Sunday, September 4, 2011

3 Week European Adventure

Teaching medical students on a Caribbean island has its perks.  No, I'm not talking about living in the Caribbean, the beautiful sun and sand and hiking trails through the jungle or any other benefits you all see about this adventure that I'm trying to remember to experience.  I'm talking about the perk that Ross gives to head to one medical/scientific conference each year to increase our professional lives.  I pretty much live for education.  I have ALWAYS wanted to learn and am always yearning for my next 'classroom' experience.  Therefore, the opportunity to learn more and more (in addition to all that I learn actually IN the classroom) is one that I see as quite the perk.  This last week, the International Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) held a conference on medical education in Vienna.  I had the opportunity to not only go to this conference and hear about what types of innovations other medical educators are coming up with, but I also had the opportunity to spend 3 weeks traveling in Europe.  Mike and I started by taking the ferry to the neighboring island of Martinique, before flying to Paris.  That's where the European adventure began:  Paris, Zurich, Munich, Bavaria road trip, Vienna, and a train ride through the Austrian, Bavarian, and Swiss alps proved to be breathtaking, amazing, phenomenal, and exhausting.  We had a blast, but are reminded that 3 weeks away from home may just be a bit too long.  Happy to be back on the island and surrounded by furry love, I am gearing up to begin the fall semester both as a professor and as a student (I begin a Master's in Higher Education degree online this fall as well).  I am sure it will prove to be quite a busy semester.  Until I update you on those adventures, here are a few pictures of our latest and greatest!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

To the US, Canada and back!

Since the last post all kinds of fun-and-exciting things have happened.  Yes, its hard to imagine that anything could be more fun and exciting than real cows milk on the island, but there actually ARE more exciting things!  Therefore, I thought I'd give a brief update about my travels:

In the end of May I traveled to Vancouver and Vancouver Island to visit with friends and to attend my first professional meeting as a professional (a bit different than attending as a graduate student).  It was WONDERFUL to drink milk in the main-land, see some GREAT friends, and learn about anatomy and physiology from wonderful other educators.

The other trip was a combo work-family vacation trip.  As a member of the admissions committee I traveled to the main Ross office in New Jersey to meet with the admissions recruiters.  After learning more than we thought possible in two days, I met Mike in Chicago for a fun-filled 10 days with family!  We spent half of that time in the Madison area seeing friends, attending a Mallards game, and spending quality time in Fort Atkinson.  The second half of the trip was spent at my parents cabin in western Wisconsin complete with boating, beer drinking, sunshine, and fireworks.

After these travels I am now happy to be back on the island, having picked the dogs up from 'doggy vacation', I will have to update you soon on what Cocoa did during vacation (I'm pretty sure it involved a lot of laying around with her new buddy Andros!).  I always say I'll get better at blogs, but I'll say it again...This is my next new effort, to update my blog more often :).

Thursday, April 28, 2011


For any of you who have lived in a country where they do not have very many cows you know the longing feeling for that nice rich white stuff that tastes like health.  That feeling you get when you go camping for a few too many weeks at a time during the summer, or that feeling you get after you've eaten too many sweets (especially oreos), or that feeling that you just don't feel good because you've been eating at restaurants for far too many nights...Yeah, I know this feeling all-too-well.  Not as much because of the aforementioned reasons, but more because in Dominica you can't just go to the grocery store and buy milk.

This is not the first time in my life I have lived somewhere where milk was not a staple and what you COULD find at the store was so over-processed that it certainly did not represent what I have known as milk for my lifetime.  Ghana was the same way, and I made it through my time there unscathed, but still craving milk.  I used to walk down to the end of our 'road' (i say 'road' because I'm not sure you can call a dirt trail with a big river running through the middle of it when it rains and the grand canyon of gullies when the rain stops a road, but the taxi's drove on it if you paid them enough, so i guess it was considered a road) to the convenience store whenever I needed a 'treat'.  My 'treat' was a juice box of milk...not the milk you're all thinking of, but over-processed, strawberry flavored, creamy goodness that they called milk.  It was delicious, but it certainly was not Milk.

I may not have been born in Wisconsin, but if you looked at my cheese and milk consumption over the past 5-10 years you would have thought I was raised on a dairy farm.  I do not, however, know how to milk a cow or really anything else there has to do with raising a cow, so I will not be purchasing my own anytime soon (although that IS a good idea).  However, yesterday I found milk, REAL 2% Reduced Fat Cows Milk (yes, I do like 1% better, but this is what they had so that's what I got), and I could NOT have been happier.  With the opening of the IGA grocery store recently (small by US-city standards, but it kind of looks like the grocery store at the cabin) a LOT of things are becoming more readily available (deli meat, a variety of cheeses (other than the staple white and yellow chedder), yogurts, ice cream, meats, etc.) but it was not until this week that the milk arrived.  Okay sure, it expires today and I just got it yesterday, but who are we kidding, I don't need more than 2 days to finish a half gallon of milk, so it worked out just fine.  Here's to hoping that the next shipment of milk from IGA is on its way right now, but until then I will finish this half-gallon with my dinner tonight and savor every last drop! 

Saturday, February 12, 2011


I've been telling myself (and pretty much anyone else who would listen) over the past few weeks that 'my next purchase is going to be a boat'.  I live on a tropical island and I drive past the bay every day where lots of yahters and sailers park their boats while visiting this beautiful place and each time I get that twinge in my stomach that I'm missing something by NOT being on the water around here.  So...I want a boat.  But, as I'm discovering, not just any boat.  The other day I looked through my photos on my camera pre-download and discovered that I have pictures of about 7 different 'pirate ships'.  I have apparently become OBSESSED with pirate ships.  I just think that they are ABSOLUTELY beautiful and fun and look like where I'd like to hang out.  So...rather than dream in a more realistic sense about what boat I'm going to get (because in reality it MAY happen, but it'll probably be some little sea-ray looking thing), I'm dreaming of the pirate ship that will be the NEXT love of my life :).  Do you think I could train my dogs to live on a boat?