August 21, 2011

We're Home!

Back home in the beautiful, warm (ok, hot), dry, and blue sky state of Arizona.

Feels so good!

August 19, 2011

Living, Learning, & Loving on an Island

Our usual readers always get a taste of this little place through Heidi’s eyes, so I thought that I could share some of my thoughts about living in a far away land. Dominica as many of you know has been pretty tough on my little life. Many of you see the fun stuff that she gets to do every now and then, but what don’t you always get to read about is the way that she takes care of EVERYTHING for me. There are very few students who are privileged enough to have a partner in crime like I do. While all of my friends have to eat at Subway every day for lunch and dinner, I get to come home and experience the culinary delights of Heidi’s kitchen. This may not sound like that much to all of you, but trust me it has made a world of difference to me. There are so many things it’s hard to list them all everything from making sure the laundry is done to having someone to go for a walk with when I need a little study break, but most importantly there is always a smiling face and open arms to great me at the door after a long day. A lot of my success down here is due to her.

Things that I have learned:
• I love to learn, this is not really a new revelation but it was certainly solidified down here.
• I am a creature of habit beyond normal reason. I had to sit in the same chair at the same table everyday for 16 hours for 16 months and if any day someone somehow beat me to my table my entire day was shot. This is no exaggeration.
• The people I met down here will be friends of mine for life. Going through the struggles of medical school together certainly bring people together in a way that I never thought was possible. These guys have become my version of war buddies. If you can stare at one person for countless hours a day and never get sick of them you know you picked the right people to be with.
• I can do without. Living in Dominica has taught both Heidi and I so much about how much extra crap that we live with in the states. Life here is really simple; I don’t mean that it is easy I mean that there is very little that is overdone. As bad as it may be I really like having more than I need.
• I miss the hell of out my family. I have always been a momma’s boy and I think I always will be. This is the first time that I have lived more than a short drive from my parents and it was very hard for me. But I now know that I can do it and it made me realize that I am now an adult, which I am also not so sure I like. Sure was a lot easier being 10.
• I have learned that I can do anything that I put my heart into. Being a doctor has been my dream for a long time. I knew it was going to be a lot of work down here, I just was not sure it would be this much. I know now that I can persevere through just about anything.
• As I mentioned before I learned that I married a one of a kind, patient, and loving woman and I thank her for experiencing this journey with me. She is one cool girl and I love her more than she’ll ever know.

Thank you to everyone who has given us love and support while we have been on this adventure.



When you’re a little girl thinking about your future you dream about going to college, getting married, starting a career, a family, and building a life with your husband while being surrounded by family and friends. Never once does the thought of moving to a 3rd world country pop into your head. Never once do you hope to feel incredibly alone while your husband studies day and night. And you certainly don’t hope to be so far away from your family, friends, and everything you’ve ever known. Our first 2 years of marriage have been nothing but a crazy adventure, far from anything I planned, but I can honestly say I wouldn’t change a thing.

Dominica is a unique place and hopefully through our blog and our stories you have seen all of its beauty as well as its scars. Living here has made me appreciative of so many things…my family, education, freedom, modern conveniences, health care, air conditioning, fully-stocked grocery stores, clean running water…the list could go on and on. Many of you who know me are aware that I’ve done quite a bit of traveling all over the world and have witnessed countries even worse off than Dominica, but nothing gives you a better understanding of the people and the poverty than living here.

I will be forever grateful of this experience. It has taught me so much about myself and given us such a strong start to our marriage. We were able to figure out who we were as a couple without the stresses of jobs, events and obligations, and worldly distractions. We have friends here, but in the end we really have each other. When Kyle finished up studying a bit early, there was no movie theatre, no mall, no golf course for us to spend time at. We had ourselves and we learned to talk, play cards, or just be with each other in silence.

Getting involved here has been my saving grace. It made it easier to connect with people and build friendships that I know I’ll have forever. I’ve been blessed to have been involved with the Ross Spouses Organization, a Bible Study, InLightIn, and act as a standardized patient. It’s been a lot of fun. I’m really going to miss the spouses and especially the kids from InlightIn. I’ve watched those kids grow up, mature, move on to high school, celebrate accomplishments, and grieve losses.

As we head back to the states, I hope to bring back many of the things I’ve learned here (leave behind the humidity, bugs, and inconveniences) and apply them to my life back home. Although Kyle has seen me in my many moments of stress, anxiety, and overall hatred for this place, he knows I’ve loved it and will always appreciate this experience he has given me. Thanks babe!

August 18, 2011

Final Exam Day

Today is Final Exam day....

As you know, this means Kyle is wearing his exam uniform (a 49er's t-shirt and khaki shorts). This time there were no banana pancakes for breakfast. I've sold all our cooking supplies and have nothing to cook with. Instead he had a Pop-Tart. Poor fella!

This particular exam has 2 parts, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. This makes for a very long day. I'm sure it will be a great feeling for him when he turns in his last test here. Hooray!

As Kyle left for the first part of his test this morning, I went to get a massage (a bit tacky, I know). I've thought about going for a while now, and I finally decided it was time. After packing, hauling stuff, repacking, and hauling more stuff I came to the conclusion I deserved it (that took about 0.2 seconds of convincing on my part). Let me just say that it was wonderful and only cost 90EC (33 USD). Why the heck did I wait this long?!?!? It's probably a good thing I didn't go earlier. This could have easily become a weekly habit....

August 17, 2011

Dinner Date

I don't ever need an excuse to go to Red Rock for dinner. However, during the week of finals Kyle certainly has plenty of excuses and reasons to not go. Considering it was his birthday on Sunday and likely our last time to ever go to Red Rock, we decided to make it a date.

This place never disapoints.





holding hands and spending time with Kyle....perfection!

August 15, 2011


Nothing says Happy Birthday like a pie, right?

...a chocolate chip cookie crusted banana and vanilla custard pie.


Make a wish!

August 14, 2011

Happy 26

Happy 26th Birthday Kyle!

Here's to my loving, smart, 26 (yet sometimes 6), funny, amazing husband. You're the greatest and I wish you a fabulous birthday.

August 12, 2011

A Sunset Celebration

Kyle took his last midterm exam of the semester, only the final is left. To celebrate we went to Sunset Bay with a group of friends. We ate, drank, laughed, and enjoyed the little time we all have left together. Only 1 week left here in Dominica!

August 8, 2011

Jump, Climb, Swing, Play

We're done with In.Light.In for the semester, but that doesn't mean we're done seeing the kids. Last weekend we took a cab to a few of the kid's houses, picked them up, and brought them to the playground and activity center on campus. They played around for hours on the equipment and when we went to the activity center they played video games, ping pong, and watched movies. They also crunched on some Cheetos and slurped down some soda. I love seeing them so happy getting to do things that most American kids take for granted.

This little monster is Jaim. He's the youngest of the group, but has the force of a small hurricane which is why we usually refer to him as "the hurricane". He can be such a sweety. I've really seen in grow up in the times we've been here.

I'm really going to miss their smiling faces!