Last week is what I call my fake week of medical school. Technically school had started. We had orientation lectures for most of the day along with a lot of other things. In all honesty, most of it considered in standing in really long lines for EVERYTHING (medical students are all overachievers so we all show up at the first possible moment we can do anything) and sitting through talks giving us information about school and living in Grenada that I felt like I already knew. I have never really liked orientations.
But, things were not all bad. We finally started making friends. The downside of us getting here so early was that we were here by ourselves. But once all the other students started coming back and the other first term students arrived, it became a happening place. SGU is so filled with diverse people that it has been great meeting so many people form other states and other countries. We pretty quickly got connected with some really cool people. We met a couple other young married couples (who as a plus were all Christian as well) who we really clicked with. We spent a lot of time hanging out with them and learning together our way around actually living here.
One of the best things about orientation is the school sponsored activities and tours that we could go on to see some of the local sights. By far our favorite was visiting the Grand Etang rain forest and the Annandale Falls. The Grenadian landscape is just so beautiful. And we lucked out because the hike is usually really, really muddy and when we went it had not rained much at all that day or the day before so it was fairly simple.
The local Grenadian students who were our orientation leaders pointed out things to us as we hiked. They kept making reference to the “Bottomless Lake” that we were not to swim in because we would certainly never come out. They were really just referring to a large swamp-like lake that had formed. It looked pretty gross, so the no swimming rule was not all that hard to hold to. We went on the hike with our couple friends that we met, and as was common of orientation week, met a bunch of other other people. The one nice thing about all of us first term medical students being in the same boat is everyone is eager to get to know one another and we are forming a tight-knit group already. Below are some other shots from the hike. The one on the right , I almost fell into the mud because I was laughing so hard at Tyler’s facial expression when I looked at the preview in my camera.
After hiking up in the rain forest we went over to the Annandale waterfall. It was one of the larger waterfalls on the island which is quite humorous considering how small it is compared to what we are used to. At the falls were these jumpers who put on this show that culminated in them jumping off the rocky cliffs into the water below. Afterwards we could all go for a brief swim before it was time to head back to campus.
The other main marker of that first “fake” week was celebrating my birthday. My birthday fell on a national holiday thanks to Carnival. We thought that this would be great, however, it really meant that everything was closed! This kind of spoiled Tyler’s big birthday surprise, but nevertheless, we still had a fun night. We went to a local restaurant (which was filled with a huge group of middle-aged scuba divers plus at least 50 SGU students) and had our VERY leisurely 5 hour dinner. It was a blast. The restaurant sat right on the water so we went early to enjoy a drink and the sunset over the bay.
This week was my first real week of school. Classes began and so did the workload. School started with a bang and we are all running a sprint marathon. I do not think I have ever spent so much time studying and so much energy on my courses. But, it feels so good. I am so happy to be back in school and to be learning and to be challenged. It is certainly a lot of work, but I am honestly loving every minute of it. Even if I do have to get up at 6am and by 8pm my mind is reduced to sugar-free jello.
The start of the term kicked-off with the White Coat Ceremony where we were all officially and ceremoniously presented with our white coats. I wish we had some pictures of it, but my camera battery charger got fried due to a detergent explosion in our suitcase and Tyler was forced to sit in overflow seating anyways. But it was awesome and prestigious and I looked amazing in my white coat. 🙂
One week down – it feels so short and so long all at the same time. One down, 17 more to go and the term will be over and I will be that much closer to being a doctor.