Saturday, January 31, 2009

The "S" in Saturday & Sunday stand for STUDY!

Week two has come to a close and I just don't know what to say! So I guess I will just post some pics of the area.

This is just outside my dorm and up the hill to the anatomy lab!

Me at Grand Anse beach!

This is looking out at St. George from Dad's hotel last weekend
Me again outside one of the lecture halls! We have 4 consecutive hours of lecture every day from 1-5 and during the 10 min breaks, it is nice to walk down to the cliffs and look out over the water.
Don't know if you can see it but there is an island (Glover's island) about 400yds off the coast.

This one is for you Mom. The white coat ceremony was very long!

Hope everyone is doing good! Off to the library again to try and finish learning the forearm and hand. It sounds like it should be pretty easy but it turns out there is a lot going on subcutaneously!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Surfing Grenada!!

Today started off with a little (3hr) meet the faculty and staff. All the department heads got up and spoke giving us words of wisdom for the first term. It was again very encouraging as each speaker appeared to have a real interest in teaching. How much can you really tell though from a five minute talk? We are about to see. Classes start tomorrow and I will have to say that I am getting pretty nervous. The running census so far has been that we are fixing to get an information atom bomb dropped on us. The good news is that there seems to be a lot of academic help via open door policy, DES, small groups, etc. Anyways, after the meeting I fixed a quick sandwich, grabbed my snorkeling gear(works great Samuel), and met up with some guys on my hall to try a bit of surfing. We went to a place called prickly cove and it was rightly named as one girl in our group stepped on a nasty sea urchin. It got about 8 spikes in her foot and toes causing her quite a bit of pain and swelling/discoloration in her foot. She and my roommate caught the bus back and I think they went to the clinic to get them pulled out. I haven't found out how she is doing. Back at the cove I snorkeled around for about 30mins and didn't see much besides lots of coral(more sea urchins). I haven't seen too many fish for some reason so snorkeling thus far has been kind of boring. I then donned one of the surf boards and headed out to try my hand at riding waves. Little did I know that the board I was on was
not a very good board. It took a lot of my energy just to get out to where the waves were breaking. They aren't huge waves but big enough. I was able to catch a few and just ride them laying down. I feel pretty confident that if I try it again, on a decent board, I will able to get up. Nonetheless, it was a lot of fun being out there(3.5hr) and I got a decent amount of sun. When we finally got back I hit the shower and then I headed down to the soccer field for our orientation Bazaar. Basically, this is when a few of the locals can come out and set up booths. Most just had food and fruit. I ate some chicken wings and bought some mango and bananas. All the different clubs were there as well and I signed up for the pediatric club, and the orphanage beach club(take kids to the beach on Saturday mornings). We will see how those go for now!

Hopefully by the end of the week I will have a camera and then I can post some pictures of everything I am talking about! There is a chance that I might not have time for blogging starting tomorrow but we will see. Hope everyone is doing good!

Friday, January 16, 2009

The quite before the storm!

The last few days have been pretty quite. Tuesday I got a cell phone from one of the local providers called Digicel. My number is 473-414-2505. I can receive calls and text for free(even from the states). They tried to get me on a deal where on certain nights you can call the states at regular charge($0.90/min) for the first 10 min and then the next 50min are free. I got to thinking about it and was like who the heck am I going to talk to for an hour? No thanks buddy! That afternoon I took my roommate, James, to town to show him two very important points of interest, the store and beach. Wednesday, I got up and went to get registered for classes. They also assigned me a mail box and gave me my financial aid leftover check(I thought I owed them money). Party time!!
Address: Luke Norman, Box 109
St. George's University
P.O. Box 7
University Centre
St. George's Grenada, West Indies
Later that evening I went for a 3 mile run and almost over heated from the humidity. I guess it could have something to do with my lack of running in the last few weeks but I am going to try it again today and hopefully it goes better. Yesterday, I got up and went on a walking tour of the capital, St. George, in the already suffocating heat. We stopped by the fish market and watched the old ladies cutting up and preparing all different types of fish for sale. We then ventured from the relatively unpleasant smells of the fish market to the olfactory mecca, the spice market. For myself it smelled good but did not invoke a lot of interest as I don't cook and therefor have very little use for the spices. I will try and remember to bring some home for everyone to use that enjoying adding spices, other than salt and pepper(Mainly Ryan, Summer, and Sara). We saw some of the major POI in the area such as parliament, major churches destroyed by Ivan, castle where the coop took place in 1983, etc. It was good to see for future yet probably infrequent visits into town. On an aside, if you here me refer to town, assume that I am talking about Grand Anse, which a smaller town really close to campus. When I returned to campus I ran to where we were supposed to pick up our books. I was given 12 books(4 classes) that had to weigh in the area of 65lbs which I then carried over to my dorm. Didn't really feel the need to go to the gym after the walk. Later that day we went on another tour of a nutmeg factory and Concord falls. The factory was pretty interesting but it was really crowded and the guide spoke with a really thick accent. If you weren't really close you couldn't hear very well. However, Concord falls was pretty amazing!! We drove in these buses filled to capacity(30 people) up this very steep, curvy, and narrow road to the where a series of 50-60ft waterfalls were at. At one of the falls you could climb up on a ledge and jump in to the iridescent blue/green water about 20ft below. The pool was very deep and the water nice and cool. When we got back to campus I had to go to some "humanism" workshop. That was a waist of my time as all did was split into small groups and get asked stupid questions. Afterwards I came back to my room, read the book Ma(actually a very interesting read; I have about a 1/4 left) let me borrow and then crashed out for the night. Friday. I woke up pretty late, laid in bed and read until about 10:30(getting sleep while I can) then showered, ate some cereal and headed off to a Substance Abuse workshop. This is ironic due to the fact that at every event hosted by the university, beer is served. Furthermore, there is a full bar on campus! I get to what I think is the workshop, sit down and realize that I was in a Medical Law class. I know I was in the right building(even recognized another first termer) but apparently the class had been canceled(even more funny; actually I think it was postponed) and no emails had been sent out. I appreciate that!! So up to this point I had been pretty disappointed with the administrative side of the school. Just didn't seem like there was a whole lot of organization going on. Later this afternoon I went to the academic orientation from 1-4pm and I was thoroughly impressed with each speaker. Members of IT, Department of educational services(tutor/small group), and stress/time management team all spoke. Very informative and I feel much better now!! Post-orientation I went for about a 3 mile run(much better this time), showered, and then hopped on a bus to the IGA. I grabbed some granola bars, PB(I splurged and got Jiff), bread, milk, guava juice(trying new things), and sandwich meat. I also decided instead of going into my first week with a crick in my neck from sleeping on a couple of beach towels, I would buy a pillow. I don't know how much pillows run but I paid about $14 US for it. Too much? Not sure that I care at this point!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Shout-out to the Woodstock B&B

If you are ever traveling on Hwy 92 between Roswell and Acworth, I recommend a quaint little spot located on Sweat mountain. The two story abode overlooks(if you look very hard) a small lake with fishing(though I never saw anything caught), a lap pool, and tennis courts. The cottage, if you will, is owned and operated by a young vibrant couple with a nearly mythical chocolate beast. Whether you are looking to lay by a fire and read a book, engage in an intellectual debate over politics, sports, exercise, explore the outdoors, poker, and/or just enjoy their fine cuisine before getting some R&R, they have it all. And don't hesitate to use them as a resource for local dining, shopping, and street level directions as you traverse the area. The price is GREAT and includes such amenities as free washer and dryer(as much is necessary or more), hour showers, free internet and Cable, etc!! All that is asked of you is to scratch the dog behind the ears. I give it two thumbs up!!

As I sit here in my new environment I can't help but wonder what I would be doing if I was back in Cherokee county. Hmm. Probably just getting back from a lovely evening at El Jinete, stuffed to the point of pain, sitting on the couch(just left off from center), computer in lap, watching family guy, basketball, football, etc. with Josh. Summer would probably be laying by the fire attempting to reassure(as if he didn't know) Maddux that he was loved. Or she might already be in bed if it is past 730. Just another evening in the Gernatt long term hostel.

In all seriousness I wanted to write a short web log(Blog) on how much I appreciate y'all letting me crash in your house for 2.5 "CHALLENGING" years. Not only did you let me sleep and eat there but you(both) went out of your way to include me in all that you were doing. Whether it was going to watch a game with friends, camping(my favorite), parties, etc., you always made me feel welcome. Thanks for all the encouragement while I was preparing for the MCAT, the birthday parties, all the gifts in between, and the going away get together! I look up to yall a lot and I have learned so much from you both. You both are hard working, focused, and super talented individuals! To keep this from getting too sappy I am going to wrap it up. I hope someday I will be able to return the favor(Maybe not in the same way)!!

Monday, January 12, 2009


I woke up pretty late Sunday morning. I had no pillow so I used two beach towels for substitutes. I jumped in the new shower which has the best shower head and shower pressure of any one I have ever been in. It is so intense that it makes a tropical storm in the bathroom when you turn it on. It was a little intimidating at first but I quickly warmed up to it. I met Brandon for a little bible study thing he goes to and afterwards we took a bus to get a bite to eat. I had a chicken sandwich and a Ting(Some kind of Lemon/Lime drink). Pretty good. After eating we went over to "The Mall" where the IGA(grocery store) was located and I bought a few essential idems(Coffee, Cereal, Milk, Juice, Bread, and deli meat). I payed $182 EC for it all which is about $67 US. It is pretty tricky trying to convert all the prices while comparing prices back in the states. After loading it all up in my backpack we walked across the street to Grand Anse beach to take a look around. This is probably one of the most popular beaches in Grenada and you can see St. George the capital and main harbor. I am not sure what I was expecting but Grenada is very mountainous! So in certain spots there are beaches and then in others the waves meet 15-20ft cliffs. We caught the bus, which stops at the beach and grocery store, back to the campus so Brandon could register for classes. I came back to my room put my groceries away, repacked my bags with towel and snorkeling gear and headed back for the beach. I caught the bus back down and just walked around for a while taking in the view. I set down to eat my "sweet and sour" bar and I was approached by a Grenadian local. He inquired about one of my granola bars and so we set on this little pier while he explained how his boat had crashed. This boat was about the size of a bathtub and had lost quite a bit of fiberglass from the sides. He asked me if I could help him out with a little bus money and since he had shown me how to make a horn out of a seashell I felt like I could spare a dollar. Pretty neat trick and very loud!! After a while I decided I better get moving so that I didn't get caught at the beach before the buses quit running. Little did I know they already had so I had a nice walk back to campus. About 3.5 miles. It was probably 75 degrees, nice breeze, and the sun was setting so it made the trip pretty enjoyable. When I got back to campus I grabbed a quick shower, a nap and then I headed out to Banana's(local food joint) for some grub with Brandon and some of his crew! Day 2

Greetings from Grenada

So the talk is over! I arrived in Grenada(pronounced grenAda). That is my best attempt at phonetically correct spelling. We flew out of Atlanta at around 0900 Saturday morning on Air Jamaica and landed in Montego Bay at around 12:00. Walked off the plane and the first thing I saw was a shirt, worn by a local gentleman with dreadlocks, that said "Yes We Can". Barack Obama made it into about every duty free store I passed. I stopped in at Jimmy Buffet's "Margaritaville" Jamaica chapter for a little lunch. Good fish tacos but very expensive! My flight to Grenada was delayed for about and 1.5 hours so I was able to get alot of reading done. We arrived in Grenada and everyone on the plane(mostly students) made a mad dash to get in line for passport checks. After getting a student visa, I went to baggage claim to see if my bags made the trip. Luckily both bags made it and I headed for customs where I had to claim my computer. They made me pay $36 to bring my computer in the country but I was expecting to have to pay other taxes so I was pretty happy about that. When I was all through with customs I went outside where I was met by to guys assigning new students rooms. Apparently we weren't supposed to get here till Monday or Tuesday but I think every semester they have a few that can't follow instructions. Oh well the way I look at it, I got a cheaper flight than anyone I have talked to so far and 3-4 days of vacation. Anyways, the two guys had to call the dorm manager and find out what room I was in. Myself and a first year vet student grabbed a taxi to campus and were dropped off at our dorms. We met the RA and she assigned us keys. I through my bags in my room and went off to find my buddy, Brandon, who was already down here. After wondering around in the dark for a while I found his room. I sent Mom an email letting her know I arrived safely and then went back to my room to get unpacked. I finally got all my things put away and I passed out in my very small bed! Day #1