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.