Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Visitors!

Thanksgiving is on November 27th this year and only a few days away. This year we'll be spending our last Thanksgiving on St. Maarten! Next year at this time, hopefully we'll be in clinicals and we can have a Thanksgiving get together at our own place. This Thanksgiving, we'll have some visitors--my sister and her family. So even though we're not back home, we'll still get to enjoy Thanksgiving with some of our family. The family arrives on Wednesday and we'll get to enjoy their company for a few days before they have to go back home on Monday. I've been busily trying to get things done before they get here...get the car washed, get groceries, clean house, and anything else that I can think of. We are so ready to have them!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I Want To Make A Difference

I recently read a book about Angelina Jolie's work that she did in multiple refugee camps. The book was pretty much her journal--what she did, what she saw, and etc. The book was amazing! It made me realize how good I have it and the little amount of effort that is put into my daily life to make it good. I've always said that I would like to visit Africa, but it has always been on the back burner. After reading the book, I realized that I'm moving it to the front burner. I WANT to make a difference...I WANT to help....I WANT to give support, love, and attention...I WANT to be a light!
I know, I know --this sounds a little crazy! Why would anyone want to go to a country where they have malnourishment and disease? Hunger and violence? Anger and pain?

I don't really have a straight-forward answer....I just know that I want to be part of a life changing experience. Making a child, woman, or man smile--making a child feel special and important--developing friendships--encouraging education--providing support--giving hugs--are all things I would like to do....nothing too great, but all of the above have the ability to change lives!

I'm not sure when I'll be taking this life changing journey...I need to find the organization that fits with me and what I look to achieve in my time over there. I do have a few in mind, but finding a time that works with both of our schedules is going to be a challenge. The best time would be while he is taking his STEP 1 review course--but that is only 5 months away! I'm not really sure why I made a blog of this...I guess I'd like to hear what everyone thinks. Jason is a little hesitant, nervous, and concerned. He also knows that I have been talking about this for a few months and supports me 110%. If anyone has any information or personal experiences...I'd love to hear all about it!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Can't Anything Be Easy??

Tuesday night, after a long day, we decided that we would order pizza and wings for dinner. We ordered at 6:00pm and we were surprised when we heard a knock on the door at 6:30pm. The service was definitely quick...or at least until we saw that we didn't have our whole order. We notified the driver that we were missing our hotwings--our favorite! He let us know that the night was slow and he would be back right away. We even saved a little out of his tip so we could give it to him when he returned with our wings. We saved our pizza--we wanted to be able to eat the pizza and wings together!
Well about 30minutes later, Jason decided he needed to get back to school. He ate his pizza and decided he would eat the wings when he got back home. Well....1 hour turned into 2 hours. I was boiling by this point--I wanted my hotwings! I finally decided to give the restaurant a call. They said the driver was on his way and he should be at our place any minute--I was so excited! Well that hour slowly ticked away....and still no hotwings! I decided to call again--this time I wasn't so polite and explained how I already paid for my hotwings and I really wanted them with my pizza. They once again explained to me that the driver was on his way and said they were busy so they couldn't stay on the phone to discuss it.
At 9:30pm, when Jason walked in the door he knew something was wrong! At this point, I was ready to get in my car and drive to the restaurant. I don't like feeling like I am being taken advantage of--all I could picture in my head was the driver sitting in his car eating my delicious hotwings! Jason decided he would call and find out what the deal was....they again reassured us that they were on there way. About 10minutes later, there is a knock on the door! The hotwings had finally arrived--needless to say, the few extra dollars that we saved for the extra tip for the driver were not given. The driver apologized and said that he was from the restaurant in Marigot (a pretty far town from where we live) and he received a call from the other restaurant letting them know we needed an order of wings ASAP. When he left, we opened the box and noticed the wings were not hotwings....they were just regular chicken wings. There was about 8 wings and there was none of the hot sauce cooked onto the wings--no complaining though, because I had my wings. I dug in the cabinets until I found some hot sauce. The hot sauce was good on the wings--I'm not sure that I even stopped eating long enough to discover the difference. The wings probably should have been saved for the next day since it was so late (almost 10pm), but after waiting over 3 hours for the wings....there was no way that was going to happen!! Sometimes I wonder, why do things have to be so complicated?? Then I just laugh (after the wings were delivered, of course) and realize we aren't in Missouri anymore!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Happy Birthday Jason!

Today, November 13th, is Jason's 25th birthday! Today is not just another birthday....it is his first birthday as a married man! I woke up early this morning so I could get everything ready for when he woke up. I printed off a few birthday banners that read "Happy Birthday Jason" and I taped them on the front door. I know, it sounds ridiculous but I wanted to show him how excited I was for his birthday! I then cooked him one of his favorite breakfast sandwiches....scrambled egg, cheese, and bacon all on a toasted bagel. I packed his sandwich and something to drink in his backpack and sent him off to school. We both had kinda crazy days--but we decided that we were going to get all dressed up and head to a nice dinner together. He decided that he wanted sushi for his birthday dinner--and the place isn't necessarily a place where people dress up, but we didn't care! We were going to dress up--no matter where we decided to go for dinner.
We had some yummy sushi (california roll, shrimp tempura, and kinky eel)! We got to watch the ocean under the full moon and just talk about our day. We really had a great time...it was nice to have him with me and not in the library studying. I know this won't last forever, so I'm taking full advantage while I can!After dinner, we went back home for some birthday cake. His favorite cake is confetti cake, but one of the many pleasures of the island is not being able to find what you need when you need it. I had to make due with a white cake with chocolate icing....it turned out great! I added some candles, lit them, and let the birthday boy make his wish. We both enjoyed a piece of birthday cake while we watched a movie in bed.
I had a great time celebrating with my hubby. This weekend we will have a bigger celebration with some of our island friends, but today was just for us! I look forward to spending many more birthdays with the man of my dreams! Happy 25th Birthday Jason--you have offically made it to a quarter of a century!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Sigh of Relief

Monday, Jason had his second round of block exams! He's been pretty stressed out the past week--so after his blocks we decided to go lay out by the pool! I don't know what it is but it is ALWAYS cloudy the day of block exams....and today was no different. By the time we got our suits on and headed to the pool--the sun was covered by big clouds, the wind picked up, and we even got a few raindrops. We didn't get a tan, but it was nice to just lounge around and not think about school or studying. We stayed at the pool and chatted for the longest time and as we were heading out, we saw one of the biggest yachts heading to the marina. I couldn't zoom in enough, but it does have a helicopter pad on the back side!After the pool, we decided we would go out. Usually we are home pretty early after blocks because blocks can be a little exhausting and he has school the next morning at 8am. This time was different....Tuesday was St. Maarten's day and he didn't have school so we decided that we would take advantage and enjoy ourselves.
We had a yummy dinner at Jimbo's, a Mexican restaurant. After we ate, our group got talking about our celebrity crushes...and things got carried away between Pam Anderson and Vin Diesel. We were laughing at everyone's celebrity crush and trying to think of a celebrity to top someone else's. We finally decided that we had way too many choices...and we couldn't decide on just one! We left the restaurant about 2 1/2 hours later and decided the night was young. We went to a new place that just opened up 'Blue Martini' and when Jason saw 'Outdoor TV' on one of the television sets, we had to sit right in front of the tvs. We didn't stay out too late--but the air conditioner and the rolled down hurricane shutters were calling our names--so we went home and crashed. We knew we didn't have to get up the next day for school or work, so no alarm clocks were set (best feeling ever)! The next morning we slept in....I slept in until 10:30 and Jason slept in until 11:00! It felt so good! I was told that I would get breakfast cooked for me and we would enjoy breakfast in bed, but I woke up first--how was that going to work? When Jason got up, he started getting things together. He told me to go lay back down--a little while later he brought in bacon, eggs, and toast. We enjoyed a delicious breakfast--we then tried to decide what we would do with the rest of the day. We finally decided--lounging around in pajamas, air conditioning, movies, and naps! We were not going to plan or do anything....we were going to rest!

Here is Jason lounging with his babies!

We slept on and off all day--and when it came time for dinner we decided to continue with our great day and go out for some pizza. We got all cleaned up and went into town--the pizza was great! It might have become our new favorite. We had a very relaxing day together. It was just what we needed to get through the next 4 weeks and 4 days!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My New Little Buddy

Since block exams are Monday and Jason has been busy studying...I've been trying to keep myself busy! Today was a nice warm day, so a few of us girls decided to make today a pool day. Not only did I get to lay out in the sun and swim in the pool...but I made a new little buddy. Her name is Cammie and I'm not sure why she decided to come over, but she did. OH....did I mention she was 4 years old? She started out in the pool just peaking over the ledge at me. I acted like I was sleeping, but when she didn't stop looking at me, I finally said hello. That was the beginning of the day. All it took for her to hang out with me while she was at the pool was a simple hello. She started pulling flowers and bringing them to me...she said they were beautiful! She was so sweet! Here is a picture of her showing the flowers she picked for me!

She was full of comments and questions, but my favorite one was "How did you get that ouchie on your belly?" "Oh, this ouchie", I said as I pointed to my hole where my belly button ring used to be. "Yes, how did you get it?" "I got stuck by something and I got an ouchie"--she gave a worried look and said, "I don't have an ouchie like that on my belly and I don't want one!" She eventually went and got her towel because she wanted to lay out by me. She made sure she layed the flowers on our blankets...she wouldn't let me forget them. We took a picture of us laying on our blankets with our flowers....she wanted to lay just like me!

Hanging out at the pool today with my new little buddy, I realized how much I miss my 'little buddies' from back home. We have 22 more days until family will be coming to visit us....and having family to hang out with will make the follow days on the island a little bit easier.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

WOAH...What A Day!!

My day started like any other...woke up, ate breakfast, and got ready for work. Little did I know everything that the day had in store for me! I always feel like I wake up way too early, especially when the alarm clock is going off--but I always feel like I'm rushing out the door running late. I grabbed my lunch, my purse, and school bag and ran out the door to school.

Here is a picture of the school
The day went by pretty smoothly--the kids were super excited for the afternoon because they were going to act out a few plays for their parents. We spent the morning making dog ears out of socks, paper cut outs, and other props for their plays. Finally, the time came for our class to perform for the parents...should be exciting, right? Well, that's when all the 'fun' started. The kids started getting nervous--now realizing that they were performing for maybe 15-20 parents--but they were still scared! I had one little boy say, "Mrs. Conway--my belly has a weird feeling." I just replied back, "You're just nervous, you'll be great!" Not only were kids scared, but they were panicing that their family wouldn't make the plays in time. One kid started crying because she didn't see her family and it was like dominoes.....they all started crying. I'm not kidding...this all took place about two minutes before the show was suppose to start. Our class is standing behind the curtain, crying!! So we did what any good and caring teachers would do...we pushed them on stage and opened the curtain. Lights, Camera, Action--they all wiped their tears, said their lines while slightly sobbing, and did a great job! I was so proud of those 4th graders. They walked off the stage as the crowd cheered for them! The next few minutes were spent consoling the kids that were still crying....yes, still crying after the play. They realized just how scary being in front of everyone was and a few couldn't find their parents in the audience. I realized how important the plays were to them--I wish I would have gotten some pictures but it was a little crazy!
As soon as I left school for the day, I had to go into town and get chicken wraps from Pineapple Pete's. The chicken wraps are a fundraiser for the 4th semester class at AUC and since blocks are Monday...there were no students available to go pick up or sell the wraps. I offered to pick them up and sell them...sounds easy enough. I made it over and back with the wraps just fine--I pulled into the closest spot available to unload the 80 wraps, which just so happened to be a handicap spot. I unloaded all the wraps, with so much needed help, and when it came time to move out of the prohibited spot....I couldn't find my keys. Yes, I am my mother's daughter! I am starting to get frantic--I throw everything out of my bag, purse, and pockets! I finally do the walk of shame to my car and where do you think my keys were?? You guessed it--in my LOCKED car parked in a handicap spot! Thank goodness Jason was on-campus because I just walked up to him and got a spare set of keys. This was no easy task...I'm not really one to point out my imperfections, but I had no choice. He just cracked a smile and passed me the keys...he didn't say anything,but he didn't have to--his face said it all!
After selling the wraps, which sold out pretty fast, I ran home for a little bit before I had to be back in the computer lab for the evening. I made a PB&J sandwich for me and Jason, threw a Twix bar and an orange in my bag and headed to the computer lab. Sounds real healthy, huh? The lab was fine--until the dang internet decided it would go in and out! I had the same guy coming up to me...."the internet STILL isn't working" Well after about the fourth or fifth time, I think he realized that I had no control and I couldn't do anything about it. I would just smile and apologize...I've always been told "you catch more flys with honey than you do vinegar." When I walked out of the lab at 11pm--I was definitely ready to sleep, but not before me and Jason exchanged stories from our day!
Today was full of adventure...it's days like these that make me appreciate the days where I can sleep in, lounge around in my pajamas all day, and do whatever I want! I won't be taking those afternoon naps for granted anymore!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Time Has Come.....TO VOTE!

I don't know about anybody else...but I will definitely be glad when election season is over. Every commercial, spam email, and just about everything else I see on a daily basis since early summer is filled....busting at the seams with presidental candate information. Of course, I have my own opinions but I'm not going to bore you with my views! Our country is really stirring things up this election year--either way the country WILL MAKE HISTORY! Having either a woman as Vice-President or an African American President is going to be a drastic change for our country. This is the same country that did not allow women to vote until the early 1900s or to even be consider as an equal --solely because they were women. And the same country that used to force African Americans to be slaves for the white people and restrict the areas they could go--solely because they were a different color.
Well today is the day....November 4th! Voting polls all over the country opened in the early morning hours and will be open til later tonight. As annoying as election time can get, I have found myself checking CNNs webpage hourly--looking for any new updated information. I'm going to stay up as late as possible so I can get one step closer to finding out who will run and control our country for the next four years. I know that when I wake up tomorrow, hopefully, we'll know who won the race for President! It is almost as exciting waking up Christmas morning....I said almost!
So remember this as we go into a Republican vs. Democratic battle....regardless of who voted for who, who has what sticker on their car, and what other people's personal views are THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS GOING TO MAKE HISTORY IN 2008 and we were alive to witness it!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Jenni's Baby Shower

Jesse and Jenni, a first semester couple, are expecting their first little bundle of joy in late November....and it is a GIRL! The spouses organization decided to throw Jenni a baby shower--to help her get some of the things that she might need before the baby arrives. She decided that she would like a diaper shower since diapers on the island are ridiculously expensive and she'll be going through them pretty fast for the first couple of months!
A cute picture of the mom-to-be!
Some of the girls and pitched in and bought a jumbo package of diapers..... and we turned the plain 'ole diapers into a diaper. There were several diaper cakes for the mom-to-be....and in all different sizes! The diaper cakes were adorable~ the diapers were individually rolled and stuck together to make different layers in the cake. After the layers were done, a few accessories were added to make the cake look complete! Our cake turned out great...thanks to Camille and all her hard work on the diaper cake!

The diaper cake
The party was a success....I think Jenni will have enough diapers and wipes to last her a while!! We are all excited to have another baby in the group!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I Can At Least Say I Tried....

One week and counting until Jason's second round of block exams...November 10th can't come fast enough. Actually December 16th can't come fast enough--46 days and counting--but we have to take small baby steps to get there. Today our internet in the apartment was acting up and I have quite a bit of homework so I decided to head to the library with Jason. I didn't figure it would be that bad--how bad could free air conditioning and unlimited internet be? Well it isn't as glamorous as one might think. I got to experience everything about the library--the air conditioning, the internet, the chairs, the noises, the distractions....I got to see how he spends most of his days! There are about 20 tables with 6 chairs at each table in a room in the library. Each table usually has two people at it--we had a table to the two of us! The chairs have cushions so I robbed the cushion from the chair beside me so I could have a back cushion and a seat cushion. The cushions look all fluffy and comfy--but after a little bit of time they flatten and the hard, wooden chair can be felt. I was constantly moving and adjusting my body to get in a more comfortable position! After adjusting to a slightly more comfortable position, I started working on homework --or that is until someone walked past me. People are constantly walking in and out of the room, turning pages, coughing, typing on their computers, and anything else that could be considered a distraction. Every time something happened or I heard something, I would lose focus! I had a hard time working on school work because of all the distractions that I wasn't used to. I think I looked at the clock every 15 minutes for the first hour I was in there....time seemed to be ticking away. We would take a break every hour to hour and a half--we'd walk around the top balcony and look out over the ocean. The break was only 5 minutes or so and then we had to go back to the room. When I'm home I tend to bounce back and forth from homework--to email--to Facebook--to blogger--to Skype--to whatever else (you get the picture). I stayed doing homework the whole time in the library because I didn't want to distract the people sitting behind me! Breaking up school with things I want to do makes my day go by a little smoother, but unfortunately today was not a smooth day. My eyes seemed to get heavier and heavier the longer I sat there....I usually get the privilage of a nap if I get tired. No naps for me today--I was determined to stick it out! Four hours later and I was pretty much running out of the library. I couldn't take it anymore--the silence with multiple distractions, the cushions that squished flat, no fun internet surfing, and the air conditioner that seemed to be set on 60 degrees.
I got a small taste of what Jason goes through daily....and it is pretty crappy!! On the weekend before a block exam--he could put in as much as 12 to 14 hours a day in that library room. I will definitely be more willing to give back/neck rubs, be more consoling, cook better meals, and anything to show him how appreciative I am of his hard work and dedication. I can't believe he has had this routine for the past 15 months BUT the good news is he only has 5 more months to go. As for me--I'm going to stay as far away from the library as I can. I will only resort to the library in EMERGENCY SITUATIONS.