical school because of all the self-directed study that is required (code for profs there don't feel like teaching and except you to figure it out yourself....).  So, I guess that's a plus for me!  She also said that Canadian students tend to do better overall than the American students.  I'm hoping for a bit of self-fulfilling prophecy here.


So, for those of you that were hoping this blog would be a portrait of my eventual mental break-down, you are out of luck (so far).  Stay tuned, though!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The White Coat Ceremony

Before I begin, I am supposed to holla at our "number one follower" Jocelyn. Joss, you light up our lives!

On Friday, Denise took part in the White Coat Ceremony. The event is historically quite recent; Columbia started it in 1993, and then several other universities have done it since. It is the university's formal way of initiating its students. There were several speeches, then all the students are given a white coat by the faculty, and then they all rise and recite the Honour Code (this basically states that they won't pretend to be doctors while they're in school, and will act professional).



There were several highlights. The Prime Minister of Dominica attended (swear to God), and he turned out to be way cooler than our Prime Minister. You can see him speaking in the video below. He's very calm and very intelligent, and seemed kind of shy getting the attention he did when he walked into the room. He's apparently the youngest head of government in the world, at 38.

My favourite part of the ceremony was when one of the speakers spoke eloquently about how White Coat Ceremonies are often wrongly interpreted as elitist, creating the illusion of a divide between doctors and mere mortals, when really they're about going through a journey. Then, as they had students came don the coats, they played Queen's "We Are the Champions" on repeat. This island really needs to stop with the irony, it's killing me.

Afterwards there was delicious food, the tastiest of which was a pastry that was essentially a Boston Cream donut. Mmm, pastries that are otherwise rare here. Mmm.

Below is a video of three parts of the ceremony: the entrance of members of the army, carrying both the Dominican flag and the American one (this was followed by the anthems of both, about which I want to make two comments: First, the pretty large portion of Canadians in the room were somewhat miffed that no Canadian anthem was present, considering Ross isn't even technically an American school. Second, the anthems' juxtaposition was hilarious. Dominica went first, and their anthem is this lovely, Caribbean-esque song about how their forests and rivers will provide them with the happiness to love God, followed by the American one about how they kicked ass in a war). Then there's the speech by the Prime Minister, and Denise accepting the white coat.

Enjoy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PZGmVd45QA

PS. Welcome to the family of followers, Katie and Sam! We still don't know what it means when you're following us, other than you seem to think we're pretty cool.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

This post is me procrastinating...

Where I am currently studying....



Where I wish I was studying...

Saturday morning market

While we say we live in Portsmouth, Ross campus is actually a bit of a hike away, about a 30 minute walk from the town of Picard and Ross.

It's difficult to get fresh produce here, and the Saturday market in downtown (as it were) Portsmouth is really the only place to get it unless you want to pay double nearby. Paying double really means paying about what it costs in Canada. The food here is cheap and delicious, but not always easy to acquire.

The market opens at 6am, and we got there around 645 with some other students. It's a lovely walk (cab ride there is about 60 cents Cdn, but the walk is worth it. We took the cab back.) with a view of the bay and the mountains in the background. Apparently, Picard seems to be cow jurisdiction; the closer you get to Portsmouth, the more chickens roam freely.

It should be noted before you scroll through the pictures, so Denise doesn't get mad at me, that all these photos are courtesy of Denise and her camera.

Look close and you see a chick!



The little speck on the left mountain is an old trading post that they've restored.

A blurry photo of me.




The Indian river. This is the last photo we took before the market, as we were pretty sure that we weren't allowed to take photos there.


The market is fun. This is the second time we've gone. Last Saturday we woke up at 5:30 and said screw it. As a consequence, we've been eating a lot of rice, pasta and beans. Now, our fridge is loaded, and we're friggin' pumped.

What we bought:

-pumpkin
-eggs
-homemade honey
-fresh tuna (they literally dragged out a huge fish, cut it into steaks for us, and gave it to us in a bag, all in the back of his truck)
-cherries (these are quite tart, but tasty)
-avocados
-onion
-tomatoes
-cocoa (Denise tried some and was thoroughly disgusted. Might be good with the honey)
-watermelon
-two fresh cinnamon buns
-coconut water

Two dozen eggs, watermelon, avocado, cinnamon buns.


Roughly clockwise from the top: pumpkin, tuna, avocado, eggs, cucumber, tomato, watermelon, onion, cherries, coconut, cinnamon bun, honey.


When we asked the seller where the honey came from, he thumped his chest and said: "from my heart! from my heart!"


All this is super fresh, and we're pretty sure it's all organic (they make this a selling point for us yuppies, I think for everyone else it's just called food). The coconut is a special treat. Two people come to market with the back of their truck literally overflowing with coconuts, and for 1.25 EC (50 cents CDN), they take a machete and hack it up so you can hold it in one hand, and then make the tiniest slit into the middle and give you a straw. You get about a cup of juice, and it's refreshing and delicious. Here's Denise drinking from it.




Friday, September 10, 2010

Denise's White Coat Ceremony.

Hey there,

Feel free to check out Denise's White Coat Ceremony. It's kind of a big deal, like a rite of passage for new Med School students. Click on the link below:


http://exmediasite.rossmed.edu.dm/webcast




Also, a big ol' thanks to two new followers. Hello Suzie and my dad!

Mark

The Weather

I'm going to be stepping out and heading to campus in a minute, but as it stands it's raining right now, so this gives me a good opportunity to, well, talk about rain.

Weather here is kind of the opposite of Winnipeg. In Winnipeg, you can see a storm on the horizon, sometimes you can predict when it will arrive, if at all. Here, we're on the west side of the island, and most of the weather comes from the east. We don't find out about the clouds until they roll overtop of the mountain above Portsmouth. So it could be the nicest (read sunny, which doesn't mean nice for me) day, and then a looming black cloud hangs right above the mountain. Ten minutes later it's absolutely pouring, and anything that's not under cover will be drenched. 5 minutes after that, the sun's out and it's clear skies.

It's taking some getting used to, but the main lesson I've learned is that if it starts raining, find cover immediately.

Here's a map!



Mark

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Despite all the things that I miss about home (namely Staples, Starbucks and sushi), Dominica does have some strange advantages. 

For example, it is cheaper to buy a bottle of Diet Coke than a can.  The reason for this is that there is a Coke bottling factory on the island (aka. my own personal Mecca).  It costs more to import the cans than to buy the Diet Coke that was bottled an hour away.  The "Spouse Association" does bi-weekly trips to this factory where you can pick up flats of Coke products....guess where Mark is going next week.....

Another thing is the fruit here - it's like super fruit.  I don’t know if it’s because it’s organic or what, but I have SO much energy after I eat a piece of fruit here - way more than I got from fruit back home.   I had a glass of unsweetened grapefruit juice (which I later sweetened with my emergency Splenda supply in my bag), and it was like someone had stuck me with an EpiPen.  I also tried a new fruit today called ken├Ęp.  It’s like a candy.  You peel off the hard green shell after you break it with your teeth, and then you suck this delicious mango-grape-ish fruit off of the seed in the middle.  It’s heaven.



In other news, I am now 3 days into medical school.  I’d be lying if I said it was  everything I hoped it would be.  I don’t think there was any way I could’ve prepared any differently, though.  It’s really just a matter of staying on top of things and not letting yourself fall behind.  If you do, you will never catch up.  There’s simply just too much to know.  That being said, I think I’ve learned more in the last 3 days then I did in an entire semester at UBC.

As a wise man once said, I just gotta keep on keeping on.

The kenep will help.



Denise.

Walking update

People here drive on the left side of the road. This is surprisingly exhausting to watch, because you have to think backwards anytime they make a turn. Correspondingly, in societies where they drive this way (ie. London), pedestrians mirror the system. In Canada, we tend to stay to the right when we pass one another on the sidewalk. Here, they stay to the left. A friend was lectured by a local to stay to the correct side, which naturally is the left side.

What I've noticed is that when I pass a local, I've begun consciously moving to the left, as they do, to pass smoothly. But when I pass a student or a spouse, we all stay comfortably to the right. It's very strange, but also reassuring, like the tiniest slice of home.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Cow update

We haven't seen them around for the last few days, and that made us sad. But today, they were out in full force. Saw several of them on the road to campus. And in the campus itself, somehow one of them got through the super-duper tight security and ran around mooing. I sat and watched an older security guard, not 5"6, 120 pounds, chase this huge cow back and forth across the library front lawn. I don't think he had much of a plan. I pointed this out, incredulously, to a passing student, who looked at me and said, "First semester?"

Apparently this isn't all that rare.

Monday, September 6, 2010

A late night stroll

So I just had an adventure. Denise and I are on campus, as she has to study late (I suspect this might be a regular occurrence). I went into town, maybe a 7 minute walk, to buy electricity from the local store (the 7-11 that isn't a 711). As I walked past the security gate and down the street, suddenly all the streetlights and houselights went out. I returned to the front gate, because walking around in the dark seemed a little too sketchy. The campus, meanwhile, didn't notice, as they have an obscene generator. When the lights turned back on, I headed for the store, and approached the counter with rice and cheese. The counter is where you request electricity.

As I put my products on the counter, suddenly all the lights go out. The cashier calmly takes out a portable lamp, and takes my order on the computer that is somehow still running. I sheepishly ask if it is still possible to buy electricity, to which she replies "yes" as if I was stupid. I bought 50 EC worth and left.

I felt elated. I didn't share this with the cashier, whom I suspect wouldn't appreciate it all that much, but I was able to buy electricity in a power outage. The irony lifted my soul.

On the walk back, the street lights were still out. As I passed a section of the street where the lights of Ross were blocked, I chanced to look up. There I saw the greatest amount of stars I have ever seen. I had thought that the stars on this island would be more numerous than Vancouver, but they really haven't.

Not during a blackout though. They were magnificent.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Our Fridge



Here is our fridge in Dominica.  We brought down pretty much everything that was on our fridge in Vancouver (everything Jocelyn.....).  It makes us happy.

I'm 98% excited and 2% scared....or maybe it's 98% scared and 2% excited...I dunno....that's what makes it so intense...

Tonight Mark and I celebrated (mourned?) my last night of freedom.  I start class tomorrow, after which point I will no longer be the girl-who-wants-to-go-to-medical-school, but rather, a medical student.  I am about to start training for the last job I will ever have (theoretically).  Suck it, Burger King!



I spent today mostly chillaxing.  I went to the gym in the morning and worked on my fitness.  Then I went to the library, did some Face-creeping, and pre-read all my lectures for week...cuz I'm hard-core like that.  Had a delicious Subway tuna sandwich for lunch, hung out with Mark at work, then went back to the air conditioned library to send a few emails.  After Mark was done work, we went to the pool with some friends.  (I heard that there was actually a crab in the pool the other day - it had somehow managed to scurry in there from the beach without getting demolished.)  We walked home, I showered, then played on the iPad until we headed for dinner.  If this was my life everyday, I could definitely get used to it.

There is a restaurant down the street from our house called Riverside.  They are an international restaurant, and they aren't messing around.  They have American, Italian, Dominican, Chinese, and Thai food - they even carry sushi sometimes, which you buy by the piece, not the roll.  I wouldn't dare contaminate my refined sushi palate with sushi from Dominica.  Although the service is SO slow (tonight was exceptionally bad), the food is consistently delicious.  I had the best seafood fettucini of my life, and banana spring rolls with home-made ice cream for dessert.  This little guy was chilling next to our table for a while...



which made Mark wary.



We just got home now.  The walk up Moo Cow, despite the conspicuous lack of cows, was awesome because I got to see two of my favourite things....

1. puppy prints in cement (they even match my tattoo), and



2. garbage art....does this piece of wrapper not totally look like a parrot with a blue beak!?!



Anyway, I am off now.  Should probably try to get a good night’s sleep before I become a doctor.  Ciao!