Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Not too Crabby!

In crab races, as in life, sometimes you win and sometimes Grenada wins. Last night we were BIG winners!! James and I went with a few friends to watch and bet on crab races at The Owl on Grand Anse Beach. Although the crab races are usually directly on the sand, the event was relocated to the dining room due to sudden cloudburst. We arrived at the little restaurant with high hopes and few Eastern Caribbean dollars. Having never been to a crab race I had no idea of the treat we were in for!

First, six crabs were placed into an obviously well used kitchen salad bowl; they were named for the countries from which they came (or so we were told) and marked with chalked numbers on their shells. We were asked to examine the crabs to determine our wagers. After some careful consideration, we decided to go with our patriotism and bet on USA. Because I had never bet on crabs before, I did not know that there would be multiple races; I went for broke and put all twenty Eastern Caribbean dollars on Uncle Sam. Please keep in mind, twenty Eastern Caribbean dollars converts roughly to eight United States dollars. When I sat back down James asked how much I bet and I told him everything. It was then he chose to tell me how there would be multiple races... Whoops!

Next the man orchestrating the event took the crabs, in the salad bowl, to the middle of a large wooden circle and turned the bowl upside down. When the bowl was lifted back off the ground the races began.   This was the Olympics of crab racing. The first crab to make it to the edge of the circle and fall off the wooden ledge, would be named the champion. As everyone knows, both James and I are extremely competitive, so our courteous encouragement soon escalated into full blown jumping and cheering as our little crab made his way for the edge of the circle. It was between USA and Sweden; Sweden was hanging onto the edge by two little legs when USA made the leap. It had been a long flight for Sweden, and no one blamed him for his timid hesitation. We had won the race and doubled our dollars!!

After our big win, we decided to bet more cautiously, putting a more reasonable amount of Eastern Caribbean dollars on the little crabs we had chosen. We must know how to pick winners because we won every race we bet on but one! The one race we lost was to none other but the Grenadian crab. Some say he was just plain fast like his cousin, Kirani James, but I think it was due to the home court advantage! If James' medical school doesn't work out, I think I have a real future in crab race gambling!

Hope you are not having a crabby day! O.M.Grenada!

xo, Steph

The Arena

The Well-Used Salad Bowl and Crabs

 Picking the Winner!

 Solo Shot of the Winner

 Victory Lap

Thursday, September 6, 2012


School is now in full swing and James is been extremely busy. He has class everyday, starting at eight-thirty, and studies from the minute class gets out until dinner.  I am so proud of his work ethic and dedication; I have no doubt it will pay off when it is time for midterms and finals!

Since my husband is neck-deep in text books, I have had to keep myself entertained, and believe me, I am definitely entertained! I have become friends with other wives of medical and veterinary students on campus through the Significant Others Organization and the Christian Student Association. James and I attended the CSA potluck, and I met a few girls who have become my closest friends on the island. It is so interesting to meet people from all over the world and to hear their stories. Most of the girls I became friends with were married within the past year, just like us! Having a group of girls to hang out with makes the entire experience much more fun. 

It seems like everyday there is something to do. We volunteer a couple times a week at the Limes' after school program, working with children from ages four to sixteen years old. The children are absolutely adorable, and deserve their own post, so more on that later. Besides volunteering, we have taken Yoga and Pilate's classes, joined the dance team "Cardiac Arrest" and had many beach and pool days. I swear, I have exercised more in these past few weeks than I have since college! My body is remembering some long lost muscles that I thought were gone for good!! :) 

One of the perks of being a wife of a student at SGU is access to the University Club on Mondays and Thursdays. The University Club is a little off campus, and exclusively for faculty every other day of the week. It has a gorgeous pool, restaurant and boccie ball court for our use. It is so tranquil and relaxing, and a great way to meet other SO's (significant others). Many of the SO's have their children here with them. Last week there was a little boy at the pool who reminded me so much of my niece; it made me miss her! He had me playing sharks with him, and showed me how he could swim across the entire pool and gather every pool toy! I think my little diva T would be his BFF. 

Well, my lovely friends, I have to get to Yoga class. Namaste! I hope you are all having a wonderful week. I have added a couple pictures of the beaches we've been to so far! 


XO, Steph

Grand Anse Beach
(My favorite beach, and the closest to campus!!)

Magazine Beach
(I've only been here once; I will post more pictures next time I go!)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Home, Home on the Island

James and my living quarters, although small, are actually very comfortable! We live in the True Blue married dormitory on campus which has its pros and cons. I feel very safe on campus; James is often at the library or class until dark, so it is nice to feel safe when I am home alone at night. We also LOVE the fact that our utilities are included with our rent, so we can blast the air conditioning and take long, hot showers without care! Such a luxury!!

Another living on campus perk is that we don't need a car and can easily take the SGU buses anywhere close we need to go. I can easily take the bus to the market, friends' houses, the beach and pool, and the school I volunteer at. Although I miss the convenience of having my own car, and miss belting out my Broadway tunes while driving, buses are definitely the way to get around. The Grenadian people are CRAZY drivers; Not only are the driving laws loosely followed, or completely ignored, but they also drive on the other side of the street, like in England. Cars swerve around other cars, cut drivers off, pull out in front of others, or completely stop in the middle of the street often. Even on the buses, it is like we are in a video game or playing chicken until dodging another car at the last minute!

Aside from not having to drive, another pro about living on campus is that James often comes home to meet up with me for lunch or dinner before he goes back to class, lab or the library; this is something he would not be able to do if we lived off campus. I love being able to meet up with him for a quick bite and to discuss our days. The only con about living on campus is the size of our teeny tiny studio apartment.  The foot of our bed nearly touches our kitchenette, and the size of my closet is just... shocking!!! I definitely miss my closet at home, and the shelves my husband built to carefully contain my Louboutins. Although small, we do have room for a little table, two desks, and a bed. We also have a very small bathroom and kitchenette. We may look into other living options, but for now, I think we will stay on campus, at least for the rest of this school year.

Here are a couple of pictures of our little home away from home! I hope you enjoy!! O.M.Grenada!!!

XO, Steph

Our Dorm

View From Our Window

Home Accents

 Table for Two

 Our Room

My Teeny Tiny Closet

Friday, August 24, 2012

Oh My Grenada

It is really amazing to think what can happen in a year. Life can change so dramatically, and lead one on the most unexpected adventures. Although scary and exciting, I know God has a plan for all of us and we must have faith and trust in His guidance. A year ago today I would have never believed someone if they told me I would be living in Grenada, married to a doctor-to-be! At this time last year, my husband and I were not even engaged yet! My husband, James, had been a practicing business litigator when he had a change of heart. Being the kind, strong and compassionate man that he is, he could not see the good he was doing the world through his work as a lawyer. He has always had an interest in medicine and decided to follow his dreams, which led us here, to St. George's University on the little island of Grenada!

We have been on Grenada for almost two weeks now, and it has been quite a culture shock from Orange County, California. Grenada is called the Spice Isle, and as soon as I stepped off the plane I knew why. The humid air envelops you with the smell of nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon. The local people, the food, and the pace of the island are all extremely new, different and interesting.

The locals of Grenada, truly could not be more welcoming to the students at SGU. They love to say, "the people on the Isle of Spice are very nice", and from what we have experienced we agree! The only difficulty we have encountered is understanding their accents! Contrary to the pace of the island, the locals speak very quickly! James had been calling the "regular" bus, the "reggae" bus for an entire day before we could understand the difference! After some slight embarrassment, we now get a good giggle out of it! Another term Grenadian people use is "rounds-about" when referring to a "round-about", and let me tell you, there are a million "rounds-abouts" in Grenada, we just go "rounds and rounds-about"! We are slowly picking up on the slang and I have to say, James can do a pretty awesome Grenadian accent!

Before coming to the island, we had heard that the food would not be too good, so we braced ourselves for the worst. However, we both agree that the food has been great! Although some grocery items are difficult to attain. For example, we have only successfully purchased milk once. Every time we go to Spiceland Mall, which also has a grocery store, the milk is completely sold out. When there is milk, there is only 2%, which is a little hard to get used to after years and years of nonfat, it tastes like my cereal is in creamer! Eggs are also hard to get here on the island; there are eggs for sale on campus every Tuesday and it is a fight to be among the first to get there before they run out. I realize how much I have taken milk and eggs for granted at home! Being the avid tea drinker that I am, I am struggling to get used to tea without milk.

Lastly, the pace of the island is very... very....... very..............slow. During our first trip to the grocery store, we stood in line to check out for forty-five minutes! Luckily, James and I worked as a team; he stood in line and I ran around the store trying to find what we needed. I have learned that if I think something should take about thirty minutes at home, give yourself time for an hour, or more!
James and I have both led such fast paced lives for so long, I think it will take a while for us to truly slow down. Perhaps it will be good for our health! ISLAND TIME MON! - meant to be said in a Grenadian accent!

With that, my dear friends, let me say for the first but not the last time, O. M. Grenada.

XOXO, Steph