February 25, 2010

Mommy Is Here!!!

Mom arrived yesterday evening with two suitcases loaded with goodies. It was great to give her a big hug. Once we got home, we gave her the tour of our place and while Kyle went back to school to study, we organized all her gifts. We went out for a few Kubulis later that night and she got to meet Taylor, Kyle, and Jared. This afternoon, Kyle finished studying early and we went to Batibou Beach. The three of us had an amazing time swimming, reading, laying out, and climbing the palm trees that were nearly horizontal from the wind. We had a blast! I made mahi mahi tacos, with homemade tortillas, for dinner and we just relaxed and watched some of the Olympics. Getting to hang out with Kyle and my mom made for an evening that was truly a blessing. Mom and I are getting up early tomorrow to take a ferry to Martinique. Unfortunately, Kyle can't come. He has to study...the 2nd exam is just over one week away.
In other news...we have some other visitors to our home. These ones are not quite as sweet as my mom...they are fruit bats. They made a hole in the netting into our roof and find it entertaining to surprise us in the shower. Although they scare me when I first see them, I'm not really afraid of them as an animal as they are usually half dead. Kyle takes a shoe and beats the crap out of them while saying every 4-lettter word he knows. There's never a dull moment around here. Just when I think we are getting settled and into a routine, something else surprises us and makes us laugh, cry, or curse. Oh well, so is the life of a med student and his Dominican housewife.

February 19, 2010

Batibou Beach

On Wednesday, Feb. 17th, the girls and I went to Batibou Beach. My new favorite beach in Dominica. The sand was so soft and fine and the water was crystal clear. It was nice to be able to walk way out into the ocean and still be able to stand and see your feet. Hopefully Kyle will be able to visit the beach some day. I also hope to take my mom here when she visits. Can't wait to see her...she arrives Wednesday afternoon! I also heard she may be bringing a few goodies for us. Oh wait, it was me who gave her the packing list. Thanks mom, we love you.
This past Saturday Kyle and I went to Roseau, the capital city. We played tourists and went to all the stalls selling Dominican "crap". It was more fun to watch the people from the cruise ship loading up on souvenirs. They were all decked out in tropical shirts, sundresses, big straw hats, all completed by horrible sun burns. We were also hassled by the local cab drivers to go on an excursion to the beach or to a waterfall to which we replied "We live here, we've done all that". That got them off our backs real quick, but what was surprising was their excitement about the fact that we were fellow islanders. We even got a few high fives. We just spent half the day there. It was great to get away from "the bubble", as I refer to the campus sometimes, and see something different. Kyle and I both appreciated our time spent together before he returned to studying for the rest of the day.

February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

We hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day. Kyle surprised me by telling me he was going to have to study all day, but instead he stopped early and we went to a restaurant up on the hill where we had a 5 course meal complete with wine and champagne. It was quite a treat. They had a live piano player and the ocean breeze was perfect. We enjoyed every bite of our meal and savored the quiet time we had together, uninterrupted by medical school. After three hours of dining and talking we walked home to our tropical cottage. Not too bad for our first Valentine's Day together as husband and wife.
I sent out some pictures from the past 4 weeks. Sorry it's been a while, but hopefully those of you who wanted to see the pics got them. If not, let me know.
From Dominica...Happy Love Day to all of you!

February 12, 2010

Volcano Eruption Nearby!

This morning we woke up with a layer of ash on EVERYTHING! Come to find out there was a volcano eruption just north of us on the island of Montserrat. The Washington Post had an article about it and reported that ash shot up into the air about 9 miles and the local village was evacuated. With that amount of ash and the winds the sky here is grey, there is a layer of ash everything, and it is gross to breathe. Many of the locals are wearing masks and I keep thinking to myself...do they know something we don't? Hopefully this stuff will blow over and settle by tomorrow because it is not fun to deal with. It has even toyed with our electricity and mail service. We just hope there were No deaths due to the eruption.
In other, more positive, news I finally have an oven. Well, we have always had a stove and an oven, but it is propane and I couldn't figure out how to light the oven part of it and I didn't want to bother Kyle. After wasting countless matches I finally got the courage up to call our landlord. She came over and showed me how to do it in about 10 seconds. All I had to say was "Oh, that was simple" and feel silly as she chuckled under her breath. Either way I am excited about the new things I can bake. Before, if it couldn't be made on the stove top, we couldn't have it. Like I have said before...it's the little things here!

February 11, 2010

1 Test Down 2 Practicals to Go...

Kyle did really is well on his exam! Thank you to all of you who were thinking of him on Monday. He has a histology practical tomorrow and an anatomy practical on Tuesday (again say your prayers). Looks like I will be having a candle-lit dinner for one this Valentine's Day. Carnival is on Monday, they have no school that day. At least that gives him time to study without any new material and lectures. We've been selling coffee this week. Business has been a little slower, but it will pick up as we get closer to the next exam. Kyle says people ask where we are on the days we take off. I have been quite busy lately as I have gotten myself involved in more things around here...mainly volunteer stuff, but others paid. Some things with the school and some with the local community. I finally got some free time to go to the beach this afternoon. Funny how when we first got here I went to the beach nearly every day and now I long for a few spare hours to swim, listen to the waves, and feel the cool ocean breeze. Kyle even surprised me and brought us each a Kubuli beer this afternoon while I was on the pier. We toasted to his success on the test and it was nice to have 15 minutes with him away from school where we can talk and I don't have to listen to all the students using medical jargon. Sometimes I think my head might explode...it's bad when the only words you understand in a sentence are and, the, and a.
By the way, I haven't sent pictures out in a while. Obviously I don't have as many now that our adventures have slowed down and our life is becoming more routine and normal(I don't know if that's even a word I can use to describe this place???) . Hopefully by the end of this weekend I will have them all put together for you all to see. Again, if you don't get the pictures and would like them, please let me know via email, heidiandkyle@yahoo.com

February 9, 2010

Celebrate and then Back to the Grind

Emmet, Kyle, and Kyle

Me, Taylor, and Meagan

Jared, John, and Kyle

The test is over!!! Kyle felt great about his exam so thank you for all of your well wishes and thank you to him for all his hard work. He finished up about 4pm and we went straight to the Beach Bash. There was volleyball, wind surfing, swimming, a bonfire, food and drinks (notice the plural). I must say there are times I think, "Wow! These people are going to be doctors?!?!?". It was great time to just relax with our friends. It is rare we all get to hang out together with their different lab schedules, study patterns, and commitments. Us wives, however, see each other quite a bit, but we are usually without our other halves. It was nice for all the students to let loose after many weeks, days, and hours of studying. The freedom didn't last for long as school resumed today and all were back on their A-game, some getting a slower start than others. I too went back to my duties with a day full of house cleaning, laundry folding (we send it out, but I think they fold it with their eyes closed), putting away groceries from my shopping trip yesterday, picking up meat that I ordered and carrying it up the hill. We will also be selling coffee tonight. Scary to think the next exam is only 4 weeks away, but for at least this week we will get to spend a little more time together. I am learning to appreciate every minute.

February 7, 2010

Pray for Success on Exam 1

It was great to talk to some of you via Skype during the Super Bowl party. We were really sad that we could not be here. We watched the 4th quarter at home...quite a non event. I made Kraft mac n' cheese, which is no chili and dogs, but it was late, Kyle had studied for nearly 16 hours, and we were both tired. It was certainly not our normal plans for big game, but then again a lot of things are very different here. None the less, we are having an amazing time on the island. Kyle might say differently given that he has studied a lot over the past few weeks and has really pushed himself this past week. I honestly don't know how he does it, but it makes me very proud to call him my husband. He has stayed so focused and has not taken his stress out on me in any way. I wish him the best of luck on his exam tomorrow and I ask that you all say a prayer for his success. While he is taking his exam, I will be grocery shopping in Roseau. We will leave bright and early in order to make the 1 hour drive and hit all the places we need to go. I am very excited about this...I know I know it's the little things here, and I have a very extensive list of supplies we need.
In other news, our coffee business has been going really well. We took Saturday off...Taylor and I went to Roseau to get supplies, went to church, and had a girls night out with about 12 other spouses. Hey, someone in this family has to have a little fun. Kyle said a lot of people wondered where the coffee girls were. Now that it is not exam week we will only have our stand open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. It is a lot to be there from 4-11 each night, but come the next exam we will be there every night again. By the way...I am getting the impression that many of you think we make cappuccinos, macchiatos, and frappacinos. Hahaha! Let me just say that we have to basic coffee pots, powdered creamer (there is no milk here) and sugar. It is nothing fancy, but the students just want cheap caffeine that is convenient and that's what we have. We only charge 5 EC for our coffee and 3 EC for a refill. The students love it, keep us busy, and always say thanks. So as I end this entry, I want to remind you all to think of us, Kyle especially, as he takes his exam. This med school stuff is stressing me out...and I'm not even enrolled.

February 3, 2010

Entrepreneurs in the Making

This past Sunday, I started a coffee business with one of my good friends here, Taylor. Her husband is a 1st year student like Kyle and just so happens to be named Kyle as well. As time has passed and we have gotten to know them more and more and it really is quite scary how alike the two Kyles are (and yes, people refer to them as the Kyles). We believe they were twins separated at birth. They don't look alike, but boy do they act, talk, and think the same. Sometimes it really scares me. I don't know if this world can handle two of them! Anyway...Taylor had the idea to start selling coffee and asked if I would be interested in becoming a business partner. I said that I would love to and now we sell coffee, we call it Study Sauce, outside The Barn, a large study area, every night from 4-11pm. That's our schedule for this week...the 1st exam is on Monday, February 8th. After the exam we will probably only do it 2 or 3 times a week. It has proven to be pretty profitable and people seem to be very appreciative of two baristas. We sell our coffee for less than the bookstore, we've been told it is much better, and we save the students a 10 minute walk each way. They also seem to enjoy talking to us for a few minutes. Some people really need to vent. Many of the students are here without a spouse, live alone, and spend their entire days with their nose in a book or their eyes glued to a computer. I think they go a little crazy and just wish someone would ask "How are you doing?", and that's what we do. We've had requests to have other locations around campus, but I think we'll wait a while before we franchise out.

As far as my other half...he is studying away. He puts in around 15-16 hours each day. I feel like I barely see him, but I knew this is what I was in for. I keep pretty busy with the coffee business, Church on Saturday nights, hanging out with the local kids on Fridays, keeping Kyle's tummy happy, and of course the occasional trips to the beach and this is all in addition to the time I spend at the prep school here. For a spouse...life ain't so bad. We tell people "We're just livin' the dream".