Oct 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from the Scurlock's!

I must say I have been very uninspired to blog this past week.  It could be due the fact that I haven't taken any pictures.  Which is due to the fact that I have no camera. :(  AND can you believe there are no pumpkins in Grenada.  Which means no carving them (I know Josh was super bummed).  Boo.  But enough pouting. 

Halloween really isn't celebrated in Grenada.  But that didn't stop the SO's from having some fun this weekend.  My friend Kelsey took it upon herself to throw a costume party together at the school.  It was pretty tame and included a bunch of adults dressed in very creative costumes, some fun Halloween treats, and the movie Hocus Pocus (a Halloween necessity). 

Josh couldn't attend.  He FINALLY finished his midterms this morning.  Poor guy, it's been a long week and classes start back up tomorrow.  Stupid medical school, always ruining his time.

In Grenada, Halloween costumes have to be REALLY creative.  There are no costume stores and even if there were, nobody could afford a costume anyway.  I couldn't believe how creative some of my friends are!  Take a look!
I on the otherhand was not so creative. Somehow this past week with my birthday, Josh's tests, and all the shenanigans that followed I lost track of time to figure out an actual costume.  So I did the next best thing, I found a mardi gras mask, and wore a blue dress.  I didn't win any costume awards.  No surprise here.
But it was still a lot of fun.  Maybe next Halloween when Josh is in clinical rotations, we can actually dress up together, like in 2009.  Seems like ages ago.
Only six weeks till 4th term is over!  The countdown begins.

Happy Halloween!

Oct 26, 2011

A Stolen Birthday...

Yesterday, I celebrated my 26th birthday.  Twenty-six, gosh that seems old!  Josh has been soooo busy studying for his tests this week and thankfully, all my Grenada girlfriends stepped up to help make it a special day.  I wish I could say I had some pictures from the day but sadly, my camera was stolen.  Yes, on my birthday. 

The day started out grand.  My friend Kelsey wanted to take me up to Bathway Beach and Levera Beach on the very Northern end of the island.  And when I say "Kelsey took me," what I really mean is "I drove and she yelled out directions." :)  Our friend Sarah joined us as well.  The three of us headed off up the island in "Toby," and I told my poor studying husband that "I was headed North, be back this afternoon."  It takes around 1.5 hours to get up to the top of the island, but it went by fast because there is lots to see and the car was filled with great company.

Our first stop was Bathway Beach.  Oh how I wish I had the pictures.  This beach is stunning and it didn't hurt that the weather was just perfect.  The sky was the bluest blue and it was so clear that you could see lots of other small islands to the North.  We played in the waves and ate our lunch and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. 

Next we headed just down the road to Levera Beach.  This beach is a little more private and you can easily see Sugar Loaf Island, which is just off the coast.  We set our stuff down and headed straight for the crystal clear water.  We spent about two hours going back and forth from the water to our things and we were probably never anymore than 15 feet away from our belongings.  On top of that, we never saw a single person on the side of the beach we were on during our whole trip (which means somebody was watching us...creepy).  However, at around 3pm, we decided it was probably time to pack up and go home and when we went to grab our stuff, each of our beach bags full of our belongings were gone.

It was one of the most surreal feelings I've ever experienced when I realized that no, we did not leave our bags in the car, no we did not move them somewhere else, they were gone, and we had not a clue when it happened or who had taken them.  And almost instantly, the reality hit.  We had no money, no cell phones, and worst of all no car keys.  Poor Sarah didn't even have clothes.  All three of us had cameras in our bags, along with wallets including credit cards, drivers licenses, etc.  We were stranded over an hour and a half away on a part of the island that none of us were that familiar with.

Kelsey ran back to the car to make sure it was still there while Sarah and I collected what little belongings we still had; three beach towels, a snorkel set, some sandals, and mine and Kelsey's clothes.  The whole walk back I was just praying the car was still there and thankfully it was. 

Kelsey then enlisted the help of some locals and they went searching through the mangroves for the thieves and any belongings of ours that might have been tossed aside.  Meanwhile, I was able to borrow a local man's cellphone to call Josh and let him know what was going on.  My biggest concern being that I had no keys to my car (and no spare set).  One of the locals said he could start the car with no keys and when I asked "What about the locked doors?"  He replied with a smirk, "That's not a problem."  What a relief... (sarcasm intended). 

Thankfully, the men were able to find an obvious trail that the thieves had taken and just a short trek from our spot on the beach, they found all of our bags minus cameras, cell phones, and money.  While that was still extremely depressing, we did have my keys back and all of our credit cards, debit cards, licenses and what not.  I suppose it could have been worse.  We left the beach a little shaken and headed for the police station to file a report.  And let me just say that Grenadian Police Stations might warrant a blog post all their own.  We are not getting our things back, of that I am sure.

I'm trying to have a positive attitude about the situation.  They were just things.  It can all be replaced..eventually.  No one was injured or held at knifepoint, the car wasn't stolen, my credit cards were returned.  Things could have been worse.  But it still stinks.  Why people do that kind of stuff I will never understand.

We made it home safely by about 7pm, showered, and headed off to my birthday dinner (I was an hour late).  I was reminded of the fact that even though I lost some things on my birthday, I am so lucky to have so many amazing girlfriends here in Grenada.  They are such an integral part of making my time in Grenada and in England so great.  I am truly lucky to call them all my friends.  When you have friends like these women, no birthday can be that bad, even when you have your camera stolen.  

There's only a couple of pictures that captured my 26th birthday that actually made it back to my house.  I guess the majority of this birthday will just have to be stored in my memory bank.  Thanks to everyone who helped make it special.  And a special thanks to Sarah for the pictures from last night.
Kelsey painted me the most beautiful picture of Magazine Beach!

Josh and I will get to celebrate after his tests this week.  I'm looking forward to a more low-key day with him.

Oct 22, 2011

4th Term Stinks

Dear 4th Term,

I thought early on maybe you weren't so bad.  Hubby was enjoying that you made him feel more like an actual doctor and excited about learning new things.  But oh how things have changed.  You and I are no longer friends.  You've stolen my husband from me.  Josh spends way more hours a day with you than he does with me.  Your oldest child Pathology is seriously just mean...13 credits for one class?  Don't you realize how stressful that is for everyone?  And then there is the evil stepchild Microbiology.  As if anyone has any time to devote to THAT with Path taking center stage.  And let's not forget about CPD, even though everyone does.  What do those letters even stand for?

Your testing schedule is just terrible.  Tests on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, AND the following Monday!?!?!  No weekend off after tests?  What were you thinking 4th Term!?!?!?!  Don't you know Hubs needs that weekend off to relax, and I NEED for him to have that weekend off to keep some sanity!  AND when my birthday falls smack dab in the middle of it.  Shame on you 4th Term.

I know 3rd term is technically not the same term as you, but it might as well be.  With only one weekend off before the start of 4th Term, you are beginning to feel never-ending.   Twenty-four straight weeks of medical school with no break is just tortuous...for all of us.  No wonder everyone talks bad about you from day one of med school. 

I will concede and let you have my husband for the remainder of the term.  But I want you to know that I don't like you.  Not one bit.  And come December 9th when you are over, I will push you out of my memory and never think of you again (although Josh will be unable to do the same).  I suppose you are a necessary evil, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.


A 4th Term Student's Wife

Oct 20, 2011

Sea Glass Hunting

Josh and I see eye to eye on most things in life.  We have the same religious beliefs, political affiliations, ideas about parenting, morals, etc.  But when it comes to sea glass, we differ.  He thinks it's trash, but I know it's treasure.

What's sea glass you might ask?  Well it's glass that gets tossed and turned around in the salty ocean water and sand.  The sharp edges get tumbled away, and the glass becomes cloudy and smooth creating "sea glass."  Many pieces eventually make their way on shore and can then be picked up by beach combers like myself and others.  The pieces of sea glass can range in color from more common ones like greens, browns, and clear to less common like cobalt and turquoise blue and then to the rarest of rare, red, orange, yellow, and pink.

There is even a National Sea Glass Association that has a competition every year where you can submit pieces of sea glass found.  The best piece receives a $1,000 prize.  If that's not incentive to become a sea glass collector, I don't know what is.  Something worth $1,000 dollars CANNOT be considered trash.

Anyway, there are lots of beaches in Grenada where you can find sea glass.  A couple of weeks ago, a few of the SO's went to Flamingo Bay in Happy Hill (don't you wish you lived somewhere named Happy Hill?) just outside of St. George's.  We went there because we had heard there was some great snorkeling.  There most definitely was.  But we also hit the jackpot of all jackpots of sea glass.  This beach had tons!  We all came home with bags full of it.
Flamingo Bay
When the glass dries, it has a cloudy look to it because of all the salt.
But my friend Kelsey discovered that if you use the tiniest bit of vegetable oil and an old rag, you can get rid of some of the cloudy appearance.  As I worked on polishing my sea glass last night, Josh walked in and said "Are you polishing your trash?"  To which I quickly replied, "It's not trash, it's treasure and it's beautiful!"

Isn't my collection looking pretty?  I especially love the blues, which are a little harder to find.  One of my SO friends found a pink piece last week.  Lucky girl!  I want to put some of it in a jar to use as a display in my home, or perhaps make some jewelry, or create a mosaic?  Who knows.  The sky is the limit!  I'm going to keep hunting for sea glass, maybe I'll win a $1,000 prize.  Because only then will I be able to get Josh to stop calling it trash!

Oct 19, 2011

Around the Island Tour: Pearls Airport

The final stop on our Island Tour was Pearls Airport.  This was the original airport on the island of Grenada, but it is no longer in use.  It now serves as a great grazing site for cows and goats.  However, there is an old abandoned Cuban Airliner on the side of the runway that makes for great pictures.

So that's it for the Around the Island Tour.  I'm worn out just writing about it! Traveling around an entire country in one day is tiring!

Oct 18, 2011

Around the Island Tour: Belmont Estate

Up next on the island tour was Belmont Estate in St. Patrick.  In my opinion, this was the highlight of the trip.  Maybe it's because we finally got to eat lunch! :)
Belmont Estate is a 300-year-old cocoa plantation in Grenada that is still fully functioning.  They have a restaurant with Grenadian cusine ( not my favorite due to bones, bones, and more bones in the meat), a tour of how chocolate is made, an animal area, gift shop and lots more. 

We ate lunch and then spent some time exploring the 400 acre estate.  They had some of the most beautiful birds.

And a bell that they used long ago to call the slaves in at the end of the day.
 Then we went on a tour of how the cocoa beans are processed.  It still amazes me that somehow you can turn this...

Cocoa pod
Into this.

Grenadian chocolate bar
After the beans are fermented in these shed-like things, they are then placed on these large tables to dry out for about 8 days.
The roofs are on wheels and if it rains, they can quickly be rolled over the beans to protect them.  The beans must be "walked" every half an hour while they are drying out.  And what better way to have them turned, than to have the tourists do the work for you!
Walking the beans!

It was actually pretty fun.  Although I don't know if I would want to do it every half hour in the hot Grenadian sunshine.  Even my sun-worshiper self wouldn't enjoy that.

Walking creates fun designs in the beans!

Kelsey and I in the beans.
I loved Belmont Estate and I want to go back soon.  Anybody up for a second trip?!?

Oct 17, 2011

Around the Island Tour: Carib's Leap

As promised, I'm picking up where I left off on my last post about the SO's around the island tour. 

After seeing the forts, we continued to the very Northern end of the island to a town called Sauteurs in St. Patrick Parish. 

Sauteurs claim to fame in Grenada is that it was the site of mass suicide in 1651.  The French were conquering Grenada and rather than become slaves to the French, many Carib Natives jumped to their death off of a 40 meter tall cliff which is now appropriately named "Carib's Leap."  The town was later named Sauteurs which in French means "jumpers."  A memorial now stands at the edge of Carib's Leap.
Whether you want to see the memorial or not, Sauteurs also offers a spectacular view of the Atlantic Ocean and on clear days, you can easily see some of the other islands to the North, including Carriacou.

Pretty stunning right? 

Oct 16, 2011

Around the Island Tour: The Forts

Yesterday, the SO's planned an "Around the Island" Tour.  There were 30 SO's in attendance and I think everyone had a really good time.  It was an all day affair and we stopped at lots of different destinations including two forts, a chocolate factory, an abandoned airport, and a lookout point on the Northern tip of the island.  With the island being only 21 miles long and 12 miles wide, you would think it wouldn't take long to drive around it, but with extremely curvy roads complete with potholes and steep drop-offs, it takes a surprisingly long time to drive all the way around it.  I took quite a few pictures and so I am going to split it up into a few posts.
Ready for a little history lesson?

Our first stop on the tour was Fort Frederick.  This fort, is situated on top of a mountain overlooking all of St. George's.  Fort Frederick is kind of unique in that it is a "backward facing" fort.  In 1779, the British were attacked by the French.  The British were expecting and prepared for a sea attack and had Fort George ready to defend the city.  Unfortunately, the French had a better plan.  They attacked from the interior, which was also higher ground.  Because they had the higher ground, the British gave up quickly realizing they would be defeated.  The French decided to learn from the Brits mistake, and began construction of Fort Frederick facing the interior of the island instead of the sea and the city.  That way, they would be prepared if anyone else ever tried to attack from the interior.

Alice in Wonderland, our tour guide at the Fort.

Under the Treaty of Versailles, in 1783,  Grenada was ceded back to Britain.  The Brits had learned their lesson the first time and decided to finish what the French had started.  So Fort Frederick was completed by the British.  However, I don't think that Fort Frederick was ever actually needed to defend Grenada and St. George's after that.

Whether Fort Frederick was actually used to defend the city or not, it definitely provides some stunning panoramic views of St. George's and the Southwestern coastline.
The City of St. George's

Southwest Coastline including Grand Anse Bay

Looking into the interior

The whole group at Fort Frederick
Next, we walked over to Fort Matthew, which is just next door.  I had a hard time finding out much history on this particular fort.  What I do know is that it was bombed in 1983 when the US invaded Grenada and so it lays in mostly ruins now.

After our history lesson, we were off to the next destination.  Up next, Carib's Leap and Pearls Airport!