Well, today has certainly been an interesting day indeed. What wonderful and also strange things we have encountered... let's start with the wonderful shall we?!
Today started off with a few lectures/presentations. More about Ross, and St. Kitts, and about student life etc. I opted out of the first one because it was primarily aimed at the students. We all met up for lunch on campus which was nice. They had chicken, corn, rice, veggies, bread, last but not least: TING, my new favorite drink. It is a wonderful grapefruit flavored carbonated beverage. It's very much like Fresca, only much better. It has a much stronger grapefruit taste, and no fake sweetness. It's also much more carbonated. The only down side is that they come in small bottles. We both very much enjoy them, as you can see here:
So, after lunch we wandered off towards the lower auditorium where the campus security lecture would be taking place. We were a little early so we decided to try to get some pictures of the birds we've been seeing a lot of. We got some great shots of the bananaquit, which is shown above. We also captured the loggerhead kingbird as well, which is everywhere down here. This particular guy also happened to be declaring it lunch time:
Time came for us to go to the lecture but we could only stay a half hour because Kater had an appointment in downtown Basseterre. Our OL (orientation leader) was generous enough to offer to take us down. Little did we know what we were in for. For starters, as we neared the street where we would be getting out, we saw an unusual site. A woman was strolling down the street yelling, wearing nothing but a small green wrap on her head. She was completely naked and barefoot. You may be thinking, "is this normal for St. Kitts," well, we asked the same question and the answer is most absolutely NO! There were people everywhere gawking in disbelief as we were, wondering what was going on. Our OL would later tell us that after dropping us off she would see this woman again only this time running down the street. Strange... not really sure what else to say about that.
On to the next adventure, as if that weren't enough. As we entered the doctor's office we found it packed, with almost a dozen people waiting to be seen. There were no seats available which was ok we thought... this will only take a minute.
No, this will not only take a minute, but in fact much longer than that. Everyone has surely hear of "island time" by now I'm sure. Well, this was it to the maximum, no doubt. After checking we found a spot to stand under the television set where everyone had been previously been staring. We quickly noticed that everyone was now staring at us. This is ok I thought, we're white americans, they probably don't get too many of those in this office. We shrugged it off. After some time I looked up at the clock on the wall and an hour had passed. We were still standing. I was trying to keep track of what order people were in but no one had really been moving much. New people kept coming in but almost none were leaving, at least it was air conditioned. So we looked a few magazines and tapped our feet... finally a few chairs opened up so we could sit, after an hour and a half. And we continued waiting. Finally Kater's name was called but only to see the nurse. She went in and got all the usual prep things done: height, weight, etc., and came back out to wait some more. So we waited some more. Three hours had now passed and I was falling asleep in my chair... A few people had left and I figured only two, maybe three more people before Kater's turn. More people came in. So after about three and almost a half hours, her name was called! She met with the doctor and took care of business and we were finally free of that place. Upon leaving the nurse apologized for the wait, explaining that it was the new year and they were very busy... we could see that. We said thanks of course and we understood, although we both really wanted to scream while running out the door.
We saw daylight again and took in a breath of fresh air for what seemed like the first time in months. It was great to have that over with. One interesting observation however came away from that horrendous ordeal, every person who entered the office said "good afternoon everyone." It was rather strange to hear people being pleasant with each other, especially in a doctors office where normally everyone has their head buried in a magazine trying to ignore each other. Especially after being in Boston for so long.
What did we learn from this? Don't ever complain about a long wait in a doctor's office in the states... 15, 20..., 35 minutes... that's nothing!
Phew, ok back on with it. Our wonderful OL was nice enough to return and pick us up and take us back for our dinner plans. One of her friends and another orientation leader as well had been nice enough to cook enchiladas for ours and another group. It was a delicious meal to end a rather strange and uncomfortable but entertaining day.
And with that, I think I'll leave you for the night before you start to feel like you've been waiting in a doctor's office for three and a half hours.... Good night.