Monday, 25 May 2015

Nevisian Life for the Wife

Well everyone in just 3 weeks I will be coming home!

A lot has been happening around here, that it has been hard to find time to actually blog. 
Here are some updates, I have been working full time, and it is going great, I even received my first pay cheque on Friday!! Wohoo! Now just comes the challenge of how to actually cash an international cheque...

Kyle did well on his first round of exams for premed 2, he even got 100% on his organic chemistry exam! Wow!! He studied really hard, especially since he has said that is his most difficult class! Yay Kyle :)

Let's see, I went on a school field trip the other day. We took some of the kids to St. Kitt's to the bottling company. It was pretty cool, except the machine was broken, so the kids didn't get to see any actual bottles being made :( When I asked one the kids if they were having fun, and if they had any questions, the comment I got was ," It's kinda boring." I felt bad for them, there was a lot of talking, and it was hard to hear the man speaking, it was a lot of information to take in. However, I learned that the bottled water is all the same, the only difference is the labels on the bottles. So it definitely makes sense to buy the cheapest water at the store, because it is literally all the same!!

The principal of my school, had invited Kyle and I to her church, so on Sunday we decided to check it out. What an experience! The hardest part was waking up early. They start at 8 am! I thought seeing how it's island time around here, they wouldn't start on time, but nope not when it comes to the Lord's Day. The church was located outside under a tent. According the my principal (Mrs. Clarke), she said their church is different from most island churches. They don't dress up super fancy with big hats and all that. They are also in the process of trying to build their own church. So they have a foundation started, and sometimes after service they would try and do some work. She told me they are pioneers. We met a lot of really nice people, there were about 50 people there, and almost everyone came up to us to introduce themselves. It was kinda obvious we were visitors ;) 
The service was only 3 hours long. Not bad considering a lot of the services here seem to go all day. They had a whole band set up, and even power-point to follow along with lyrics and the message. Very passionate though in terms of worshiping and the lead Pastor. I loved it! I felt a little embarrassed and uncomfortable, because of course the Pastor had to formally introduce us to everyone, and then they prayed for Kyle and his studies for a long time. It was actually very sweet, and I was really humbled by the compassion from everyone. They seemed very supportive us, and told me that since we have met Mrs. Clarke, we are in good hands. Haha! 
It was an awesome experience! I just didn't like getting attacked by ants. I had never had that issue before, but I guess where we were sitting, the ants were everywhere, and kept crawling up my legs and biting me which was distracting. 
Here are some pics of where they have their service. 

This is some land that the church is trying to preserve. It's an old sugar mill. It is actually a square one which I found out is very rare. 

Under the tent is where they had the service set up. 

That's the site of where they are hoping to build their own church, you can see the foundation is already laid out.

I really like that I have been stretched out of my comfort zone here. I feel like I have been breaking through my shell, and I have found myself in situations that I never thought I would be in. I am really proud that Kyle and I have been able to settle in here so nicely. The biggest lesson I am learning here is: you never know what can happen unless you ask. This has forced me to ask a lot of questions to people, and get to know them. Even the work I have been doing at the school, I have been able to gather some resources just by asking the right people. Today someone gave me a free mango! Haha, I was just chatting to a farmer next door, and telling them I like the mangoes, and then I found out I was talking to the aunt of one my kids from the school. So they gave me a free mango! So sweet :) It's these little cultural experiences that have made me appreciate life so much more. Having an open mind has been really critical here. 

Today is a holiday on the island. It was actually nice to be able to enjoy an actual long weekend. I like that I have this work life happening. Although my grocery schedule has been thrown off, I am making it work. I don't like that I haven't been working out as much though, but I am doing my best to still fit in a workout here and there. The kids at the school don't do much physical activity, so I am trying to incorporate more of that. They have been teaching me how to play cricket! So fun!

Since it is a holiday, of course there was a parade at 8 am this morning. Kyle was just heading to class, when the group started to pass by our house. Music blasting for miles, people dressed up in interesting outfits, drunk people hitting on me while I was trying to take pictures, and of course the police guarding the lot while showing off his machine gun. Haha! It was very intense. Here are some pics of that. 

So that's the update for now. Keeping busy in my new island life! Miss you all!

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Happy Mother's Day

Well here we are: Another holiday being spent away from family!

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there! It is strange being away from home during all these holidays. I am still not used to it, but it just reminds me how thankful I am for technology! It also forces me to get a little bit more creative with gifts and such.

We are back in full routine on the island. Kyle back at school, I am actually working full time now. We had a nice time with friends and family visiting during the break. Some great adventures were had by all! With Kyle's friends here, Matt and Justin, we went back to the Source Hike and finished the journey! All the way to the top to a waterfall! It was intense, but it was awesome! We had to climb up a 150 foot ladder, that wasn't really attached to much. Definitely not sturdy, and the rungs were pretty rusted, but we did it! I am shocked that I went the whole way. The guys kept up a pretty fast pace, and I thought with all the running I do I would be able to keep up, but it is totally different doing it in the middle of the day, with no breeze, little water and uphill the entire journey. I don't think I have a fear of heights, but climbing up that ladder was kinda scary, I just remained calm and focused. Then I started to laugh and think I was on the Amazing Race again. Haha, Kyle was cheering me on from the top, and I was making sure not to fall.
These are some stairs we had to climb during the hike

Made it to the waterfall. It was pretty small, but worth it all the same!

This hermit crab we found! So cute, and huge!!!

Yay team!! A little sweaty, but we did it!!

We went to St.Kitts the next day, and this was a great view! Nevis is in the back, covered with clouds

We also went to St.Kitts again and saw the Avengers movie. So awesome!! However, we have definitely hit our budget for the month for entertainment. Two trips in April for St.Kitts really starts to wrack up the already huge amount of debt we have :P However, now that we are back into our routine I don't think we will be spending as much anymore...but Pitch Perfect 2 is coming..... :S

I can't believe that we are into our 5th month here! New students have arrived, and it reminds me how we felt when we started. Not knowing where to buy groceries, asking strangers for help. Now I am the expert! People are coming to me and asking for rides to the store, bus driver numbers, where to buy vegetables! It's crazy! I hope that I can help out the newbies as much as possible, and keeping in my mind that I was just as lost and confused as they were, and that there are no stupid questions when it comes to island living. Although, I did meet a guy this week who I think has been here for awhile and asked if I was a new neighbor, and I was like nope, been here since January, and he was like oh okay, I have never seen you before. I didn't think Kyle and I were big hermits! We have started hanging out with our neighbor more, it's great that he actually wants to go out and do stuff, and he is even running with me!

Now that I am working full time, life here is starting to feel very similar to life back home. Except dealing with the monkeys on the road, and getting to wear flip flops to work. It was pretty random how full time came up, they said it would be easier for paperwork...okay. Well I still have yet to sign any sort of contract or see a paycheck. Oh yes.. #islandtime
But I am still thankful that I get this opportunity. It truly makes me appreciate what I had back home. Towards the end of my work life in Canada, I started to feel a little stressed, and exhausted, and it felt very repetitive. I still loved the kids I worked with, but I did feel like I needed a change. Coming here, and seeing the lack of resources, it makes me miss my old job a lot. Where I didn't have to worry about grabbing bubbles, or a puzzle to do with the kids. It was all right there. Or being able to connect with the parents, and discuss strategies for their child. Now, I feel like I am doing many different roles at once. I feel like an Instructor Therapist, Senior Therapist, Classroom Teacher, Material Prep, Counselor and a Doctor! Trying to balance all these roles has been tough, and I almost feel unprepared for what the Principal expects out of me. My expertise is in autism and providing IBI therapy. Trying to do all these other roles, I am having to teach myself. I am glad I have made some great connections back home, and that they have been willing to help me out with my many questions on how to program for certain skills. But I wouldn't trade this experience for anything!

I am leaving for home in just over a month, and I am actually feeling a little torn up about it! Now that Kyle and I have been settling in; Nevis is home. We have friends here, I have a job here, the only thing missing is family. But with the way technology is, I still get to talk to them everyday. It will be actually bittersweet to leave here for a few months. It will be hard to be apart from Kyle for awhile, but I am hoping some of our friends will take care of him haha. (Make sure he eats) Don't get me wrong, I am excited to go home, I am just surprised that I actually feel sad to leave here for a bit. If I feel this way now, how am I going to handle leaving here for good??!!?! Oh boy...

Anyway, I hope everyone enjoys this mother's day! We love and miss you all!!