Sunday, 18 October 2015

Island Birthday

Hey Everyone,

So this is a new one, celebrating my birthday on a beach. Being October, I usually celebrate surrounded by the fall colors and sometimes even snow. Not this year, living it up big on this sunny island! Although I was thankful for great weather, it was definitely unusual. However, I did my best to make it count here. It was tough because Kyle has exams on Monday so he really needed to study this weekend. However, we did go out to lunch with a friend of mine and her fiance to a fancier restaurant. I have only been to Golden Rock once before, for a hike, but never to eat. Kyle has been there to eat and he said the burgers are amazing, and he was right! Awesome food, decently priced-only 12 US for a burger and fries. The view was spectacular and the conversation was awesome :)

I was able to capture a hummingbird in this pic. 


This guy decided to stop by for some lunch. 

I do wish I could have been with friends and family from home, but this is my life now. Sandy beaches and palm trees, surrounded by picturesque ocean waters. After lunch, Kyle went back to the apartment to study and I went to the beach. I haven't been in awhile and it was nice and relaxing. I then went to my friends house where they made homemade pesto pasta and Kyle came by for some dessert and brought cheesecake. I must say, it was definitely not the worst birthday ever!!! I am just trying to make the best of it here and I think I am doing pretty well. Thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday, I definitely felt the love on this rock!

Things are also looking up at work. Since I am no longer working one to one with the child who was causing me some problems because of the race thing, I am able to focus on a group therapy program focusing on problem solving. I may also be starting to do more work in the community actually doing therapy that I am trained in. There is a child who has Down's Syndrome and autism at a preschool and could definitely benefit from more intensive one to one therapy. She was getting speech therapy from my friend, but if things work out, we could be teaming up and providing more behavioral therapy. The principal thinks it would be a much better use of my skill set pending the proper paper work. So I am pretty pumped for that to work out!

After Kyle has exams on Monday we might go out to celebrate, there may be some cake involved, so we will see what happens tomorrow.

I have also started doing some work out sessions with a trainer. There is a local guy who comes to the Med School 3 times a week in the evenings, and he charges only 10 EC (which is about 5 Canadian). I started going with a couple of Kyle's classmates and it has been really good so far! I hope I can keep it up, I feel productive and it's motivating.

Anyway, just a quick update for now. Hope everyone is surviving the cold! I heard there was snow this weekend :)

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Caribbean Thanksgiving

Hey Everyone,

Yet another holiday has come and gone here on Nevis. My Facebook and Instagram feeds have been flooded with fall pictures, pumpkin spiced anything and turkey. On my end, I'm trying not sweat through my clothes and not think about how much I miss my family. Kyle is studying like crazy and we are just trying to make the best of it during this holiday. 
I think we managed alright though. Luckily, a lot of Kyle's friends from school are from Canada so we gathered at one of the student's houses and had an awesome Thanksgiving dinner, which did include butter chicken. That was a new one for me, but Kyle enjoyed it a lot. It was nice that we could all gather together, and there wasn't even that much med school talk! 
Tonight, I Facetimed with my family a little bit and although it was a little chaotic over there, I still got to see my nephew for a bit, who by the way is huge! Haha, and he is only a month and half old! But he is extremely adorable, and I am a very proud Auntie!

The after effects of a great meal :) 

In other news, I celebrated World Teachers Day on this fine island. That was an interesting experience. All of the teachers gathered in one place and there were some presentations and then we had a school meeting. At the end of the week, some of the parents came to the school and brought us gifts which was so kind! The presentations took place at an actual theatre with AC! It was pretty fancy I thought! The only unfortunate part was that special education was unaware of the events for the day, we were left in the dark as per usual. That's a whole other issue on this island. 

The nice theatre with awesome AC! I had goosebumps by the end of the morning! 

The parents bringing the teachers some nice gifts! I got cake :)

Aside from that, the work I have been doing with one particular client has been put on the back burner temporarily due to some racial comments. I am unsure of how to discuss this because it has been something that I have been fortunate enough to have never experienced in my life thus far. Even when we first moved here, everyone has been so welcoming and we haven't had any negative experiences that have really disrupted our transition here. However, this past week I experienced something I never would have thought. Now call me naive, and I'm not blind to the fact that in our world racism is a big problem, I just never expected it from a 10 year old. I originally thought the child has not been around white people before, so this, as for most of the children here is something new to them. I have also been the one to make the child do work and not get away with escaping. But then I found out that in the child's home he has been around a lot of different white people and has had no other issues before. It's heart breaking to be surrounded by this, especially since my whole goal since starting work is that I really just want to help these kids. I love what I do, and I want to keep doing it, I just have been so overwhelmed by this issue it truly has taken me by surprise. Maybe because I grew up in such a diverse culture, that race has never been an issue for me, but I guess it is for some people.  It's an uncomfortable subject for most, but I think it does need to be addressed. The guidance counselor of the school put together a presentation for the class to address some of the issues. I thought it was well done and it opened up the conversation. I was hoping to get a lot of questions but I think the children are still processing everything. I imagine it's even more difficult for children with special needs. However, one little boy asked me if my sisters were also white. He seemed surprised when I said yes. It was kinda funny. Anyway, I have learned this week, that I am not going to give up. I want to work through this, and continue to build relationships with these kids. I am so thankful to have been able to find a job here (even though I have yet to see a pay cheque) and I will take these experiences with me for the rest of my life. 
I hope you all have something to be thankful for this year. It's definitely been a roller coaster of a so called Fall season here on Nevis. Apparently the weather is supposed to be getting cooler towards the end of the month. Kyle and I have actually had our AC on all night now when we sleep!! Shocking! Even set at 28 we still notice a huge difference. 

Anyway, we miss everyone from back home! Flights have been booked for December 9th! Less than 2 months :) Enjoy the day off tomorrow friends! 

Here are some more random pics from the past couple weeks:

I got stuck in a rain storm without my umbrella. I came out of the grocery store to this. My car is the green one across the way.

The rain calmed down as I drove to the next store, but as soon as I was about to get out, the down pour hit. So I waited.

I pulled up to a gas station and found this guy just taking a drink from a bucket.

View from my school

I went to a different beach with some friends called Paradise Beach

It's fun to see the different angles of St.Kitts