Sunday, February 3, 2008

Previous Posts...

Okay, here are all my previous posts that are currently on my myspace. It seems like a lot, but its over a months worth - so bare with me :)

January 7, 2008

Well, we arrived safely in St. Maarten on December 30th. Ella traveled very well and slept most of the way. The other times she was awake, she was happy and content. I’m glad she didn’t scream the whole way like the kids around us. The flight from Salt Lake to Newark was completely full, so we had to carry Ella the whole flight (a little over 3 ½ hours). The flight from Newark to St. Maarten, though, had an empty seat in between us, so I leaned up against the window, with the baby, and Tom laid his head on my lap and slept. He was so tired, I was glad I could give him a little rest. When we got to St. Maarten, we had to go through customs, which was super annoying, but whatever. Then we got our luggage and Tom went with Ben Cluff to our apartment with a load of our luggage. My parents didn’t have such an easy time getting here, though. They went to LAX and found out that Angela had to have her passport or they wouldn’t let her on a plane. So Angela had to go home, then she flew to Salt Lake to get her passport, then back to LAX and THEN to St. Maarten. She arrived the next day, but was still super obnoxious. My parents got here safe and sound, though, and actually had all their luggage get here too! I guess there was a super Nazi lady in LAX that made my dad check one of his bags at the last second, so they didn’t think it would make it – but it did! We had so many bags of our stuff, including my keyboard and a suitcase with my desktop computer. We were quite the caravan. It took several trips to our apartment to get everything there

My first impression of our apartment was, “Wow…what have we gotten ourselves into??” It was pretty scary from the outside: the building is white with pink borders that the paint is all running down the walls. Quite lovely. The inside, though, is pretty nice. The floors are all tile, though, which makes the sand REALLY annoying. We had to go buy some rugs to keep the sand off the tile. I have already had to sweep the floor twice and got a beach full of sand on each sweeping! The apartment has a washer and dryer which is really nice, but no dishwasher…unfortunately. I’d rather have the clothes washer/dryer than a dishwasher, though. That is for sure. The bathroom is probably the scariest part of the apartment. The toilet is a little finicky and the whole bathroom smells pretty bad. I can’t tell if it is just baby diaper smell, or bathroom smell? Who knows…J There is only a shower, but it is really big, so we put the baby in one of those little “baby sitter” thingies in the shower, and she seems to like it – which is nice because now that Tom is in class, I have the baby by myself in the morning and it is hard to take a shower and hold her at the same time!

The furniture in our apartment is kind of funky, everything is very “European” because our landlady is French. The couch is white leather and all the tables are glass. There isn’t a light in the main room, either, just a bunch of lamps – which is kind of obnoxious. Also, there is only one light in the bedroom and it is right above the closet. Weird. There is a balcony though off the main room with a beautiful view of the only golf course on the island…lots of grass to look at. There is also a big lake/river thingie along the border that we can watch water skiers along. It is very beautiful here.

Our car is very fabulous. It is definitely a little jelly-bean car. Bright red. Automatic (which is nice), with faaaaabulous air conditioning! We have to drive a semi-paved road to get in and out of our apartment complex though, so it is kind of scary. I hope I don’t get a flat tire when I’m by myself at night or something! We have to drive by the golf course, which is REALLY scary because there are a TON of abandoned buildings (big old houses I think? Or maybe an old hotel complex sort of…like a giant resort thingie) that were destroyed in the last big hurricane. I guess the hurricane happened about 13 years ago and no one fixed up the houses or anything, so a whole bunch of homeless people live in it and attack (rob) from people walking through or around the golf course at night. They say that women and children don’t have anything to worry about, but that doesn’t make me feel much better knowing that Tom might get a flat tire or something! Kiiiinda creepy.

Anyway, Tom likes his classes. Right now he is taking Histology, Anatomy, Anatomy Lab, Molecular Cell Biology, and I think that is it? His Anatomy class and lab are super easy for him. He says that BYU’s anatomy classes were so much harder. I told him that means he better get Honors in those classes and he still has to study! What is a good wife for, right?? J I hope it doesn’t get tooooo hard; I mean, it can get hard – its supposed to be, right? – but I hope it doesn’t stress him out too much. Hopefully it is manageable. I guess a lot of people failed his MCB class last semester, but they don’t sound like the most intelligent bunch so that is probably why.

So yeah, a lot of things are Americanized here – they speak English (on the Dutch side anyway) and use the dollar. There are a TOOOON of black people here, though! There are way more than I thought there would be. There are more white people on the French side, but they are snooty. You know how the French can be. We are definitely the minority race here. It is kind of different living in an environment where I’m the minority. It will be good for me though – teach me to appreciate America J Haha! The stores here are pretty normal if you go to the nice ones. There are quite a few questionable restaurants, grocery stores, etc. that we are trying to steer clear from. It is hard to get prices for things too because they are so different than in the States. So far the meat is okay but the produce is not as good. I thought there would be lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and stuff, but not so much. This islands ONLY resource is tourism pretty much, definitely NOT agriculture, which is a shame.

Well, that’s about all for now. Tomorrow morning I am going grocery shopping with Jill and her baby. It will be nice to hang out with someone. Jill is very nice and has been super helpful with us moving down here and everything.

My family was here up until yesterday. We went to the beach, toured the island, and Kathryn and my mom went scuba diving! We didn’t go because the baby is too young to go on the boat. It would have been too hard anyway, trying to hold/nurse a baby on a bumpy boat! Yeah right! It was nice having them here, though. It made the transition a little easier. It didn’t make us feel so isolated and far away, ya know? It was weird watching them leave at the airport though. It was probably a good thing the baby was crying otherwise I would have been a wreck! Ella was there to distract me for sure J Haha! I hope they got back okay, I haven’t talked to them since they left. Hopefully Angela’s trip back was more uneventful than her trip here! I really hope they come out in March – they are thinking about doing Spring Break here. I hope they do. Kathryn wants to go on another cruise, so they would only be here for a day…but I’m trying to talk them into staying for a whole week. Fingers are crossed. I also really hope that Tom’s family can come out for Christmas. I know Tom will be really disappointed if they don’t make it and so will I! They need to see how big Ella has gotten and stuff like that J.

Well, that is enough for one day. Hopefully I can keep up on this and won’t have to fill in a whole weeks worth of stuff in one night! Maybe I can keep this on a consistent nightly basis – we’ll see.

January 8, 2008

Day three on our own of our Caribbean adventure! Only 19 ½ more months to go! Haha! I’m really not counting down, though. I kind of like it here. Once you get used to being hot and sweaty all the time (and having little or no control of my hair!) and lowering your standards a bit of cleanliness and overall appearance, it isn’t so bad.

This morning I went grocery shopping with Jill. It was nice! We went to the Cost-U-Less store where I got most of our stuff because it is so much cheaper! Then we went to the Grand Marche that is on the way to Cole Bay. It was a biiiig nice and clean grocery store that was very much Americanized. They had a huge selection of meats, produce, and all sorts of stuff. They had a lot of baby supplies, too, which is nice to know. Everywhere pretty much takes credit card, but you have to carry around some cash because you have to tip everyone – the bag boy (he isn’t employed by the store), the guy who does your gas, etc. Kind of obnoxious carrying around a bunch of one’s. Oh well. Se la vie J I have a feeling that is going to be our little motto here: Se La Vie.

It was fun hanging out with Jill, she is very nice. She introduced me to another member girl named Hilary. Jill has a daughter named Holdyn that is eighteen months and Hilary has three kids – girl, boy, girl. I think the oldest is about six? I can’t even imagine having three kids here! Wow. Jill is expecting another baby in June and is pretty nervous because the hospitals here are a bit sketchy. She is having a midwife, too, not a real doctor. I am so paranoid, I would probably go home to have the baby! I would go home about a month before I was due and just have it there. Wow…that would be scary! Haha! I’d rather do that than chance having it here though – scarier! Jill showed me the church and it is a really nice building! I pretty much am assuming I will be the “music girl” in the branch. I think it was the bishops wife (?) Jill said wants piano lessons…so I’ll probably do that, which will be fun.

Anyway, tonight will be the third night in a row I have cooked a home made meal! I am so proud of myself! The first night we had pasta and garlic bread, the second night we had BBQ grilled chicken and burned broccoli and tonight we are having beans on buns – one of Tom’s favorite meals. It is kind of fun cooking as long as Ella isn’t crying the whole time. I am trying really hard to take care of the baby as best as I can. It is hard though. I am used to working a normal job or going to school and it is trying my patience to have to wait on someone hand-and-foot! But that is what a baby is, so I am doing my best. I also know that Tom needs to study good and hard to get really high grades so I don’t want to give the baby to him when he is home – it is hard not to, though, when I am so tired and frustrated with her. She really isn’t that bad, I am just a wuss when it comes to being a mom! Haha! J Hopefully it will become more natural and I’ll be more patient with it.

The internet and cable still aren’t set up and the internet won’t be set up till Saturday – soooo sad. It was supposed to be setup yesterday, but we missed the phone calls. Sad. I don’t know when we’ll get cable, or a t.v. for that matter! So in the evenings we watch The Office or other movies on Tom’s computer. Thank goodness for computers!! There also isn’t a library on the island, which is too bad, because I would looooooove to read a lot while I’m here. I’ll probably try to read every book in the medical library that isn’t a medical dictionary or anything like that. There is one book shelf, and some of the books are in Arabic, which is too bad.

Well, that’s about all for today! The weather was pretty pleasant today, sunny this morning and afternoon, but now it is raining really hard. It is nice because it cools things down a bit. “It’s so damn hot!”

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