In the last four months I have moved halfway around the world to a new country where I began an intensive doctorate program, learned to drive a stick shift from the right side of a car, drive on the left side of the road, play on an intramural volleyball team every Friday, and face my fear of the ocean by getting scuba certified. At times it all feels very much like I am simply an observer in some first person film sequence of my life. None of it truly seems real.
I ache for some of the comforts of home (what I wouldn't give right now for a tri-tip sandwich) and am thrilled that I will be able to go back to visit friends and family in December. Next semester appears to hold its own set of unique challenges including a schedule consisting of Anatomy 2, Physiology 2, Parasitology, and Immunology. These have the arguable reputation of being some of the most difficult classes that I will encounter in the 7 semesters that I will be here.
If you're into Facebook then keep reading this paragraph. A friend of mine (Gregg) from over at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto was sweet enough to send me a care package which included a great tshirt and a limited edition Facebook fox plush toy. First, a little background on the fox: Several months ago I got the chance to visit FBHQ and have lunch (it was Shawn's tour and lunch but I managed to tag a long) which is how I met Gregg. HQ is home to some very lovely foxes who have taken up permanent residence on the grounds. They now have their own FB fox page so that employees who see them and manage to grab a photo can post their celebrity sighting. Due to the popularity of the live FB foxes there was a plush toy produced in very limited quantity and Gregg decided that one of them needed to visit the Caribbean.
On a sexier note, Shawn (BF) flew in at the end of finals and will be staying with me for 3 whole weeks. I couldn't be more excited to have him here with me during my break. Shawn is an avid scuba diver, with an advanced open water certification , and we are planning to go out for several dives around the island while he is here. Until then we have been having a great time enjoying not doing a whole lot of anything too strenuous. Our typical day for the last 3 or 4 days has been hanging out either in my apartment or at the beach with a fruity alcoholic beverage. Shawn is partial to pina coladas while I tend toward either that or "rum punch" an island specialty.
One of these pictures is of a pet monkey who has a taken a liking to alcoholic beverages. I'll let you decided which one that is.
Tomorrow I will be saying goodbye to life in student housing and moving into my new apartment. Although I am still within walking distance from campus living outside the relative safety of the school does have me a little nervous. This is just one more selfish reason why I am glad to have Shawn with me for a bit. There are a few places I'd love to take him while he is here including; Brimstone Hill fortress (built in the 1700's is one of the most well preserved 18th century fortifications in the Americas and displays a rich although violent history of the island). I was able to tour it once when I first arrived and can vouch first hand for its interesting architecture and stunning views.