Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Back to the Beginning

Grenada. The Isle of Spice.
The people are Grenadians. 110,000 strong.
EC: East Caribbean Dollar. 1USD = 2.7 XCD
Liming verb: 1. To hang out indefinitely
Spicemas is Carnival.
St. George's University is known as "school of med"
Kirani James is the best athlete in the world. 
Schedule is a flexible word.

These are a few of the things I have learned in my month's residence in Grenada. The Caribbean has been quite the transition, as you can imagine. I haven't had to learn a new language (thankfully) but I have had to adjust to a new pace altogether. In a previous life, I was working third shift at a pharmaceutical company while trying to throw together food for Justin and me, spend time with friends, and sleep in there somewhere. Grenada is completely different. I now see the sun! I no longer have an excuse not to sweep the floor. I don't have a vehicle so my excursions are more planned. My puppy has a backyard. I live 6 minutes from the beach. (A darn good beach) And my husband is in medical school.

A quick recap of the past month:

Home. 


1. Grand Anse Beach
I wasn't kidding when I said it's a beautiful beach. This picture was taken Monday afternoon during Justin post-exam celebration. The water is beautifully refreshing, clear, and cool. Grand Anse beach is the most beautiful beach in Grenada. White sand and beachside restaurants makes for an exquisite combination, don't you think?

Me watching the Carnival parade.

2. Carnival
We arrived in Grenada two weeks before Mas began. The entire island was exciting and new for two new kids but Mas was unlike anything we had ever seen. Monday morning began at 5am (2am for us because I woke up too early. I didn't want to miss anything!) with J'Ouvert (joo-vie). Night time was filled with music and dancing, sounds of chains, and laughter. Body paint flowed in abundance. We became golden people sprinkled with green and orange. Apparently J'Ouvert is the dance of the devil but we weren't creeped out by any evil spirits. I will say that J'Ouvert is the most inappropriate thing I have ever been a part of. Definitely not kid-friendly.
After lunch and a mid-day nap, we returned to St. George's for the main event. The parade. The parade is what the average person thinks of when they envision a street party in the Caribbean. Bright, elaborate, colourful costumes. Smiling people swaying to the music. Vendors selling food, drinks, crafts, beer, flags. I was not disappointed. Sunshine made the day hot but happy and the variety of costumes and performers made the whole event spectacular. As we were waiting, the friendliness of Grenada was poured out on me. A Grenadian woman befriended Justin and me. She imparted more information about Grenada than any pamphlet would. As a former UN manager, she had information on a variety of Caribbean nations, but she never lost her Grenadian-style friendliness and generosity.  We loved watching the parade with her.

Monday Night Mas lights

Monday night Mas was the final event. It was not to be missed so we made our way to the main road at 8pm. Light show! Really, the entire street was filled with glowing colours dancing. Deafening music added to the experience. The entire day was surreal.

3.  White Coat Ceremony
School finally did begin. We were ready after two weeks of waiting but of course the nervousness was still there. I attended a few orientation sessions with Justin but left most of the school business to him. :) After the five days of orientation ended, classes began. On the evening of the first day of school, I accompanied Justin to his White Coat Ceremony. Basically, the ceremony is an occasion to celebrate a student's success in acceptance into medical school and a reminder of the privileged path ahead.

My medical student.

Grenada is our home now. And amazingly, it's beginning to feel more normal to be here. Fun things are happening in my life and I'm excited to blog about my adventures.

And hopefully, my writing will improve as blogging becomes a regular activity. Please be patient. I'm new here. :)