…the finish line. The end is near. We’ve almost made it through the first term of medical school (I will concede that Ivan’s journey was probably more stressful)! I know, I know, all of you upperclassmen (and, more likely, their significant others) are shaking your heads and rolling your eyes. But in between that shaking and rolling, you probably remember what it was like to cross that defining moment: we made it! Only four more terms to go… then a couple years of clinicals… then residency… oh man! This is a long process!
Seriously though, I’ve been so happy lately, mainly because Ivan’s been so happy. I expected him to become surly and depressed as the cushion of days between the illusive now and finals ebbed. Instead, he has a gleam in his eye and (dare I suggest?) a bounce in his step as time keeps on slipping (slipping slipping) into the future (notice how acutely his and my joy translates to music). He is still studying dedicatedly, but pulls away from mock quizzes with a satisfied grin and even throws around statements such as “I’m pretty confident with Biochem” and “I’m not worried about Anatomy,” adding to my swelling pride.
The end of finals (in nine days) marks a time of rest for not only Ivan, but all first term SGU students. I imagine I may hear the collective sigh let loose next Friday after the last test is finished. Although he’s looking forward to the relaxation that’s bound to follow, Ivan has assured me that he must study over summer vacation. Although I acknowledged this as a necessity, I have forbid it for the month of May. So our real vacation runs from May 11 thru May 31. We’ve already started planning. We’ll still be in Grenada for the full week after finals, so we’re going to get a little exploring in before heading back home. Then we’re going to have a hectic and fun summer. We have lists of places to go, people to see and food to eat when we get back home. And the bounces in our steps and the gleams in our eyes get a little bouncier and gleamier every time we talk about home.
|Weeping over gummy bears, of all things.|
The wrapping up of this term isn’t gleam and bouncing for everyone, though. A couple girls I have come to know and had the pleasure to volunteer with are leaving the island permanently (unless they come back and visit, hint hint!). For them, these next couple weeks are full of goodbyes, and none of those goodbyes are going to be quite the same as the ones they’ll give to the orphans at Queen Elizabeth Home for Children next Monday. The end-of-term party we’re throwing for the children will hopefully include balloons and activities and the usual reckless laughter, but it will be a sad day also as the Home loses two dedicated volunteers.
Next term, I will be filling the position of Volunteer Coordinator on the SO board and visits to Queen Elizabeth will fall under my responsibility. I hope I can generate the interest of fellow SOs to attain a group of volunteers with the same level of dedication shown by our outgoing members. It is the very least these children deserve.
Speaking of Queen Elizabeth, Monday’s visit was a real treat. We spent the afternoon in a field near the Home where a handful of the children flew kites. The rest of the children played football (aka soccer) or were an audience on the sidelines.
Of the kites, only two were not homemade, though this country seems to have perfected the art of creating homemade kites. It also seems to have perfected the art of flying them—these children are so talented! Although previous blunders were apparent by the number of kites fluttering pitifully from the power lines, none of the kids lost theirs on Monday.Today Ivan and I picked up some sugarcane from the produce vendor on campus. This is the first time we tried it, although we’ve seen it sold many other places. Luckily, the vendor sold it pre-sliced and ready to eat. The pieces were sweet, but not as sweet as I was expecting. This is a good thing since I’d assumed sugarcane would be unbearably sweet. They were also really juicy. You pop a slice into your mouth and, when you bite down, the juice just explodes! The slices don’t last very long, though, and you have to spit out the woody pulp that’s left over, but I imagine I’ll be getting it again, especially when it only costs $2 EC per bag (like ¢75 USD).