November 22, 2013

A Picture Story

Three weeks from today we'll be on our way HOME. Home. I love the sound of that word.

We fly to San Juan then direct to O'hare from there. We have sworn off Liat, and will be trying Seaborne Airlines to get us out of Dominica, then American from there. It has to be better than Liat.

But anyway, with us getting ready to leave for four weeks, I've been trying to soak up the beauty to take that with me while home.

Just look at this place. You don't find these untouched beautiful areas just anywhere. Grateful to call this place a temporary home.

Yes, those are cows. On the beach. Because, why not?

The view on campus.

On the main road walking to campus.
Dominican Oranges. Oddly enough, they aren't orange here.
The normally calm waters have turned into wild waves.

It seems the trade winds are coming in and bringing cooler air, and more active water. These photos above were taken on the beach by campus.

Ross also holds an annual arts and crafts expo. Local artisans are invited to sell their crafts and a portion of the proceeds benefit local charities. It's a great fundraiser, and a great way to stock up on souvenirs. Matt and I definitely took advantage, but couldn't resist the beautiful crafts.

Matt is getting ready for finals. He has mini three on Dec. 3. He will take his last exam for the semester on Dec. 11. And then we are off Dec. 13! So these next few weeks will be stressful as we wind down our third semester. Your thoughts and prayers will surely be appreciated!

I've been feeling a bit under the weather recently. This island can be very tough on your body. I hadn't been feeling well for a few days, so I went to the campus clinic where they provide feel health care to students and families. Dengue Fever, an awful disease spread by mosquitoes, has been on campus so I was tested for that. Thankfully, no Dengue for me. Just a bad case of the flu.

I'll tell you, having a fever is miserable enough, but having a fever when you're already in sweltering heat is a whole new battle. 

It is hard to believe last year at this time we were coming home from the Bahamas as Matt had just finished MERP. He was talking the other day at how unbelievable it is to think the amount of material he has taken in a year, and how far we've come in just one short year. With all that in mind, it is awfully exciting to think about where we could be in just a year from now.

November 12, 2013

A Very Dominican Christmas

First of all, I know it's not yet Thanksgiving. I, too, was once adamant about no Christmas decorations up before Thanksgiving. No Christmas music until then either. But alas, I have changed. Don't judge me.

Let me explain. We are leaving for home Dec. 13. Which means, the very Charlie Brown Christmas tree we bought here for a steep $40 EC ($15 USD, Holla!) would only get to be up for a couple of weeks before we were gone. And for that price, I wanted to enjoy it as long as possible.

And I'm a little anxious to go home, so it makes it seem closer.

So yes, we are those people who already have our Christmas decorations up with the holiday music blaring. It makes me happy.

But look at this beauty.


Like I said, Charlie Brown tree it is. But we love it. 

I decorated it with the traditional Dominican plaid fabric bows. The 'skirt' is the extra fabric that I had every intention of sewing stockings for. We'll see if that happens. And the mat underneath is from my favorite Dominican basket ladies.

You'll notice there are no lights. We don't want to have to pay for electricity for the lights, so it will go without.

And although it is a very simple tree, we love it. We've made it our own with what we have here. And the purpose of the tree is fulfilled.

When we were home, we had purchased solar powered string lights for outdoor which we brought back. I have been so excited to put these up, but wanted to wait. We had two strings, so we put them on each balcony. They are perfect! And they add a bit of festive cheer to our home for the season. But let's be honest. We will probably leave them up.

So there you have it. I have to admit, it is hard to get in the holiday spirit being in the tropics when Indiana is getting their first bit of snow. But, putting a little effort into our surroundings has helped put us in the right frame of mind.

I remember when we were first accepted, Matt was reading up on several blogs of those who were already here. I think I was still in denial at that point. But anyway, one of the blogs he read was about a family decorating for Christmas, and using the limited resources (in comparison to those at home) to create a festive holiday atmosphere. He said that was one of the things he looked forward to the most, was having a simpler approach to things, and making due with what we have. At the time, I thought of it as one more item we would have to go without. But we've successfully used notebook paper as wrapping paper, postcards as birthday cards and now, fabric scraps as tree decorations. I don't think we're necessarily going without - it's just different. A different approach to our traditions which we will hopefully remember in Christmases to come.

November 5, 2013

By the Numbers

37 days until we are home for Christmas.

27 days that we will be home.

143 more days in Dominica.

I am so ready to go home for Christmas. There comes a time in the semester where you just get this need to go shopping, eat some delicious food, and just be home. This urge came quite a bit earlier this semester, so I've been struggling these past few days.

It doesn't help that I've been prepping for home by buying some new winter clothes for us. I literally don't know where my pants are at home. I know where the sweaters are - the back corner, bottom box of storage. So, you can bet we won't be digging for those. Instead, we just ordered a few new basics to enjoy while we're home. Plus, I feel a little deprived of not getting to go winter boot shopping and get a warm, fuzzy sweater.

I can't wait to be cold. I want to shiver. I want to get rid of these mysterious hives that grace my body when I'm here. I want to have the familiar smell of home. I want to bake Christmas goodies in an oven that likes baking as much as I do. I am so excited to spoil Landon and love on him.

I want to sleep in and not worry about the cost of keeping my AC on to do so. I want to see snow on the trees. Enjoy book-free time with my husband. I can't wait to go into the office again and see my co-workers. I want to share laughs with all of my friends - in person. And I absolutely cannot wait to meet this beautiful little bundle, Dorothy, who was recently welcomed into the Cotten household.

Oh, and I also really want a Starbucks peppermint mocha.

And then, it's back to Dom for our final semester at Ross on the rock. Considering all goes as planned, we will be done with our time here April 25. We can leave the island April 26. Then it's back to the States. Where exactly? That part we don't know, yet.

It's hard to believe this time last year we were wrapping up our time in the Bahamas. Dominica was the scary unknown, but now it's a place that we will hold dearly in our hearts.

But, nothing will compare to being at home for holidays, sitting in the light of the Christmas tree with family and enjoying the peace of the holiday season.

For now, we have our Charlie Brown Christmas tree that will have to suffice. We'll have plenty of those photos to come.

Until then, it's the holiday season Dominican style.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...