A week ago today we left LA after frantically and miraculously getting everything we owned packed up and through the grace of God our flight was delayed giving us a much need extra 12 hours and our first class ticket to Miami allowed us to check all 6 of our suitcases cost free! As soon as the plane took off it was hard to believe that we were actually leaving, moving, off to live an exciting adventure of our own.
We go into Grenada late Monday night. We were lucky that large SUVs are common here so us and all of our luggage made it safely to our new home. Our apartment is nice even though it is much smaller than we expected. We were extremely blessed to be living in a really nice place in Pasadena so it is a bit of shock to go from that 2 bedroom condo to our tiny basically one room abode. After a lot of work, we did manage to finally get all unpacked and settled. The unfortunate part is that while we are in a fully-furnished place, there are lots of little things that we do not have like a working lamp or mixing bowls which, when you don’t really know where anything is and don’t have a car, can be tricky to acquire. But we are learning that there is a pretty good export business to Grenada so we can usually find most of the American stuff we are used to, as long as we are willing to pay for it. We are trying to learn our way around the local markets to get things like fruit and eggs and spices and try to by as much stuff made locally so we can save money and get what should be fresher and better stuff.
The best part is definitely the beach. It lives up to all of the photographs. It is so picturesque (when it isn’t raining and stormy outside at least) and the warm Caribbean sea is so perfect that you could stay out in it all day. There are basically no waves at all and besides for the little motor boats that try and get beach-goers to tube behind them (which I decided we will do one of these days) the water is so still and calm. I think I might invest in a little blow-up raft and I will just float in the ocean all day while reading my gigantic medical school texts. We also found my new favorite beach-side restaurant, Umbrellas, which has a happy hour where rum drinks are only 5 ECD. That’s another thing about here, it seems that no matter where you are you can always get a cocktail or a beer, but if you want to find a vendor selling food, good luck. Rum is everywhere and so, so cheap!
The SGU campus is huge and amazing. I am in love and it has such a beautiful view of the ocean. I guess we will see if I like it so much once I am spending every waking minute there. Orientation starts on Wednesday so that will be the first day that I will start meeting my advisors, getting all checked-in and registered, getting my books and final schedules, and hopefully meeting some of my classmates.
The biggest adjustment has been getting used to the way time works here. It gets dark by about 7pm and 8pm around here feels like midnight back home. Honestly, going out at night just has not worked out for us. Some restaurants are open, but it seems like the whole area shuts down at night and all we seem to come across are big groups of locals loitering and then really trashy bars that are open late. There isn’t really any where to go. It is also extremely inconvenient should you be hungry at night because it does not seem as though stores stay open late. We went to St. George’s one night expecting it to be this big, cute downtown area that would be really fun to go to and the Reggae Bus (the most popular, steel-drum bumping, transportation around) dropped us off at this dingy bus terminal and there was absolutely nothing around. And we were the only white people there. So we walked around hoping to find something good, got incredibly lost walking through really dark streets and then some really sketchy seeming areas and somehow got back to where we started. So we decided just to take the bus home and go to Bananas, the restaurant near the school that Tyler put their number on speed dial for their delicious pizza.
Our most interesting experience thus far was our attempt at going to Fish Friday. We had heard about this open-air fish fry type event that happens every Friday up is Gouyave, which is in another parish. It doesn’t look so far away on the map so we decided to wing it. It was our fun “date night.” We went by bus to St. George’s which we were familiar with and our driver when we got off started asking us where we were going and such. He kept telling us that it was really expensive to get back and that it was really hard to find a bus or a taxi late at night and he would give us a really good deal, etc. We had no idea what to expect and we did read that public transit stopped at 8, so we decided to just go for it. Well, it took us almost an hour to get there over some of the scariest, windy, dark roads we have ever been on. I think my blood pressure skyrocketed while driving. We got there and our driver told us he would be back at like 11pm, which left us over 3 hours there. Long story short, we were not so much a fan. The food was okay, but certainly not amazing. We didn’t really know what everything was so it made choosing hard. It was much smaller than expected and poor Tyler got super super sick. So we spent most of that night sitting on the side of the road while Tyler puked or waiting for our driver to come back, which in typical Grenadian fashion, he was 40 minutes late. We have since decided that while it does sound awesome, it might not be our usual Friday outing. It is so far away and it is so expensive to travel there and back that it just isn’t worth it.
I guess when you have to pretty much call it a night at 7pm, it should be really easy to be productive. We are looking forward to meeting more people and getting more acquainted with how things work here. It’s all new so it is just taking some time to settle in.