Back in Nevis

May 6, 2011

My bad for not posting sooner, but the days surrounding the trip back are always so hectic–so much to be done, so many last-minute people to see, and then the actual journey back is always an experience in and of itself.

So after Easter, the week went well.  I had a couple days home by myself during which I endured dentist appointments and last-minute shopping, but I did get to have lunch with some great friends and visit them at work.  I got to go to Durham and see all of my old friends from work and from undergrad which was amazing and quite honestly, something I didn’t think I’d get to do.  It was great catching up–they haven’t changed a bit, which was a nice, grounding comfort.  Dad and I were supposed to go to Raleigh with the fair board but the convention was canceled, so we had a nice cookout instead.  I spent a lot of time Sunday visiting with Emily, my 13 year old Siamese cat.  I miss her dearly, and I knew I would, so I spent as much time with her exclusively as I could.  Then we all had to go to bed early to get up for the 5:50 flight Monday morning.  Almost everything was packed–I was resolved to the fact that I would have to check 2 suitcases, but when I went to weigh them, one was 45 lbs (fine) and the other was only 35.  That just wouldn’t fly (no pun intended)–the airline was charging $30 for the extra bag, so I sure as heck was going to get all 50 lbs worth.  We went out to fill up on gas for the trip and I got a 12-pack of diet Sundrops to take up some weight in my suitcase (10 lbs!).  Unfortunately some of them burst on the way down, but I had them triple-bagged.  I’m sure I probably mentioned before that the selection of diet sodas here is extremely limited.

So the flight down was interesting.  Had THE CREEPIEST flight attendant EVER on the CLT–>MIA flight.  She was an older lady with this crazy Shirley Temple wig on, with a really strange perfume and an affect to match.  I was excited because I ran into Kish at the airport, so it’s always nice to have someone to fly with.  When we got to the Miami airport, there was a little confusion over whether or not we were supposed to go recheck our luggage (on inbound flights, yes but not on outbound flights), but once we figured it out, we settled down at our new gate.  Slowly tons of MUA students started trickling in–we ended up comprising almost the entire flight.  The flight was overbooked, so they were offering 5 people a $500 voucher, hotel stay and transportation to take the same flight the next day, but classes started the next day, so I had to decline.

The flight itself was not bad–I paid an extra $25 or so to upgrade my seat to the first row behind first class and had AMPLE leg room–it was heaven.  The down side, however, is that the arm-rests are fixed, so my hips were aching from the compression by the time we made it to St. Kitts.  P.S. Totally on a diet now to fix that problem.

Immigration and customs weren’t that bad at all but waiting for the luggage tested my nerves.  Through skype and updates on facebook, I’d found out that persons on earlier flights through St. Kitts hadn’t received all of their luggage, so I was worried when I began to think of the complications associated with getting luggage from St. Kitts to Nevis when school had already started, but thankfully both of my bags arrived.  I caught a cab with other MUA students to town, to one of the only ferries of the day to Nevis (apparently it was Labor Day in the federation), which ended up being a giant cluster.  The ferry was overbooked and almost everyone had multiple pieces of luggage, so they waited until they couldn’t load any more people or luggage to decide to unload it all and re-load it onto a bigger ferry.  Though I got into St. Kitts at 2:30, we didn’t get to Nevis until 5:45.  Then because I had arrived on the passenger ferry into Basseterre instead of Sea Bridge, my car was not waiting for me.  There was a fight for H-buses and of course the taxi drivers were trying to take advantage of students ($20 US each to go to the dorms? I don’t think so–gaugers!)  so I didn’t actually get transportation until 6:30.

A friend I met up with in Miami and I were traveling together and famished, so we crossed our fingers that there would be some restaurant open, despite the holiday, and were pleasantly surprised to find that the Yachtsman, an American-owned restaurant was indeed open.  The Yachtsman has an excellent burger called the Big Commodore, that’s a dead ringer to a big-mac from McDonalds, but it’s only available before 7:00, so we were in luck.  The mosquitoes almost ate us alive while we waited, but we got 2 commodores to-go and ate at my friend’s place.  Then I grabbed my bags and made it home.

My landlady was waiting for me down in my apartment.  They had cleaned for me–so nice.  I had done some shopping for her, so I collected her purchases from my luggage and gave them to her–she was thrilled.

I went to bed early, around 10:00 from the sheer exhaustion from the trip.  We were supposed to have class the next morning at 9:00 starting with Microbiology, however it was announced that our teachers were having some difficulty getting back to St. Kitts, so that class would be canceled for the week.  Classes, then, didn’t start until 11:00.  WOO!  I used the opportunity to take a much-needed trip to town–to go to the ATM and re-charge on EC $.  Had I not been dieting, I would have loved a Bear Claw from the bakery.  There wasn’t enough time to go grocery shopping, so I headed back to school.

Neuroscience, the class at 11:00 was very interesting.  The teacher is very interesting.  It’s strongly reminiscent of work.  Lots of familiarity there.

After neuroscience was lunch, from 1:00-2:00 just like last semester.  I utilized it to go to the admin building and purchase my gym membership, only to find out a few hours later that for personal reasons, ahem, my trips to the gym will have to wait a week or so.

From 2:00-4:00 is Med Psyc.  Must say I’m a bit disappointed with that class.  It’s taught by the same guy who team-taught EBM, taught us Epidemiology last semester, and who is taking over Ethics this semester as well.  I thought the other classes were lackluster because he was forced into teaching them and didn’t care a lot about them, but surely that Med Psyc would rock because that’s what his degrees are in and it was his previous profession.  It doesn’t rock.  Not even close.  It’s just as boring as the other classes.  He makes some attempt at engaging the class by showing us videos and using interesting examples, but for the most part, he just stands up there and lectures and reads directly off the slides.  I find that I’m not stimulated to go and learn more about these illnesses at all.  We talked about electro-shock therapy today and it was as mundane as a packet of ketchup.  Disappointed.  Perhaps he’ll redeem himself later.

So for the earlier part of the week, we are scheduled to have Neuro/Micro labs in the afternoon, but they’re not ready to begin yet, so we got out early in addition to our late start.  It was only today that we started Ethics (it meets Thursdays and Fridays from 4:00-5:30).  I thought it would just be a continuation of Med Psyc but there is an interesting twist that we have a few students joining us who are retaking biochem in the 2:00-4:00 slot.  I think the prof wants to make it about us learning bedside manner, though unfortunately he announced that we would be doing presentations on ethical issues.  Ugh, more presentations, more group work.  Hopefully it won’t be a tough class.  We meet again tomorrow for our first real class, so we’ll see what goes on.

On a personal level, I’ve had trouble coming home and getting in gear to study.  The only semi-tough material we’ve had all week is neuro which seems a lot like review, so you hate to come home and work on it again.  I’m trying to decide whether or not I want to write out notes this semester like I’ve done in previous semesters–I know there are more efficient ways, but if a system works for you, why rock the boat?  It’s just so time-consuming.  I’m still debating.

This afternoon I came home, had some oatmeal and went to bed for a nap.  I’m trying to find a happy setting on my A/C that’s not too cold but not too hot and today was a swing and a miss with 24 degrees C.  Too hot, so I only slept from 5:00-11:00.  I woke up and decided that I must unpack.  I have friends that want to come and study, but I can’t very well entertain company in my small apartment with suitcases littering the floor.  Ideally I should probably be reading up for neuro, but I think it’s probably time for bed again.  I’m quite hungry, but I know if I eat anything carby that it’ll just go straight into fat when I go to bed.  I have another liter of water I should drink for the day, but that doesn’t jive with going to bed and not the bathroom.

Class again tomorrow morning at 11:00–heaven–but perhaps I’ll be struck with a bolt of determination before then and wake up to study?  Maybe?  Maybe not.  Either way, plans to break the diet for 14 hours–trip out with the gals for a tried and true pasttime of Friday night BBQ chicken and garlic bread, then a Saturday morning breakfast trip to the Hermitage restaurant for some toe-curling coconut french toast, Irish breakfast tea with cream and sugar, and catching up with classmates in different semesters about their breaks and study tips for the new semester.

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