Monday, December 7, 2015

The Last Days of MD2 and Residence Rules

Well, it has been a long, long journey but I must say that this semester was fun.  I think I am well rested for what is to come because the next semester surely isn't easy as well as the more intense studying that is needed.  It may be because of the additional assignments and presentations but I don't know.  I will tell you when I get there!

So, it is only a week and a half before I go home.  Today I had my last quiz of MD 2 in physiology.  I must say that I am very proud of myself because I did a lot better on this quiz than I did for all of my other quizzes.  Yay for me.  Just another victory before I start more journey home.  It also sounds like I am going to have a very eventful winter break as well.

So in the past week, nothing eventful has taken place.  I have been receiving a lot of emails however in regards to what to expect when you get to the island.  I can't really say because everyone's experience is different.  It honestly depends on how much spending you plan to do as well as your comfort level.  I would like to label myself as a very frugal person (or just plain cheap).  I don't like to spend more than I need to if I can help it because I don't see the point if there are little children around the world starving for food and I have the luxury of better things.  That's just my opinion.  However, some people expect rainbows and unicorns.

So by now, I am on my third landlord of which I am comfortable being with.  Next semester, I am a little indecisive as to whether I would want to move or not but I will surely keep you updated.  I really like the opportunity to try different areas that can help future students on what areas to live in and what areas to stay away from.  Also, pricing of apartments is a common question.  The answer will always be it depends.  If you live alone, you could pay from $550 on up.  The usual rate I keep hearing from people is around $650 but if you find something cheaper, you've definitely gotten a good deal.  Just make sure that the landlord is nice and they won't try to keep your security deposit.  I actually have one landlord now that owes me about $500.  The problem with trying to sue her is that the courts move very slow here and they usually favor in the Anguillians side.  So if I see her, I will try to convince her to give me something.  Because that money would have been very useful.  Two bedrooms can help cheapen the expenses because the electric bill will be shared.

Some things to think about when getting a place include getting a lease.  Some landlords insist that they will just take your word for it and not give you a lease.  Get some type of documentation in case you have to sue them.  It happens and sometimes you have to do what you have to do.  Also, try to get the utilities covered in the rent.  Unfortunately, if you have air conditioning, this is very difficult.  Most landlords don't want to pay for electricity because students in the past have had bad habits of leaving the air conditioning on.  The electricity is not like it is in the United States.  The electric bills here tend to be very high and the utilities are not very efficient.  I suggest that when you leave your residence that you unplug everything and turn off fans.  This could reduce your electric bill and possibly make your landlord happy that they have a tenant that isn't a hassle.

Another major point to talk about is the water.  Water is not a renewable resource as it is in the United States where we have water treatment facilities.  The water that runs from the facet is not palatable.  If you do decide to attempt to drink it, you will notice a very salty taste.  Water sometimes becomes scarce especially during the seasons when it doesn't rain as often.  It seems now that we are in the rain season but this summer when I came, it was very dry.  Below the houses are well-like structures called cisterns.  Water is pumped into them when they are empty from the water companies on the islands and also when it rains.  Be aware of where the opening is located so you can check your water usage as needed.  So just be aware of when you're washing your hair, brushing your teeth, washing that extra load of laundry and doing dishes of how much water you are using because it can be expensive.  So now that you know it isn't a good idea to waste water, I know you are wondering, what do I drink?  I actually drink a lot of water.  Many students tend to buy bottled water when they get here and save the bottles.  The school has a water fountain.  That's all I am going to say so you can't say I told you to do anything.  *Whistling as I walk away.

Finally, transportation can be another issue for people.  I think many of you experienced the journey of how I obtained a car on this island with me.  Transportation is dependent on you.  I honestly think I could have not had it but I just can't study outside of the library for some reason so coming to school on the weekends helps me remember the information better.  So, again, it depends.  Where is your study space?  It could be at your residence, school or someone else's place.  It doesn't matter.  If you live within walking distance of some places and you feel comfortable walking, go for it.  And occasionally a classmate may see you and pick you up on the way as well.  Renting is pretty easy to do and the rates are about $300 per month.  Buying a car seems like more of a hassle however you may get the cost of the car back in the end.  So the return on investment is better.  Overall, it is your choice.

Well this post went in a direction that I didn't plan on but I again hope this was very helpful.  This weekend is the White Coat Ceremony for this semester's MD4s. I have a few friends that will be transitioning to Chicago and I will include pictures at their discretion.  We have exams next week and I think I have a beach trip planned before I return home on the 19th.  I will be sure to update you after I can call myself a MD3 but before the new year.  Before I go:

Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.
-Romans 14:4, NKJV