Sunday, 2 April 2017

How To Say Goodbye?

Well everyone, this is it...the last month we will be spending on Nevis! I cannot believe how time has flown by here. The amazing memories I have made since coming here nearly 2.5 years ago! A wild adventure indeed. Therefore, instead of writing a sappy post of how much I am actually going to miss this place, I thought I write a poem. I hope many of you will recognize the tune I had in mind. Enjoy!! 

This is the story all about how, my life got flipped turned upside down
I’d like to take a minute, just hear my strife,
I’ll tell how you how I survived Nevis, life as a wife

5 Years of marriage, making our way
When my husband says to me, hey I’d like a change
Packing our bags for medical school
We moved to an island, feeling so cool

Sun, sand and Soca were the ways of the island
I spent the first few months really just limin’

Time to get a job and work on my degree,
We ended up buying a junky SUV

Getting through premed was the aim,
Then it was time to step up our game

Started work in education, providing therapy
I began to understand Nevis history
Filling my days going from school to school,
Donkeys in the way was just the usual

Going to town, waiting in line for hours
Only to find, that there is no power

Missing our family, but not the cold
Going out on my own, I became more bold

Finding a new friend, we started to conquer our work
Weekends at the beach were a really nice perk

Volunteering with SO, coaching the kids to swim,
It was no wonder, I began to fit in

Hiking, swimming, working out,
The outdoors were my playground, without a doubt

But here we are, our time is done
I can’t believe, what we have overcome

Late night studying, hospital rotations,
It didn’t come easy, we had to be patient

Now it’s just about time, the final sunset upon us
It’s hard to say goodbye but we must continue our progress

Thank you to our friends and family for your continued support

We hope to see you at the Toronto airport!

The pictures below are from some of the best days I had on the island in the past 3 months. From limbo on the beach, to amazing sunsets, to going on my jogs with some awesome people, to hiking and helping out with Special Olympics, and getting up close with some monkeys! It's hard to say what I will miss the most here. I have made some amazing new friendships that I know we will stay in touch. However, I am ready to close this chapter and move on to the next. It's been fun Nevis!! Thank you!! #nevisnice 

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Home Stretch of Island Life

Hello friends and family!

I know it has been a long time since I have blogged. I am so sorry for not having continued updates. Last semester (Med 4 for Kyle) was probably the busiest for both of us.

Here is a quick recap:

October: Sweating our way through this month by using the A/C a lot!! My best friend got married. I was so happy I was able to be home for it.

November: Got another flat tire. I got really sick, and had to actually see a doctor on Nevis. That was interesting, Kyle actually checked me out and then I had to get an x-ray and some of his classmates got to analyze it. A learning opportunity for all. Ended up with a bacterial lung infection and had to take a week off work.
I also met Prince Harry! That was the best!!! We also celebrated American Thanksgiving with some of the spouses of students.

December: Graduated from ASU, traveled to Arizona for my grad, went to the Grand Canyon, had a white Christmas, and rang in the new year with some friends!

So now that you are all caught up, this semester so far has been pretty good. It is much cooler this month, we haven't needed to use the A/C at all. Now that I am not in school, I have more free time which has been great to enjoy more beach days. Kyle has really been cracking down with studying. He has a final comprehensive exam he has to write at the end of the semester so he has been really focused on that. Since we have been back, I have spent more time meeting new spouses of students, and hanging out with the old ones. We have had some brunches, kids' birthday parties, sunset beach running and I even tested out meal prepping for the first time and loved it! 

I cannot believe we are down to our final months here! People keep asking me if I am going to miss it or if I am excited to leave. Honestly, I don't know. Some days I find some myself dreaming of fast food places, Costco and other amenities, especially when the water goes out, or we lose power. But then I have other moments where I am watching the sunsets, the blue waters, and hanging out with my new friends and our brunches we have, my workout classes, the kids I work with, and just reflecting on the connections I have made here and I can't imagine leaving. I know Kyle is ready to go, he wants to start the next chapter, and I am sure I will be ready too. But I have invested so much into getting to know this island, and truly making it my home I know it will be hard to leave. I met the island postman the other day who was shocked he hadn't met me before, so I guess when you live on an island for 2 years you are supposed to know everyone by then? Nevis is small but I didn't think it was that small, and also, we don't get mail...

These last few months for me will be wrapping things up at work and hoping all the stuff I accomplished won't fall apart the day I leave. I also will help out at one more Special Olympics National Games and hopefully compete in the Cross Channel Swim to St. Kitts in March. We then have to start thinking of what items we will be bringing back with us and what we are going to sell. I have met some new spouses here who have already called dibs on a lot of my stuff. Plus having connections in the community, they are more than willing to help me get rid of stuff. We have to sell our car, (Kyle is tempted to let it run off a cliff  :P) and we have to close our bank accounts and then I have to say my goodbyes. I will do my best to write more blogs these last few months. Last semester was hard because I was finishing my last two courses, working, volunteering and exercising.

April is coming up fast. It is hard not knowing where we will be in the coming months but we do know we will be back home while Kyle completes an online study course and prepares for the Step 1 exam. After he writes that, things are up in the air. He will have to start clinical rotations which will most likely be in the States. I am not sure I will be going yet. Lots of decisions and unknowns right now, but for the time being I am trying to enjoy my island life until the last possible sunset.

Thank you friends and family for your continued support, you have stuck with us this far and we are so appreciative!!

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Fitness Filled Fall!

Hey Friends,

What a crazy month it has been! Between settling back to the island life, Kyle back in classes, the extreme heat and my new position at work, time is flying!

A few exciting events have happened this month. It first started with the Nevis Running Festival. I participated in the 5k race on behalf of the Special Olympics team. I then ran in the 10k. It was hard work, there were a few hills I was not prepared for, and even at 6 am it is still really hot!
These were some of the participants for the 5k

5k Medal                                                                                    10k Medal

I also went on a hike up to some waterfalls. Truly and I took some visitors up the mountain on the long weekend. Before I leave, my goal will be to hike to the peak! I have heard it's pretty intense, so I need more practice with the smaller hikes :) 

This was a cool silo at the base of our hike

My friend's pup was anxiously waiting to continue the climb

Another event I participated in was called the Fit Games. It's a an obstacle course that you can compete in with a team or individually. My trainer signed me up unbeknownst to me! He needed a substitute, and you have to have at least one female on your team. So I only had 2 weeks to train, oh and then he told me the day before the competition that their team has been undefeated so no pressure :/ okay, cool... Anyway the day of the competition they changed the rules a bit which threw off which leg of the race I was completing. However we still managed to finish first! Phew! My other friend who I teach swimming with competed in the individual competition and won first place also! Kyle came out to support us, and managed to catch some of it on film, especially where I totally wiped out! I got a nasty cut on my leg from the tires I was running across. Good times! I'm not sure if I will compete again, it was harder than it looks, but at least I got a cool medal out of it. 
The winning team!

The fancy trophy that allows for bragging rights! The guy on the left was partner for most of the course! 

My friend Val who is also my swimming partner and she won the individual comp! 

The nasty tire burn I got. It makes for a good conversation starter ;) 

We have also started our swim program again. We have a good turn out so far, so I am excited to see how much we can build up our swim club. The Special Olympic athletes will also be involved in some of our classes. Our goal is to build a team to participate in the cross channel swim in March, where we swim from Nevis to St.Kitts. We are hoping to do it in a relay style. I am hoping to train and participate in that as well. Training involves swimming at 6am 3 mornings a week. I haven't really started yet, but hoping to next week. Ha! 

Finally, I completed in another 5k race this past weekend to support the St. Christopher Children's Home in St. Kitts. We ran around the golf course by the Marriot. It was fun to run somewhere different for a change, plus all the proceeds help the children!

This was the group I participated with! 

Currently, I don't have any other scheduled fitness events. I just continue to train for running and soon swimming. My friend on the island is trying to convince me to do the triathlon in November, but that involves riding a bike on these crazy roads, which I have no desire to do. 

On another note, I have been so busy with my new position it's kind of amazing what we have been able to do. Training teachers on implementing a checklist that myself and my colleague created for the preschools has certainly kept us busy. We have seen a lot about how the education system works on the island here. They have a lot of catching up to do if they want to come even close to North American standards, but the good news is they are realizing they need to make changes, so I am happy I get to help with that. Especially after receiving some devastating news that one of my clients I used to work with here passed away last week. She was the first child I worked with here, and one of the reasons I was able to get a job in the first place. I was so upset by this news and disappointed that it got to the point it did. She had been sick for a long time, I am just sad that no one here was able to help her in the way she deserved. 

Anyway, that's how our September went. We also survived hurricane Matthew. We experienced some high winds and some rain, but nothing to crazy like some of the other islands. I'm pretty sure it was still a tropical storm when it was over top of us. It was two full days of overcast weather. We haven't had that in the whole time I have been was actually a little depressing not to see the sun for awhile. The breeze was a nice break though, I was able to wear pants! 

I also had a new experience of playing island bingo! A couple of the spouses of students wanted to check it out so I tagged along. It was actually so fun. It was very loud and the bingo announcer was not your typical guy. He liked to call out numbers by saying O for October and G for Make America Great Again, and N for Nevis and then my favourite was when he said B10 minus 5. Or I16 plus 4. However it was all worth it because one of my friends actually won the jackpot! It was a full card, and right before she got bingo, someone thought they had it but it was a bad bingo! So 2 other people won also so they split the pot of 3300 EC. We then raced to the car and got out of there as quick as possible. People were jealous for sure! But it was a neat experience, and something I never thought I would do here. 
My card was a loser

My friend on the left was the big winner!

So that is the latest update here. Kyle begins hospital rotations this week, and I start my final two courses next week. It is going to be a busy couple of months until December. I'm not sure how much blogging time I will get now. I also will be travelling back to Canada for a week at the end of October for my best friends wedding. So exciting!! 

Thanks everyone for your continued support! We really appreciate it!