Latitude 17N

Sunday, March 27, 2005

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Well, we went to the horse races today. It was a lot of fun. I wish we had brought some money with us. I wasn't thinking about betting when I took my money. Uncle Jeremy would have been proud of Julian because he picked all the winners. We stayed for three races and all three of his picks won. The first was a photo finish (not my photo because it didn't come out). The pictures I posted here are from the third race. Isla was the winner shown here in a white blouse with different colored polka dots with Evening After in 2nd and Mate O Mine in the 3rd spot. The races started pretty much on time which is unusual for anything here in the Caribbean. The first one started at 3:30. The horses come out into the ring and the jockeys try to keep them in line until it's time to line up. Then they go over near the starting point and buck around and walk in circles until it's time and then they all just start running. They run around the wrong way which is weird. It was a lot of fun. It was packed. We left after the third race. There were two races left at that point and the cars were still piling in. Quite the event for Nevis. An Easter Horse Race. Funny!  Posted by Hello

Easter in Nevis. The Easter Bunny found us here in Nevis this morning. Julian went on an Easter egg hunt in the morning before the ants got his jelly beans. He found money in some of his eggs! He also got an Easter goody bucket full of cool stuff. We are waiting on our french toast casserole to cool and then we will have it with our blueberry muffins. Then Jaime will go back to the library to study all day and night for his tests on Monday and Tuesday. Then we have 2 1/2 weeks before the end of the semester. After that Jaime will start Med 2 and we'll be a little closer to the end of life in Nevis. When the semester begins I will start shopping airfare for our trip back in August and when I find a good flight I will beging my countdown. Later today Julian and I are going to go to the horse races. Should be fun. I just wish I could find someone to go with us. It would be more fun that way. It will be interesting either way I'm sure. It's a three day weekend and here in Nevis that means that the locals will be getting a little crazy even if it is a Sunday and Easter too!  Posted by Hello

Friday, March 25, 2005

There he is up on Buddy Boy. We brought some carrots for the horses today but Buddy Boy didn't like them. Julian had his best day riding yet. His teacher was very impressed. It is probably due to the fact that he was alone at his lesson again. We brought a family with us because they wanted their son to take lessons but he is deathly afraid of horses and so is the mother so they sat in the car during the entire one hour lesson. I felt bad for them to be that afraid of ALL animals even cats. It must be really hard to live HERE being so afraid of animals because they are everywhere! Posted by Hello

Julian leading his horse on March 22nd. Posted by Hello

These are my lovely macrame creations that I have been making. Most of these except the one on the bottom are mine and Julian's. The on on the bottom is a bracelet for a little girl turning 3 today. Her name is Nava.  Posted by Hello

Friday, March 18, 2005

Tonight we had a Mexican Fiesta here at Casa Moreno to thank all the MUA students who helped out with the triathlon. There were three guys, Daniel, Rian and Chris. Steve Szabo came along also and brought his new little puppy, Cletis. He is very cute and well behaved. He rescued him from some sloppy home here in Nevis. The guys were impressed once more with my home cooking. They don't get much of that these days being that they all are single guys. Some with girlfriends back in the US. It is always funny for me to hear that people are impressed with MY cooking! Haha. They must be on drugs. Just kidding. It was quite yummy although there were a couple of people who didn't come so we had TONS of food left over. I put enough for 4 in the freezer and about enough for 4 in the fridge for tomorrow. I made Smoky Chicken Tinga. We had it in tacos and burritos with rice and salad and some of my very spicy homemade salsa. It was quite good. I also had walking taco which was almost gone by the time dinner started which was good. The salsa was very spicy. I put chipotle chiles and jalapenos in it and when I got done making it last night my hand was burning. They liked it. I tried to make churros for dessert but they didn't come out shaped like churros. They were more like pieces of funnel cake shaped like penises. So it was interesting for sure. That is about it.  Posted by Hello

Thursday, March 17, 2005

I like to look at this pictue of my parents house in NH because it makes me feel cold. It is such an extreme to what we are experiencing here in Nevis as you can see from most of my pictures posted below. I love this picture! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Julian took this photo although the birthday girl was making her rounds and didn't make it into the it. From left going around the table are myself, Steve, Spencer, Emily, Brian heading up the table, Andrew, Dan and Jaime. A very fun group I must say. There was another table full on the other side too. It was a fun night. Janet didn't suspect a thing even when I didn't find time to see her today on her traumatic birthday. I did tell her that my mother said that from her viewpoint 40 is looking darn good and that made her laugh. Julian got to go out on a trail ride today. He was the only one in the class and Erica said he did really well. Probably since it was just the two of them and he didn't have anyone to fool around with. But that is good that he is getting more able to control his horse.  Posted by Hello

Janet was indeed surprised at her party! We had a party of about 15 people. We gathered at the local chinese food restaurant called The Gold Coast. The food there is so good. It is nice to know no matter where you go...there's chinese food.  Posted by Hello

Today is the first day in quite a while that looks like we might get rain. Julian should be having horsebackriding today but if it rains it will be cancelled. Tonight we are meeting at The Gold Coast Restaurant (Chinese) for Janet's 40th birthday. She doesn't know it and she was adamant about not doing anything for her 40th but I think it was a cover. So she should be surprised! Hopefully she'll still talk to me. Haha. Julian made her a card and I made her an anklet which is really cool. So, today is Tuesday which means school will be starting in few minutes. Julian is just thrilled! Posted by Hello

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Here we are with the rest of the MUA gang after the triathlon was completed...Jaime and I are way in the back. In front is Stacey, Ani? and Jill, behind them are three girls I don't know and Adam and Steve. We had a great day although I don't know what our times were because we didn't look at the clock as we ran through so we're waiting on the results postings. It was a hot, hot day here in Nevis. I'm not even sure of the temp but it was steamy. The swim was really long and I those buoys looked like mirages waaaaay over there. It was hard to get started with all those bodies in the water kicking and slapping water at you. I was afraid I would get kicked so I tread water for a few seconds to let the masses get out ahead. But then I was afraid I was last, not daring to look back, and around the first buoy I passed a girl and felt better about it. I am told I was one of the first 20 out of the water. Then I had to get through transition without my bucket of water that I forgot! So I got my feet pretty clean and shoed, dressed in some shorts and helmet, and ran my bike to the spot where I could get on. The bike went pretty good being passed by a few people on road bikes. Some were obviously doing the olympic. I guzzled a bunch of water along the way but the water seemed to settle in my throat so when I tried to eat my snacks they settled there too so I decided to do without. I eventually felt better and drank more water and more gatorade to keep myself hydrated. After the bike was over I started running on rubber legs. I felt good until I got to the Four Seasons turnaround point. There I needed water bad and they didn't have any. I needed to pour it over me. There was a guy with ice so I took some of that to munch on and stuff down my bra. As I rounded the bend a woman pulled up with some water so I took some of that and dumped 3/4 of it over me to cool myself down. I slowed a little on the way back but my friends on the mp3, Ozzy, Bare Naked Ladies, a little Bob Dylan and Elvis and some disco kept me pumping along. On the last stretch I got some speed going and got over the finish line listening to Titans Spirit (a musical score from Remember the Titans). Winston was shaking hands with everyone and handing out medals. It was a fun day and I am so glad I did it. Pretty proud of myself! Posted by Hello

1st and 2nd place finishers in the Sprint distance. Adam, on the right, is an MUA student.  Posted by Hello

Here is Jaime with Dr. Szabo (aka Steve) and Ben who lives below Janet. I came in behind Jaime but before the other two! Posted by Hello

Winston Crooke is the man in charge. He is the one who organizes the triathlon here in Nevis. He runs the Cycle Center over at Oualie Beach. He is a great guy. He is originally from England I think. Posted by Hello

Here I am with Reggie, one of the top dogs on the Nevis team. He works at the Cycle Center with Winston. Posted by Hello

All the bikes have been loaded. Yes, you know you are in Nevis when you pack your bikes like this. Glad we bought that Samurai! Posted by Hello

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Morning of the Triathlon...we are busy getting ready for our race this afternoon. I am nervous but don't know why, it's not like I am trying to win or anything. I just want to finish. I have all my comforts like snacks, water, mp3 player with an ecclectic mix of music, bucket of water to wash my feet after the swim and as per a suggestion from Colleen Seachrist, some talcum powder to dry off my feet before I put on my socks. I can't imagine having soggy feet riding 12 or so miles and running 3 miles. It would be even more horrendous to have a pebble in my sock or shoe. It must be the OCD coming out in me. I will post later and let you know how we did.  Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Update...on the party and the exams. Jaime did well on his exams which is always a big relief. He was happy with his grades and is back to studying hard again. And helping out the occasional student with a computer problem. We went to the party and I am happy to inform you that we were served food without question. I spoke with Indira, who is the treasurer, and she said that if someone tells us again that we are not allowed to eat to find her and she will set them straight. And I also heard that the guy in charge who had asked us to argue our point had appologized to Brian and Janet for that night. So I was happy about that. The food at Sunshines was just ok but it was a fun night. I got to stay after Jaime and Julian left and do some dancing with some of his classmates. A girl named Cache and her Mom who sailed in a few weeks ago after being out on the ocean sailing the world for the past 7 years. Her mom has been sailing the world not Cache. She is a student. And another girl Chan who had a few extra drinks that she didn't need which made the night quite entertaining. It is very strange to be out at night in Nevis. The guys who work at the restaurant get out on the dance floor and want to dance close with all the women. It is weird because I don't want to dance close with anyone especially a Nevisian! So I had to pass a couple of them off and I tried to do it non-rudely which I think I accomplished because they just flit on over to some other unsuspecting chick. So it was weird and we were out SOOOOO late...the first time I have been out late in a long time. I got in at 10:00pm. So I guess I can have fun but I still like my early bed time. Today we had our beach outing at Paradise Beach which is right next door to the Villa Paradiso. It is a new resort that is really swank. Each unit is a 4 bedroom unit with a living area and full gourmet kitchen and a private pool. You can hire on a private chef for extra. These places run, on the high season, 1800.00US per night. So we wandered past that place and dreamed about the day that we might be able to afford a place like that. Like that but not that one. I don't think any of us will return to Nevis after we leave here. Never say never but at this point probably not.  Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

So, Black Monday has come and gone and Terrible Tuesday arrived right on it's heels. Jaime is in his last lab exam as we speak...or read or whatever. We are planning on going to Sunshines for the after block party tonight. The last party we went to was sort of a bust and we weren't planning on going to any more but it is really hard to pass up free food and even harder to pass up an opportunity to swig a Killer Bee. Also at the last party we were told by the man in charge that spouses and kids were no longer allowed to eat for free. We told him we didn't like that rule and if he wanted to change it he should have told us before we all got there. He told us we needed to argue our point and so we did. He told us that the students pay an activity fee each semester and the money for these parties comes out of that. The spouses and families don't pay that fee so they should not be included. We told him that we were always told that we were invited and if we are not then something needs to be said before the party begins. You can't just start telling people as the food tickets are being handed out. We told him that there is no way the students with families are going to leave their families at home to go to a party without them especially right after a block exam where the families have been waiting patiently for some time with their student(husband or wife whatever). He counted heads and decided that enough students didn't show up so we could eat. Then he started giving out tickets to little kids like Julian who can't be responsible with a ticket as they run around. We told the guy handing them out that we already had tickets for the kids and if he is going to give a ticket to a kid he needs to give it to the parent and let them be responsible for it. He just smiled and said "It's ok, there are plenty of them". So much for organization. The whole problem began at the welcome party at the beginning of the semester. They had a pizza party at Pizza Beach (a restaurant that is known for being slow). The turn out was huge. I think almost every student came to that party. Well, the pizza's came out two by two and trickled out slowly. There were a bunch of students congregating up near the serving table and wolfing down pizza as it came out of the kitchen like it was the last food on earth. If you weren't in that group you couldn't get near the table. There were several kids (little kids) that were starving and unable to get a slice of pizza. These students were acting like doofuses. So, something was said to the man in charge but he could not control the people. Finally, Brian LaPray went and hung out near the kitchen door and hijacked a couple of pizzas for the kids. It was mayhem at that party so they decided that from now on each person would get a ticket and get to go through line once. There have been many instances where students have shown up an hour after the thing is set to begin and there is no food left because pigs go up and go through line 2 or 3 times for food. Becuase a lot of them have never been away from their parents and don't know how to prepare food for themselves so a little free food comes their way and they are like vultures. So, I am going tonight and I don't know the outcome of us arguing our point. If we were allowed at that other party does that mean we won our argument or was that a special circumstance? We were never told and I didn't think to ask because I wasn't planning on going to any more because the food isn't always so great. But tonight it's at Sunshines! That is a different story. So I just may have to fight for my food but I am prepared to do that.  Posted by Hello

Sunday, March 06, 2005

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We had lots of fun at the taste of Nevis party yesterday. They had a bunch of booths set up and you bought tickets and bought food from the booths with the tickets. Kind of like the Seafood Festival at Hampton Beach. Most of the resorts were there and lots of local restaurants. You could also win prizes in a raffle but we didn't win anything. These pictures are of Julian participating in a game on the beach with a bunch of the other kids. The kids had to take turns running down to the ocean and filling the bottle with water and bringing it back up to the bucket and dumping it in. Sounds easy but the bottles had holes punched in them so you had to go really fast before the water seeped out. The other team won but they all had fun anyway. I was surprised to find that there were mostly ex-pats at this thing and not many locals at all. The money raised was used to benefit ARF which is the Animal Rescue Foundation (much needed here on Nevis for neglected pets). They had a huge turnout. We ate some good food and then Julian and his friend Ian played in the water for a couple of hours. Julian had a great day! He's making more friends now and enjoying himself more here which is great for us all. Today is Sunday which is always a lazy day for us. Julian is watching cartoons on Boomerang. Johnny Quest. It is weird to see all these old cartoons from when I was little still on tv. Jaime is studying for his tests tomorrow (Black Monday). He has been in the books all week and weekend. I have been running and swimming and biking my little heart out for the triathlon which is only 6 days away!  Posted by Hello

Friday, March 04, 2005

Friday at last! No home schooling for 2 days! Tomorrow we are going to meet Julian's friend from horseback riding, Ian, at the Taste of Nevis Festival. Then we will go to the beach from there. Today we met Harrison and his mom and siblings at the pool for a while where we were met by Janet and Emily. Then Julian left to go home with Harrison's family and I got a call soon after that when Julian got something in his eye and needed me to come get him. By the time I got there he was doing just fine up at Janet's house (his second Mom). All this exciting stuff going on right here in Nevis. Sounds so exotic doesn't it?  Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

This pelican is going in for a divebomb for some lunch. It is really cool to see them hunting. They fly real low over the water and then they fly up and dive bomb real quick head first into the water. Today I swam out to Janet's friends boat. I have heard so much about this boat that Brittany Spears has chartered. I was impressed! It was really nice. He was getting it ready for some VIP charter. We had a fun beach outing at Pinney's today which is where this picture was taken.  Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Julian had to ride Barlkey today and he was very stubborn as usual. Buddy Boy was out on a trail ride so he didn't get to use him today. But he got to carry the whip! He got to trot a little bit today and really liked that. Now he needs to work on his reins. He isn't forceful enough to get that horse to do what he wants. I'm sure when he is reunited with Buddy Boy next week things will go better. Julian is going to hang out with his friend Ian on Saturday at the Taste of Nevis over at Tequila Sheilas. And then on to Oualie Beach for a little playtime in the ocean.  Posted by Hello

Today I get to go deal with a bank to get some money back that they think they gave me out of the atm. I tried the other day to get some cash out of the atm and it gave me an error with a receipt that said 0.00. So I tried for a different amount and got it so I tried to get that again and I got the same error as the first time with the same receipt. Of course when I got home I noticed a hold on my account for all 3 transactions. So I called the bank and they said they would take care of it. Well now those charges have gone through on my account. I'm not happy about it especially because this is not the first time it has happened and we're talking about 600.00. Should be a fun day.  Posted by Hello