Saturday, 13 June 2015

My Summer Sabbatical

Hi Friends,

I cannot believe that I am packing up a suitcase to come home! It has been almost 6 months of island living, and although I have been settling in here and finding my way, I am totally pumped for home! 

The past few weeks have been super busy with my job. I went on a day trip St.Kitts with some teachers from the school to see some of the differences in the education system. I found it interesting considering St.Kitts and Nevis are one country, but they really act separate from each other. I went to a different part of the island of St.Kitts, so here are some pics of that. 

This is a smoothie bar on St.Kitts that I have seen advertised so much, I was so excited to try one! So delicious!

When we got off the car ferry, this small lake was in front of us and it looked pink!

I have also been dealing with some work permit issues. Although I have been getting paid, apparently my work permit was non existent. I got all my paper work in a couple weeks ago and I told them I was leaving the island, and that this needed to be sorted before I left. Well this past Friday, my last day of work I spent 3.5 hours running around town trying to get it all sorted. It was like the Amazing Race again, but work permit edition. I'll keep it brief but here is how my day played out:

1. Went to the treasury department to see if I could sign off my next pay cheque to Kyle because I wasn't going to be here.
2. They told me to go to the Ministry of Education
3. Ministry of Education told me to fill out a form then go to Premier's Ministry
4. Pay 25EC at Premier's Ministry, and get more paperwork
5. Go to Immigration to get stamp in passport. (Finally!)
6. Go to Social Secuirty office and get a SSN
7. Go back to treasury and pick up cheque (which they didn't have earlier)
8. Go to the bank and open an account

That was the process, and after all the running around I did, my work permit stamp I have in my passport is only until the end of school year for this year (July). Which means I am going to have to do this all over again in September when I come back. Great! Good news was that I was finally able to open a bank account, and deposit the cheques I had. Bad news is that since this process chewed through my whole day, I didn't get to see the kids at the school before they left :(

This week there was also another parade on the island. All the preschools and primary schools marched downtown. It was pretty fun, it was also funny listening to the teachers complain that it never starts on time. We were supposed to start at 9 but it didn't start until 10.  Apparently this happens every year. Then the poor kids are having to wait a long time, plus it's really hot for them. We had one little girl throw up at the end of the parade! (At least she made it all the way). 

I have also been noticing a lot more puppies around the island. One of my students brought a little puppy to school that she rescued, so cute! I want to take one home with me. I seriously considered it and even visited the animal shelter here on the island. However Kyle and I discussed it and it just wouldn't work right now, but I really hope before we leave the island for good I can bring one home. The amount of abuse these dogs face on a daily basis breaks my heart. So many awful stories, and there is only one vet clinic on the island who apparently doesn't treat the dogs nicely here and the shelter is at capacity. I am realizing that I can't change everything on this island, I really should just focus on one thing and make it the best. Which I am hoping I can do that with the school. A lot of changes are going to be happening so I am looking forward to seeing how that plays out in the fall. 
This is the student's pup! So Cute!!!!

This little guy is from the shelter I visited

These little guys live next door to us.

In the 6 months I have been here, I have learned so much about myself. I feel like I have gained even more patience! It's funny when the odd times Kyle and I are in the car together and he gets so mad with the way people drive around here, and I just laugh and say it's really not going to change. It is what it is here. I guess I am used to it, and I can really just go with the flow here. I feel like I have become a much more positive person since being here. My anxiety levels have dropped, and I just feel happier. Maybe it's the constant sun on my face which I can never get enough of. I love being outside all day. I am also impressed with myself that I have been cooking almost everyday. I have become pretty independent and my confidence has grown. Now maybe this says a lot about who I used to be 6 months ago, I am still shy and some things still stress me out. But I am getting over it faster, and not holding a grudge. Life is to short, I have been given this amazing opportunity so I am making the most of it. 

I am so proud of Kyle and what he has achieved thus far. These next couple months will be hard on both of us, but I am confident in our relationship that we can handle being apart. Kyle will be busy focusing on his studies and I need to go to the mall and Mcdonalds a lot ;) haha. 

So this will be my last post until September. I have enjoyed blogging, and I hope I can keep it up once I come back to the island. I will be continuing my school studies online and working. I hope everyone enjoys their summer! I hope that I will bring the hot weather with me! Thank you everyone for being so supportive of us! We love you and can't wait to see you!

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