Saturday, August 28, 2010

Its been 2 1/2 weeks here. Things are going well. Palak is super busy and stressed with class and exams (already!) and student organizations and all things MPH. I finally have my schedule down. Mondays and Thursdays I go to the pool, most of the other days I go to the beach. I have also found all the grocery stores and a new book store, I have seen the movie theater and found a good donut place.

Overall things are going well. I'm starting to sleep better and I'm exercising regularly. Some things I have adjusted to like the sun rising at 5am. Other things will take longer: the heat. Some things I may never adjust to. At the airport yesterday one of the male workers looked at me and said "are they real?" Since I was not in Hollywood, I assumed he meant my blue eyes. Kinda creepy. Though I have found if you appear confident and like you know where you are going, people bother you less. Perhaps all of the times I have been lost have left me with a skill: being able to stay calm, cool and collected when places are not located where I thought they were.

Skype is amazing. I was able to chat with Gramma and Grampa and Brock and Clair. Seeing their faces makes all the difference and allows me to stay connected to the world that is so far away. Add me: katydid1202

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hitting the Snooze.

I am not sleeping here. Rather I sleep but my sleep is so filled with dreams that when I wake, I still feel exhausted. I am not sure if it is the heat or being in a new place or the vibrant colors here that plague my brain with restlessness but still in my waking hours I find myself wishing I could go back to sleep and puzzling over the dreams where my family members bite me, there are millipedes in my bed and the island floods. I'm told it takes a month to adjust to island life, perhaps this is part of the adjustment.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Grenada? Grenada.

What a whirlwind week it has been.
It took us 40+ hours to get from Chicago to St. George’s University, but came with a free geography lesson of the Caribbean islands. I suppose there are worse things than arriving to a tropical island without your luggage, but I’ll look at it as a blessing in disguise as it allowed me to become brave, figure out the bus system and insist on the airlines checking every nook and cranny before sending us away luggage-less a second time. The apartment is unpacked and put together. We have new friends and have already gone exploring at St. George’s (both the campus and the city) and at the Great Etang Lake.
St. George’s (the city, phew this could get confusing) is the oldest city in Grenada. We walked its hills over and over, getting lost and found in the history, markets and local flavors there. My favorite part of the trip this far was standing in the oldest church in Grenada. It was at least 400 years old. The roof and most of the interior were destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, but the walls, altar, and baptismal area were all intact. Seeing the collection of rain on the floor of this once magnificent structure almost brought me to tears. It was so humbling to be there and think of the thousands of people who had come there to pray during times of hardship and joy. Hopefully the collection box on the side of the wall will continue to fill so the Grenadians can restore this great, beautiful place of worship.

We also went and saw the volcano that created this island. Though it was dormant for many years, my one-credit volcanoes class from UW reminded me to have respect for the giant structure that probably still sits on enough magma to devastate the island. I don’t think I have ever seen so many shades of green and the contrast between the green of the forests against the blue of the ocean was breathtaking, worth every drip of sweat on the hike up. The lake that fills the crater of the volcano is the Great Etang Lake. It is apparently “bottomless” and we were strongly advised not to swim in it, as it has a strong current and brave swimmers have washed up on the other side of the island after attempting a dip in the lake. To top it all off, while we were boarding the buses to go back to the campus, we saw…….MONKEYS!!!!!!!!
Palak started his Master’s program today. I really think he will enjoy the program. He has such a zest for learning that even if they were teaching him about pet rocks, he would probably sit there wide-eyed taking notes on every important detail that floats from the professor’s mouth. For now, I will stay on top of my studies, maintain our apartment, do the shopping and cooking, and hit the beach.
Let’s hope for some sunny skies!