Thursday, 26 November 2015

Hospital Trips and Car Problems

Just to warn you, the items in the title don't relate so don't worry everyone is okay!

Well it certainly has been an interesting couple of weeks here. I have been winding down with my online school stuff and getting very excited to come home! I have been spending more of my weekends relaxing on the beach too. However, a couple weeks ago, I show up to work scratching like crazy! My legs were so itchy that I didn't even get much sleep the night before. A fellow teacher walked into my office while I was furiously applying bug spray and scratching like a monkey. I had these three red bumps in a row on one of my legs, and I had a bunch more tiny dots all around my feet and ankles. I had some on my arms and a couple on my hands. Now, I normally get a ton of mosquito bites in one sitting. My workplace is just invested with them, and for some reason they love me on this island. However, these bumps to me did not look like normal mosquito bites. The teachers immediately panicked and told me I had scabies!! Since I had never heard of that, I immediately took to Google. FYI don't do an image search. Gross! I definitely didn't look like anyone in those pictures, but the bumps the people had, sort of resembled what I had except a lesser amount. What got me even more panicked was that the teacher said she heard on the radio that Scabies is going around especially in day care centers. Uhh red alert for me! I have been seeing a client at one of the day care centers on the island! She also said it's contagious, and freaked out and started following me around with a can of Lysol. She takes me to show the principal and another teacher and they were both like yep you need to go to the hospital. Great... So I didn't exactly know how to get there, so the principal and another teacher refusing to drive in my car for fear of me being contagious hopped in their own car and I followed them. It was so embarrassing, that when we got there, they wouldn't even let me in the waiting room, so I had to wait outside! Meanwhile the teachers keep giving me weird looks and telling me they are noticing more dots on my neck and arms. Fantastic. So, I finally get let in through this sneaky side door, and they stick me in a room with all this equipment and posters on how to do CPR. Umm, if you need a poster to tell you how and you are the doctor, I'm in trouble. The nurse comes in and checks my pulse, of course it's high, people are telling me I have some sort of disease!! A few minutes later a doctor comes in and looks at all my dots. He is also one of the teachers from Kyle's school. Not wearing gloves, or anything, he freely touches my little bumps, then asks if I have been to the beach lately. I said yes I went on the weekend (this was a Tuesday). He said oh those are sand fly bites. So I'm not contagious? He laughs and says nope. I said, great because those teachers out there think I have Scabies. The nurse laughs and says Scabies?!?! I haven't seen that on this island in years! Crisis averted. The doctor still gave me a prescription for some oral meds and some cream to put on these bites, and the trip to the hospital cost 40EC which is about 20 CAN. Oh and I had to go to 3 different pharmacies to get the prescriptions because none of them had this stuff. So for the whole ordeal, and stress it cost about 80EC. I was keeping Kyle updated as best as I could but he was stuck in class so he couldn't really do much except to tell me to calm down over text. 

So now for my car problems. The other night Kyle and I were driving home from yet another potluck dinner when we heard an interesting sound coming from the front of the car. Kyle was just like huh that's weird, and kept on going. It eventually went away and we thought nothing of it. The next day as I am on my way to work, I round a corner to my school and I start to hear that same noise. As I pull in the parking lot, I have to go down a slight hill, and I start to brake to park the car. I then hear a loud clunk and my foot is to the floor and I am not breaking. The tires screech, and thankfully there was a curb so the car stopped. Shaking coming out of the car, I tell my principal that I think my car just broke. I explain what happened and she was like Oh migamo! (Which means omg) She calls up a mechanic she knows and he shows up a little later. His name is Sargent and he opens up the hood and says well there is no leak anywhere but I'll come back with my boss. While he is gone, some of the kids think it's hilarious, especially since my car isn't the nicest to look at. One boy tells me to check under my car. He takes me to my car and bends down and picks up a piece of metal. That's when I notice fluid near the front right tire. This kid seemed smarter than the mechanic!! So Sargent comes back with his boss, and I show him the piece of metal. Oh you just need new break pads, no problem! So his boss jumps in the car and starts driving it... using the hand break he manages to drive it back to his shop. Surprisingly I was able to pick up the car at the end of the day, and for parts and labor it cost $250EC. Not bad considering back home, you can never have your car in the shop for just a day! Mind you, this guys' "shop" was just a shack with a bunch of old cars around it. Interesting enough, his shop was across from the Suzuki Dealership. Anyway, I drove the car home in one piece and I was able to stop! No problem ;)

I am pretty proud of myself that I was able to handle all this. Yes I did have help and made a few panicked phone calls to Kyle, but I survived and I am so thankful the car broke down as I got to school, and not down the windy roads and hills. 
Anyway, here is a picture of a cool rainbow on my way home from work today. It was a peaceful reminder to just remain calm in stressful times, and go with the flow. 

There was also a full moon this week, maybe that explains all the craziness around here!

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Searching for a Caribbean Christmas

Hey Everyone,

I am so sorry it has been a while since I have written. I have been hearing from some friends and family that I am a bit behind on my updates!! Things have been super busy over here. I am still writing, just not for my blog. I have been writing school papers! This class has been a lot more work. It is still easy, it's just tedious, each week there is a new paper, and then by the time I think about writing my blog, I'm 2 or 3 episodes behind on tv shows, or I find myself by the beach taking sunset pics. Yup, rough life, I know.

Some interesting events have happened here in the last month. Yet another parade. Haha! This one was for the primary schools to celebrate reading! An organization called OneWorld Schoolhouse Foundation designed a Rainforest of Reading Festival. They came to the island and distributed books to all the schools. The challenge was to read 12 books in a month. However, being island time, the program started late and our school managed to get through 4 books. Then each school was assigned a book and in the parade you got to dress up as the characters. It was fun! Even though none of our kids wanted to participate. I was actually surprised they included special education. Usually they forget about our school, and then wonder why we don't show up for stuff!

In other news, I have somehow found myself on the Special Olympics Committee for Nevis! What?!??! I am not quite sure how that happened, it was like a snowball effect, and the next thing you know I have been appointed secretary! For it being an island, and how most things are not done like North America, when it comes to Special Olympics, it is pretty professional. Now, I have never been to a board meeting before but it was so formal, I felt so grown up! Say "I", "call to order" and all these terms I have never heard of. To the point where I was googling how to take minutes at a board meeting! So many rules!!! Anyway, this new project sounds far... although after the first 2.5 hour long meeting, I was kinda thinking what the heck did I get myself into?!?! I'll definitely have to keep you updated on how this plays out.

So, Christmas is coming! I have started hearing music on the radio, and the school next to us sings Christmas songs in the morning now! It's so cute! However, there are no decorations anywhere :( I was under the impression that the Caribbean goes hard core for the holidays. I mean schools are out on December 4th! We get an entire month off! I asked some of the teachers why this is the case, and they told me they used to go all out, but due to financial reasons people can't afford to put up lights and fancy decorations. Plus the schools do get out so early, many of them don't see the point. This makes me so sad. I love walking around and seeing all the different decorations, it just makes me smile so much. It really makes me appreciate what I have back home. That Kyle and I are able to put up a tree. I know it's not all about the decorations, trust me. I don't want to start that debate... #redcup  #whocares :P It just gets me in the mood and spirit! I mean come on, with everything that has happened over the last few days, don't you think we should be able to do something positive??!! Maybe I am being naive, but people grieve in all sorts of ways, and if I am going to be excited about the fact of seeing Christmas lights, instead of watching CNN spill their speculations over and over again, then why not? My wish this season, is that even if you can't afford a tree or lights, that you can still find happiness in whatever way you can. Whether it's singing out loud for all to hear, or just simply saying Merry Christmas to someone. There is so much negativity around this season and it saddens me that we have lost sight about what this season is truly all about. Especially living here, and seeing the poverty and the issues the children have to deal with here, and then I see people up in arms about a red cup, or media not showing all the bad in the world. Our first question should be, why isn't the media showing the good in the world?

Anyway, Kyle is doing well with his classes. He had another exam last week and did amazing! (Even after pulling an all -nighter). We both cannot wait to come home though! Kyle needs a break from his classes for sure, there has been a lot of politics lately, and it sounds like it is just getting annoying. Only a few more weeks left though!

We have also started to play volleyball twice a week. A Mexican restaurant called Dos Gringos added a nice beach volleyball court, and was looking for people to play! Through my connections at school, word got out and so Kyle and I have gathered a few people and we have been able to get a few good games going. It has been awesome, Kyle is able to get out of the house for a bit and get some great exercise too!

The weather has also started to cool off, finally! We have had some pretty intense rain storms. It makes for really bad mosquitoes, but at least I am not sweating as much! The tourists are starting to arrive again. The restaurants have opened back up, and there is more traffic on the roads. It then makes for the locals to think I am a tourist, which I don't like because they treat them differently. However, I did meet a family from Scotland the other day. They were here to watch the Nevis Triathlon. 

That's pretty much it for us. I'll post some pics of random things that have been happening around here. Oh yes, one important thing I forgot to mention was that Kyle has been making me watch all the Star Wars movies in order to prepare for the new one in December. He even went to great lengths to set up our inflatable couch again, so I would be comfortable enough to watch... we are now on Episode III. I am still unsure of the whole thing, but he says I need to give it a chance, so that's how I spend my Friday nights now.

Miss you guys, we hope everyone is well!!

These cows were hilarious! Crossing right in front of me on my way to work...they almost made me late :P

Our Star Wars set up!

I'll admit, I don't get much work done on days like this. 

Here are some pics of the parade. Our kids look so thrilled to be there...

But they are so cute!!

I went to another dinner to celebrate American Thanksgiving! So much food! And more turkey! Delicious!

So this is the source of the crazy frog we hear at night! He was sitting at my school and the teachers told me they jump like crazy and stick to you. He looks so harmless!

Beach Volleyball!

My birthday gift finally arrived from my mom! A month late, but it made it! I was in desperate need of hair elastics! Thanks mom!

       Just some beautiful sunsets, that remind me how blessed I am to be able to enjoy this experience. A great reminder that peace can exist... I truly believe that.