I can’t believe this is Grenada
- "You learn something every day if you pay attention" - Ray LeBlond
It’s been awhile since I last posted. A lot has changed since I first arrived. Grenada is a lot easier to adjust to than Saba. First off, there’s actually beaches in Grenada, and it’s hard to not be distracted when it’s right in my backyard! Secondly, there’s an actual grocery store with real food, not the canned and preserved stuff like at Saba. The amount of restaurants on this island is far more extensive (not saying crazy luxury though). I can’t wait until I actually have time to eat at restaurants other than the two that are walking distance from the dorms. I came here with all these plans to eat my way through Grenada, but I’ll have to postpone that for awhile since exams have been non-stop. Needless to say, I’ve been enjoying my time here. Maybe a little too much.
It’s been a busy semester so far. I’m currently taking 5 classes; Anatomy, Biochemistry, Psychology, Molecular Genetics and Physiology. Of all these classes, I find Physiology to be the most challenging, but then again, it has taught me how to work through tough subjects! Class starts at 8:30am :( I guess I can’t complain because I’m used to class at 8 in the morning. The one downside is taking the bus to school. On one hand, it’s nice to be isolated , but getting to school is such a struggle especially since the Professors don’t even take attendance. Surprisingly, I’ve been able to make about 95% of my lectures.
Oh right, I also lost my phone 2 weeks ago, so I don’t have all my pictures anymore. This just proves that medical students don’t just study 24 hours a day. There’s always a fun stuff happening at Bananas, and the school even hosts a couple of their own exciting events including Sandblast, which is just one huge, crazy beach party. Well off to study for round 3!
Today will officially be my 4th day on the island of Grenada! So far, it’s a beautiful place. The school overlooks the ocean and my dorm room is only a couple steps from the Grand Anse Beach. It’s taken me awhile to adjust to the time change and island because I’ve never been to a school this big. All I can say is, SGU is exactly like the pictures! My first couple days on the island was spent tracking down my lost luggage and attending orientation sessions. I’ve never lost my luggage on a flight, but surprisingly (not so surprising for locals) my luggage was left behind in my short flight from Trinidad to Grenada. Next time, I would recommend not taking a layover or just packing really light. The plane was overbooked so there was a huge backup with luggage. On my flight alone, there were almost 20 people that didn’t have their luggage. Luckily I had a small carry-on with most of my necessities.
My dad came to Grenada also to help me move in. He stayed at the True Blue Bay Inn which I highly recommend for other vacationers. The hotel has a nice restaurant that is right on the dock. All the rooms are also unique as they have many different sizes and they are cottage style. Just be careful of the birds, they will attack any unattended food here! While at True Blue Bay, I learned how to take the shuttle offered to SGU students. There are a couple different routes that the SGU shuttle takes, one of them is to my dorm at Grand Anse. These buses come at different times, but they are usually pretty packed. So far, I’ve pretty much only learned to take the shuttle to and from school.
Orientation has also just ended. There were many different “mandatory sessions” each filled with students from your class. Our sessions went about 1-2 hours each and by the end people just started picking and choosing sessions that would be helpful to them. I didn’t attend all of them because living off the main campus, it’s a hassle to wait around for 4 hours. I instead used my time to look at the various shops in the area. All in all, I found the shops to be a bit pricier than US stores, but that is to be expected. Grenada uses EC currency so the exchange rate is about 1US to 2.6EC. This makes buying items a bit difficult, but almost all stores I’ve seen takes either US dollars or credit card. My room does not have american plugs so I had to buy many different gadgets to switch from 240V to 110V. Overall, there’s still lots of exploring to be done. I haven’t even seen 3/4 of the island yet, but school starts Monday!
I am officially headed to St. George’s University in 4 short days. I’m not exactly sure what to expect. Yes, I’ve seen lots of pictures and watched just about every video on YouTube, but still, the thought of going to some island near Curacao seems so mysterious. Orientation actually starts on the 15th, but I’m heading down early to spend some time in Trinidad & Tobago as well. I’ve haven’t been to many of the Caribbean Islands so i’m in for a surprise. Luckily, one of my undergrad friends lives in Trinidad & Tobago, so I will get the insider’s perspective! In the past month, I’ve been randomly gathering everything I need to make this long journey across the country. Needless to say, I’m not even close to done packing. I found out that I need some sort of transformer thing because the voltage of some of my appliances won’t match the ones in Grenada. Also I’m bringing lots and lots of mosquito repellent. Grenada is known to have Dengue Fever, and not just that. Mosquitoes are extremely attracted to my blood.
The flight in total is about 9 hours non-stop… but of course all the flights have stops. My dad and I will be taking a flight of around 12 hours including layovers to get to Trinidad. This will give us ample time to sleep and prepare for all the adventures ahead! I am most excited about the potential exotic fruits on Grenada and lobster. I’ve traveled a lot, so I’m used to the tastes of many fruits including; lychee, starfruit, dragonfruit, papya, mangoes, pineapple, passionfruit and many others. I read somewhere that Grenada has over 300 exotic fruits! There will also be lobster. The Caribbean lobster is a bit different from the ones i’m used to in Maine. They have no claws and they’re filled with spiny points. Well, I will report back soon. Oh yeah, I guess some studying will be done also. This is Med School after all.
Well, it looks like Merry Christmas to me!! As a new year is about to begin,I am also making some changes to my life! As everyone probably read from my previous posts, I recently left Saba University School of Medicine and have been waiting since then to transfer to a different medical school. My wish came true!!! I will be moving forward towards St. George’s University!!!! For those who haven’t seen or been to the school, it’s number 3 on this list:
can’t wait to experience the wonders of Caribbean life again!!
Well, since I’ll be studying up for the next couple of weeks, why not share some helpful Histology and Anatomy tools for all those going to medical school.
University of Leeds -this site is really great for an initial simplification of the concepts
Histology World - a series of games and fun histology activities
Histology Lectures Online- Pre-recorded Histology Lectures!
Blue Histology-An overall histology source
And of course there’s always Shotgun Histology videos found on youtube!
So Saba didn’t turn out so well after-all. For some personal reasons, I decided to withdraw and come back home :( I wish everything had turned out differently, but sadly not everything always does. Like one of my favorite quotes:
” Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!”
Leaving Saba has made me even more determined than ever to become a doctor because it’s the only thing in my life that’s has ever been an obstacle. Just like at the Children’s Hospital, when things get tough, you cant’t just give up! That could be the difference between life and death. If I wanted to, I could’ve easily gone into Music, or Math my other two passions, but that would’ve been too easy. Music and math comes too naturally so I feel like everyday would be too mechanic. Since leaving Saba in August, I’ve moved back home and continued to take Science classes that I know will be a challenge at my next school. Thank you to the lifelong friends I’ve made at Saba, I will never forget the memories we made and lessons you’ve taught me. I wish everyone all the best! Now onto bigger and better things!