Things We Love

  • Caribbean Vacations.  More specifically, our recent vacation to the tiny island of Canouan in the Grenadines.

  • Hotel upgrades from a beachfront room to a beachfront suite.  Yes, please.

  • The Jaden Sun, the “fast ferry,” that we took from St. Vincent to Canouan.  Fast, air conditioned and nicer than an airplane.
  • The fresh coconut water we just had with breakfast from the freshly picked jelly coconut our landlord just gave us.  Thank you, Mrs. Coll!

Pre-exam study zone.

  • Charlie’s hard work paying off and moving right along to semester 3, but not before a well-deserved break.
  • Relaxed Charlie.
  • My fabulous island friend, Katie, who designed this blog’s fabulous new header and created the awesome C Squared button at the bottom of the page.  Isn’t she talented?
  • Mail from friends and family.  We love emails and comments on our blog, too.  Thanks for making us feel so loved!  We love you, too!
  • Seeing our cutie pie little puppy this morning (the one we found a home for).  Her owner’s boyfriend lives next door, and she’s hanging out on the porch there this morning.  She is getting big and healthy and is still as sweet as ever.  Plus she has a new gigantic Rottweiler best friend and that makes me smile.
  • Doctors who help me treat my ringworm (not actually a worm).  (Even if they are grouchy and even if it requires getting 3 vials of blood drawn and tested to make sure that I don’t have liver or kidney problems so that I can take the very intense oral anti-fungal medicine.)

Read the bottom row! (Click for a close-up view!)

  •  The September issue of Town & Country Magazine called Sewanee “the new Hogwarts.”  I love Sewanee!  I love Hogwarts!  I love that Sewanee is the new Hogwarts!!!

  • Caribbean beer.  Each island brews their own.  Dominica: Kubuli.  Bahamas: Sands and Kalik.  St. Vincent and the Grenadines: Hairoun.
  • Hilarious people.  Last week I was walking down the road wearing as the friendly trash men were hard at work.  I happened to be wearing a bright green dress.  “Hello Green Lady,” one of the men said.   “How are you today?”  I responded, “I’m fine, thank you, how are you?”  The guy’s response was classic — he gave me a huge gappy smile and said, “Not as good as Green Lady.”  Goodbye trash men.  Goodbye Green Lady.

C Squared cliff jumping at Bense Pool.

  • Living on the nature island of Dominica.  Where else do you get to spend an afternoon with your husband and friends doing stuff like this?

2 Ladies, Come & Gone

My two besties

Tropical cyclone Emily:  We’ve been busy preparing for her for the past 2 days… Purchased electricity, check. Filled up all our water bottles and pitchers with water, check.  2 extra gallons of water from the grocery store, check.  Washed all the dishes in the sink (the water cuts off when it rains for long periods of time, so if you forget to do those dishes… yuck!), check.  Non perishable food in case we really get in trouble, check.  Luckily, Emily has now passed us and all we’ve seen of her is a little wind and lots of rain.  We did wake up this morning with no water though, so I am glad we have lots of extra on hand, because I am using it already!

This week Charlie and I were also lucky enough to have a sweet little puppy for a few day, until we found her a permanent home. We aren’t allowed to have pets in our current apartment, and our landlord tends crops in the garden behind our apartment, so she’s around way too much to sneak anything past her.  We found our pup a home for good last night, with some loving students, but I’m not going to lie, Charlie and I both definitely cried a little when we had to give her up!  She was the sweetest little puppy, and we loved her!  We’re not sure what kind she was — but she looked like a mixture of an island dog with a Rottweiler or Doberman Pinscher.  She had the sweetest little personality!

And now, the humorous story of how acquiring the puppy went down.
Last week when I went to Portsmouth to tutor, I spotted her as I was walking down the street.  She was cowering and crawling out from under a shack.  She approached me timidly, crouched down in fear, but she covered my face in kisses the minute I scooped her up.  I held her for a little while and then put her back on the ground, and she stayed near me, although she was also interested in scouring a nearby trash pile for something to eat.  A group of local women passed me and told me, “Take her!  She need a home.  This is not a life!”  I told them that I’d love to take her, but that I didn’t want to take someone’s dog.  They replied, “She live on the street, she need a home!”

Done.  I knew right then that I couldn’t leave such a sweet little lady on the street!

I carried her down the street to CALLS, where we played with some of the kids in daycare while I waited to meet James for tutoring.  She loved me, she loved the children, she loved to play.  After CALLS, we walked to Best Buy (the hilarious Caribbean junk shop, not the awesome techy Best Buy of the U.S.) so I could buy her a collar.  I walked in holding the puppy, and a woman inside smirked.

“Where you find dat po-ppy?”

“I found her in the street in a trash pile.”

“That Alvin’s po-ppy!”

{Oh sh*t.}

“Hey, you see dat po-ppy?  That Alvin’s po-ppy!”

“Yeah, dat Alvin’s po-ppy.”

{Double sh*t!}

“Oh, then I’m going to put her back. I don’t want to steal someone’s dog.  A group of ladies told me she was a stray, that’s why I was taking her.”

“Alvin don’t care for her.  She live on da street.  It don’t even look like he feed her.  She need a home.  Take her!”

“Well I don’t want to steal someone’s dog…”

“Take her! Take her, people don’t know how to treat dogs round here.”

So I leave the store, worried that some man named Alvin is not going to be happy with me.  I walk back to the spot where I found her, deciding if I should leave her or not.  I turn around and see that one of the women from Best Buy has followed me.  She sees me and laughs.

“Don’t put her back.  She need you.  My store is right here.  If you can’t keep her, you bring her back to me and I will find her a home, but take her.  Go, go.”

So… I hopped on a transport {bus} and took Little Lady on her first bus ride.  I. Stole. A. Puppy.

Don’t tell Alvin!

{Coming soon: how we cared for Little Lady, found her a home, and as a result, a security guard was paid $200 EC…}

Cheers to 3 years!

It’s hard to believe we’ve already been married for three wonderful years!  The time has really flown by.   In those three years, we’ve had so many adventures. We’ve . . .

. . . lived in 3 different countries.

. . . lived in 4 different apartments.

. . . attended college level/grad school courses on 5 different colleges campuses.

. . . traveled to 5 countries together.

. . . mastered public transportation systems in 2 countries.

. . . learned to crack/hack open coconuts ourselves to drink the coconut water.

. . . visited some of the world’s most beautiful beaches.

. . . had a few “pets”: a pack of feral cats (Richmond), curly tailed lizards (Bahamas), and a rat, an anole tree lizard, and a frog (Dominica).

. . . studied our butts off (me, attending grad school full-time during my first year of teaching art and our first year of marriage; and Charlie, now and ever since he began the whole med-school experience last August).

. . . learned that we can survive pretty much anything together!

Happy anniversary to my amazing,  handsome husband.  Thanks for being so sweet and for always supporting me and making me laugh!

Wedding Day in Chincoteague

Honeymoon in France

Enjoying an evening out after completing our first semester here on the Rock

Today Charlie is studying and I am laying low, but we’ll be celebrating tomorrow with an afternoon at the beach and a delicious dinner at Red Rock, one of the tastiest restaurants on the island.  Cheers!


Nesting Season

In case you aren’t addicted to Facebook like I am, here’s what you missed this week:

our apartment = rat central

Apparently it is nesting season around here.  A rat chewed through our screen window in our kitchen and climbed on in.  That little punk gnawed through a banana and roamed all over our apartment, pooping on everything: kitchen counters, kitchen table, sofa, bathmat… you name it.  We were pretty grossed out, especially since we’ve been hearing horror stories about all the diseases that rats carry around here.  So, I spent the following day disinfecting our entire apartment.  A special thank you that that bi-atch of a rat for making me re-wash all of my clean dishes that were drying in the drying rack… you suck!  Really, the worst part was not knowing if the rat was still in our apartment.  Had Splinter nested in suitcases?  Dresser drawers?  Kitchen cabinets?  You may think I’m being a bit dramatic.  But this was a RAT.  Mice, I could handle.  But the rats here are nasty and filthy and disease-y.  Yikes.  We searched the apartment and found no rat.  I even bought and set up some scary metal mouse traps and left those out with cheese and crackers on them for a few days, just in case… but no rat.  Lucky for us, the rat is out, and the windows are closed for good.  (Bad news: being the in the kitchen without the windows open feels like death).  Unfortunately, the rat visited my neighbor and chewed through her screens the following night… ewwww.  Enough with the rats!

If you know me, you know that I love my family and friends, and I love Richmond, but I’m really not one to be homesick.  This rat, however, has made Charlie and I both really miss home.  Family, friends, homes without rats… we miss you all!  {Please know that even though sometimes we’re both really bad at keeping in touch, we still love ya and think of ya often!}

Since I’ve been a little homesick, I’ve been doing some nesting of my own, dreaming of the future, of our someday one-day home, of quality design, artful homes, fun colors, cozy beds, “real” furniture, dishwashers, non-fluorescent non-exposed-bulb overhead lighting, dream kitchens, fluffy pillows, washing machines, clean sheets, soft towels, comfy sofas…  My fabulous friend Emily taught me how to use a fun photo editing program called Picnik, so I’ve been “window shopping” online and making some collages, trying to beef up my pretty pathetic graphic design-ish skills.  Here are some collages I made of favorite things I’m coveting from far away places like Anthropologie and West Elm…