Sunday, August 19, 2012
Vacation is over
Its been about a week since my last post; during which I have been partaking in various orientation activities. Orientation began last Monday and ends later today. Before orientation, I was at the beach every day and had no responsibilities which was wonderful. Orientation week has also been a blast but mixed in with the fun, we have had many informational sessions. The week kicked off with some Grenadian history, culture, and information about the place we will be spending the next two years at. The people of Grenada (who ran this session) absolutely love their country and are very proud of its accomplishments. Most notably, the winning of their first Olympic Gold Medal by Kirani James. In fact, they made us watch the video that they called, "The Greatest 43.94 seconds Ever." We also had a lecture about safety in Grenada, Grenadian law, etc. Throughout the rest of the week from Tuesday until now, there have been other sessions about health insurance, on campus living, technology on campus, succeeding in school, and today we had the convocation and met the different department heads. That pretty much comprised most of the week in terms of the logistical, boring side of everything. My personal favorite aspect of this past week was the hike and tour we took on Thursday. The orientation staff took students to the Grand Etang Rainforest and to a place called Annandale Falls. They are located near the middle of the island and took about 45 minutes to get to because of how slow and narrow the roads are. The waterfall was absolutely gorgeous and there was a 10 ft jump that we were allowed to jump off of into where the water fell into. In addition, there is a 40-45 foot jump that we were not allowed to do. However, it is common for the locals to jump down from that height because we actually 'tip' them to make the jump for our entertainment. Essentially that is one form of the way they make money. The water was somewhat chilly but it was just great to see the waterfall and get in the water. Then we went further into the forest and after seeing the Grand Etang lake, we hiked uphill for about 45 min. Although it took 45 minutes, it was probably no more than 1-2 miles. The catch is that you are hiking through mud that is about a foot deep in some areas and is EXTREMELY slippery. I fell about 4 times into the mud (pictures below) and I would say I was luck to not fall more based on how muddy it gets. There was an awesome view at the top and then coming back down was even tougher and that is where most of my falling happened. After that we got back into the bus and on the way back to campus, we drove through the city of St. George's. St. George's is the capital of the country and it was really neat to see the main city where everything happens. The city seemed to rely alot on small fruit stands and shops and markets on the sides of the road. In fact, we stopped at one point and bought some fruit, called a skin-up. I had never had this fruit before and I would be surprised if anybody in the US had tried it either. It was delicious but also very strange. Essentially the fruit was a small green sphere. If you bite into it, the soft shell pops off and inside is another spherical object, the seed. You do not eat the seed but the seed has a gooey grape-like material wrapped around it that you have to eat off of the seed. It is difficult to describe because I have never had anything like it before but I loved it. That pretty much sums up this past week. Just alot of orientation sessions and meet and greet type of things going on. Classes officially start tomorrow and unfortunately, the airplane that was shipping our books broke down so those are going to be a few days late. Tonight there is a bazaar on campus in which there will be lots of local food stands and all the student organizations will have booths so I am excited for that. I'll make sure to update next weekend after a full week of classes!! Also, my white coat ceremony is tomorrow night!! I'll be sure to post pictures. Take care everybody !