Latitude 17N

Sunday, June 25, 2006

What did I do today?...I watched a funeral.

I went to the grocery store today and as I was leaving I noticed a bunch of Marines in the cemetary across the street. They were marching around and pretending to shoot their guns. A hearse and a long line of cars started filing into the cemetary so I pulled off the road to watch (and I wasn't alone in watching, there were cars all over the side of the road). How many times do you get to see a military funeral...and this is in Nevis! There were about 5 Marines in their dress blues. They marched over to the hearse and unloaded the casket and carried it over to the burial spot. I couldn't really see what happened at this point because there was a pile of dirt but I know they had an American Flag which they must have draped over the casket. They then filed out to the front of the cemetary where the bugle player went and stood off on his own and 3 of the others stood together with their guns and the other one stood in front of them with his sword. They stood this way for abut 10 minutes until it was time for the gun salute. At this point the swordman drew his sword and raised it in the air and then placed the tip on the ground, the other 3 raised their guns and shot. They repeated this two more times. Then the bugle player played taps. It was really neat to watch...sad as that might be. I don't know who this person was or how old they were but they got a really nice Marine Corps funeral right here in Nevis. That's not something you see every day.

Monday, June 19, 2006

OECS 10k run

Yesterday was the OECS (Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States(by the way that's not a typ-o)) 10k run. This run started on a flat plane just beyond the airport. The finish line was in front of the Tourism building in Charlestown. It was a hard run. We have done this route before and knew what we were in for. This particular course has it all...a steep hill, a long gradual hill which took 2 of the front contenders to the hospital, wind and heat. The pack started out really fast but I'm more of a tortoise start kind of girl. I start out slow and get warmed up then gradually try to add a little speed. I actually started this one a little faster than normal but I had a couple of people ahead of me that aren't usually in front so I tried to keep up. One was Sarah who I eventually overtook just beyond Oualie Beach. From there I kept a steady pace. I finally passed the woman running in socks with the two barefoot kids just before the halfway point! The rest of the run was not bad. My one advantage was that I was running with my camelback so I didn't have to slow down to hydrate at the water stops. I just sucked down the water from my little straw. It was really nice. The long hill was tough but I got up it without an ambulance waiting at the top. I made it to the finish line in about an hour and one minute. Not sure of the exact time but it was over an hour and under 61:30. Jaime finished in 50:44 and our friend Nick was just ahead of him at 48:35. This time we were smart and brought our car into town so we had a ride back. At the finish they had t-shirts for all and food! A really fresh fruit salad that was quite tasty and a lot of other food that we didn't have time to eat.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Julian's new pet

I was running the other day and saw something move on the ground below me. I looked closer and saw that it was a hermit crab. Julian has been wanting one for a while so I scooped it up and carried it home. I had to cradle it in my shirt the whole way so he wouldn't escape or pinch me. He is a really small hermit crab. When I got home I gave it to Julian and he was so excited! We put him up in a bug catcher for now. He named him Hermie. The first day he had him he went to a friends house and forgot to close the top of the bug catcher and Hermie escaped! He was so upset. I told him he probably missed his family and left to go find them. That made him feel a little bit better. The next day Jaime called Julian into his room and he found him in a corner. So he's back! He is much more careful now when he takes him out of his cage. So far Hermie has been eating peanut butter and carrots. Apparently they will eat just about anything even chicken off the bone! I'm excited to see that in action. So this is our new pet. He loves to climb and goes all over the bug catcher. We need to find him a more permanent house to live in so we can get some sand and shells to make him happy.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Our day

Today was cleaning/errand day. Exciting I know. Julian and I cleaned the house all morning and then went into town to pay some bills, pick up some things and stop at the deli. We got all of our bills done and everything else in town. I offered to buy Julian a hamburger in town but he made a choice to have ice cream instead. That saved me some dough! It was a hard decision to make though. On the way back we stopped at the deli to pick up some salad greens and sandwich meats and cheese. We saw Winston and said hello to him. He was having lunch with someone when all of a sudden he asked me if I had an epi pen. I said no and asked him who needed one. He said "I do". And I just looked at him and said, "NOW?" And he said, "YES". He had a quesadilla that surprising to him had shrimp in it and he is allergic to shellfish. I asked him what kind of sick he got, throwing up sick or swelling up sick. He told me he would start to swell up. SO, I called a few people to see if they had epi pens but by that time he called the hospital and rushed up there for treatment. I hope he's ok. I haven't heard anything yet.

Jaime has been using me as his guinea pig experiment practicing for his physical diagnosis class. It was kind of fun at first but he has to poke and prod me in weird places. Trying to find all of my lymph nodes and glands and stuff. There is one test that he does with a tuning fork on top of your head. If there is nothing wrong with you, you hear it on both sides. If there is a problem on one side you will only hear it on that side. So of course I could only hear it on one side. I just wouldn't be me otherwise. So he just kind of laughed a bit and went on. Then he looked in my ear and it was a bit red and inflamed. Doesn't hurt though. Then he was looking into my eye and noticed a cloudy area on the outer rim of the optic disc. He kept looking and then looked stuff up in his book, looked again with a confused expression then looked stuff up on the internet and tried to explain what it looked like to me. All the while saying "I'm sure it's fine". Then he would look again, and again. So he talked to his teacher, Dr. Ellison who said it is nothing to worry about and that blonde women with blue eyes typically have that especially over the age of 30. I went in to have her check to make sure and she told me I have "A Gorgeous Optic Disc". I felt so proud!!! Haha. Then Jaime looked at hers and it looks the same as mine. So all is well in Danielleville. The ear is I guess what they call swimmers ear. A bit of water settles in but it's nothing to worry about either I guess. Sometimes it can be caused by allergies too.

That's all of our excitement. Tomorrow we have beach day and horse back riding in the afternoon.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Things of note-not in any order of importance...The End of 2nd Grade, Girls Night Out and Heart By-Pass Surgery!!!

What a busy week! My father went in for what he thought was going to be an outpatient angiogram and ended up getting rushed over to Catholic Medical Center in Manchester for a quadruple by-pass. He had no symptoms that he noticed before any of this. He had gone in for a routine physical and had an EKG because it had been a while and they noticed something off. So they scheduled him for a stress test and didn't like the amount of oxygen his heart was getting. So they scheduled him for an angio. They told him it was no rush and since he was in the middle of moving out of their house they said he could wait until that was done. He went in on Tuesday for the angio and they found that one artery was 99 % blocked, one was 60% blocked and 2 were 40% blocked. His heart had been compensating and re-routing things in his ticker. What he didn't realize was that the occasional back pain and fatigue he had felt were symptoms of a heart problem. And here he was just thinking it was his age! He's 68. So anyway, he had his surgery on Wednesday and aside from some bleeding after sugery which they got under control quickly everything went well. He was in ICU until yesterday because they were having trouble keeping his blood pressure regulated. Instead of being high like it had been for most of his life it was now too low! So they got that all figured out and shipped him out today! He is now living in a hotel with my Mom for a few days until they go up to their camp for some quiet recuperation. Not to to us is a comfortable house with all the amenities. They are building a garden house on their property to live in until their new house is finished. I'm sure that he will follow doctors orders to a T and be back in tip top shape in no time.

2nd Grade is now over! Julian is very excited about this but I informed him tonight that it doesn't mean that he gets to wake up every morning and flip on the t.v. He still has to earn his t.v. and do a little bit of math each week. I'll try to work it in such a way that he doesn't realize he's actually doing math. It's amazing how well he does when he's adding up UNO points. Give him the same problems on paper and "It's so HARD!!!" We are getting ready to welcome our friends the Adrians back to the island. They get here on Tuesday. Yay!

Friday night a couple of the girls from the SOS (spouses of students) decided to go out. I had told them that I probably wouldn't be able to go because Jaime had a study session to go to. They decided to stop by on their way to somewhere and just check again if I could or couldn't go. I told them Jaime was on his way out but they could stay for a drink. So we had a glass of wine and chatted for a while. Jaime got home around 9:30 so at that point I was able to go out. We headed over to Coconut Grove. We got there around 10:00 and the place was empty aside from the owner, Gary, the waiter, Jens (pronounced Yens) and a guy at the bar...Gary...Puckett I believe (not the singer). He infomed us that they are the only two white Gary's in Nevis. This is important Nevis trivia don't you think? So we sit at the bar and ask for martinis and they tell us that the bartender called in sick so Jens will do his best. Our friend Rebecca pipes in and says..."I know how to make one...I can help you out." So they said "Well, come back here and make yourself at home, the bar is yours." She was all excited. She whipped up a couple of different types of martinis. Elizabeth had never had one so she got the apple martini and I got a banana/amaretto which was amazing! Rebecca had the same thing. It was a lot of fun being the only ones in there (for a while) because they asked us what music we wanted and we were pretty much in charge! A while later a couple came in and joined us. The pastry chef from the Four Seasons and his wife. They do not like it here. Gary the owner and I tried to explain that they were not giving it a chance and were expecting it to be like the US and it's just not. But they are set on their opinions. Oh well, we had a great night bantering with that interesting group.

And those are the highlights of the week.