Monday, November 30, 2015

Immigration and Thanksgiving

Hello all.  I hope you had a nice holiday.  I enjoyed the holidays by sitting in class with lectures and more lectures on endocrinology and nutrition.  I assure you that your holiday was a lot better than mine.  But before I get to that, let me explain immigration.

When I first got to the island, they stamped my passport for 6 months because that's what they did with the students before us.  The school sent an email notification of a new immigration requirement about 2 weeks before starting classes about this new requirement.  So the policy is now we, the students,  are required to pay for a student visa in which the students before us did not have to pay.  The cost of the student visa that last 3 years is in total, $600.  $100 for the application fee and $500 for the stamp.  Yes, that is a lot of money that one would have to budget for and it is consistent with my statement that your first semester is your most expensive semester.

Last semester, the immigration department was supposed to come to the school to process our paperwork but they failed to do so until this semester.  They came to the school last week to collect money from the students.  I gave them my passport and the money to receive a certificate valid for one year and a stamp in my passport.  I am no longer an illegal alien but yes I did just state that I received a certificate that last a year.  Apparently, I need to use my time to retrieve another.  But who knows?! Sometimes things change and processes change.  I am just complying.

I would like to also point out that the way of life in Anguilla is not similar to that of the United States.  In the United States, we are accustomed to getting everything very quickly and efficiently.  In Anguilla, it is not apart of their culture to be so.  I do like that if I need something that people will cater to you but in other things, it may be some things that move at a slower process than what we may be used to.  It is apart of the experience in another country.  So schools, grocery stores and salutations are all different.  But it may be what works for their country opposed to what we are used to.  It is just like we learn in ethics class, their (Anguillians) quality of life may be different than ours.

So to move away from that and talk about an American tradition which kind of contradicts what I just said.  A lot of students were really missing home so it would only be right to have potluck Thanksgiving dinners together.  I must say that I reaped the benefits of having a full belly but not a full mind.  I will have to make this up in my studying for certain.

Thanksgiving potluck in Anguilla
Thanksgiving was filled with dishes that included a little taste of home.  Now more than ever, we miss our families cooking and gatherings that we would have.  And just to think that we will be home in less than 3 weeks.  The only thing in my way is 3 presentations, 1 assignment and 5 exams.  You know, that now sounds like a lot.  I'm going to go study now.

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.  And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
-Genesis 3:1-13, KJV

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Is it time to go home yet?

Seriously, is it time to go home yet?  I just want a warm shower and food that I don't have to cook.  I know I am so silly but you start to miss the simple things when you are away from home.  So I passed my block 2 exams and it's already almost time for the block 3 exams.  I must say that this semester has flown by.  I apologize for not writing sooner but I have been a busy little bee in the library studying my life away.  Especially since my computer has decided it doesn't want to be reliable by blue screening frequently so I am so happy that the library has computers for us to use besides just used to print.

Since blocks went well, I figured I would treat myself to a beach day after classes and here are a few pieces of evidence of my little bit of fun including learning to swim.  I went  with a few friends as usual and this is Shoal Bay to be specific just before sunset that is now occurring before 6 pm.

The next new thing that happened in my life was the time change that occurred in the United States.  This is the first time in my life I have to actually rethink the time because we are now officially on Atlantic Standard Time.  I have been so sheltered that I have only lived in Eastern Standard Time.  I know, you can say it's sad but it's a new experience for me and I am excited.  Also, the sun no longer rises at 5 am and now rises at a quarter to 6 so there is somewhat an improvement in the chicken and rooster alarm clocks. 

So after attending church service, I was notified that I was in the newspaper from the Breast Cancer Walk that I participated in.  I must say that it was a pleasant surprise and it is something to say that I did.  Here is the picture if you like to see.  My body did hurt for a few days after that maybe because I was wearing sandals and not exactly the best clothes that I could have been wearing.  It was for a great cause and that's all I need to convince me to do something.

Other than studying for classes, I volunteered with the Anguilla Red Cross and got my face painted in the process.  I must say that they did a fine job and it was really fun to meet some more people in the community that I am now apart of temporarily.  We, the students, were giving health checks as usual to the locals.  We also helped in conducting surveys about if our services were helpful or not.  The general consensus from what I saw was that they loved our involvement in the community.  Since this is the rain season, it was nice that the rain did decide to hold out until after the event was over.  And hopefully we made more connections in the community.

Other than doing things other than study, I have been learning some new things in class as well as old.  Repetition is seriously one of the best things ever.  Fortunately, the classes have overlap in some of the pathologies otherwise I wouldn't know how I would remember some of these and to think that I am going to have learn more is still mind-boggling.  But I am sure since everyone is doing it for this long that I can manage with what little that I have.  Here's a picture of the brain from my teacher's presentation on DIT, an imaging technique for the brain.  I am unsure of the source but it looks really nice so I will insert it here.

We also have had a series of presentations this semester.  I think by now I have had about 4 presentations this semester and it's still not over yet.  I think I have about 2 more presentations to go.  Below is my friends and I looking as nice as we can in our presentation attire.  I have been told that I am a natural at presentations but I think I just put on a good impression that I do.  So with next week going to be blocks, I must say that I am in my panic mode although I know that God has my back as long as I cast my cares upon Him.
Last but not least, here's a Word to have:

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
-1Peter 5:6-10, KJV