Sunday, 4 September 2016

Heading into the Home Stretch of Island Life

Hey everyone,

I know it has been awhile, but we are still living the island dream. My last post was back in April, and I basically finished out the school year and then headed home for the summer while Kyle finished up Med 3. Well he passed! He has begun Med 4 and we can finally see the light. 8 more months of island living. 

Even though we have a short amount of time left, we are going to be super busy. Before I left for the summer, I started yet another island project. I met a French Canadian gal, who is an awesome athlete! We had the opportunity to become certified swim instructors through FINA. We started up our own swim club called the Nevis Barracudas. Our goal is to teach a lot of the local kids how to swim, and we have even taken on teaching some of the Special Olympic Athletes. The program ran through the summer while I was away and the team made some great progress!! We will be continuing the program in the coming months, and I am excited to help make a difference for some of these kids. 

As well, my colleague and best friend on the island have made huge strides in the education world on Nevis. This last week was back to school, which was full of workshops and learning opportunities for the teachers on the island. My friend and I presented a workshop to the preschool and kindergarten teachers. We created a checklist to help bridge the gap for children transitioning to kindergarten. Lets just say presenting two, three-hour long workshops was both nerve wracking and exhausting! I have never done anything like that before, especially to a group of women from a completely different culture than what I am used to. #culturemapping For those at the Global Leadership Summit you will appreciate that! ;) Anyway, it was a successful day with some great feedback that ended with my friend and I getting our own office space at the Ministry of Education. It has the best view, and we have a computer! Amazing! I am so excited for this school year. Last year was so tough breaking through so many barriers and obstacles, but this year I will finally be able to use my skills in a beneficial way to help this island. 

Kyle is starting Med 4, so far he likes his new schedule, most days he is done at 3pm, and there is a lot more hands on experience this semester. He will even be spending some time at the local hospital. A blog update will definitely be needed after that! 

So we have only been back for a week, and the hardest part so far has been getting used to the heat. It has been crazy hot here, I know back home it was a great summer but the heat here is something else. A lot of humidity, and no AC is tough to get used too. Also, I'm pretty sure our lovely car's AC just broke. We are at the point where I am just praying it makes it through these last 8 months. 

I spent a few days at the beach here, and chatted with my friend about the fact that we know we aren't going to be here forever and so with the time we have left we really need to make the most of it and enjoy it as much as possible. This island may not have lots to offer but it is beautiful and I will never get bored of that. 

Beach selfie with my work wife

So as Kyle gets back into studying, I get back into working and studying (I only have 2 more courses left for my program so I will be done in December), we are both back to our routine island living. Full of iced coffees, tank tops and flip flops, donkeys and goats and just taking it day by day. 

Thank you everyone for your continued support. It was great to visit a lot of people over the summer and we are amazed at all the love from friends and family. It was a tough summer for us personally, and in those moments it is very hard being so far away and feeling helpless. Just know that we are always thinking of our family and praying for everyone even in the middle of the Caribbean. We love you guys! I will be back in October for my best friend's wedding, otherwise we will see you in December! 

Before we left, my mother-in-law made an amazing turkey dinner! We celebrated an early Thanksgiving and it was delicious!! 

Here are some of my favourite moments from being home this summer:

Ashley's Bachelorette Party 
Hanging out with my nephew!

Michigan Wedding

Jays game!

Cottage time with some great friends!

Gabi and Murphy! BFF

I spent a lot of time with my sister. She was thrilled for every moment! ;) 

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