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31 October 2010

Halloween with Hurricane Tomas

We are just now seeing the outward bands of Hurricane Tomas with some rain and wind. Thankfully the brunt of the storm is well to our south and expected to move west instead of north. Shouldn't be much more than a stormy afternoon, unfortunate though for those trick or treaters on the island. It is very strange to be spending Halloween in 80 degree weather instead of bundled up, doesn't even seem like it is Halloween. I could get used to this endless summer weather. Since we didn't participate in any Halloween festivities (the only one being a costume party at the local club) and don't have many new pictures to share, I'll share some oldies from the last few Halloweens just for fun. And a few from a hike to Pic Paradise that Owen did a couple weekends ago. 

There's not much news from the island. Owen passed all of his exams from a few weeks ago and has another round coming up in a week (it's every 3-4 weeks). So that keeps him busy. I have a few more hours of tutoring a week now, doing ESL with a student. Both my students have shown improvement on their test grades, so I'm thrilled. The neurologist I will be helping should be arriving this week so I may have more interesting updates soon. We are planning a trip to Anguilla (our neighboring island to the north) for 2 weekends from now. It has one of the top 10 beaches in the Caribbean with great snorkeling, so I'm sure we'll have a fun update and pictures from that. I guess that's all we have for now. Hopefully some people are still reading, if so my apologies for the lack of updates recently. Hope everyone is doingwell. Love and miss you all. 

10 October 2010

T.S. Otto Floods the Island

From a local newspaper
the Salt Pond and Ocean in Philipsburg meet
aka serious flooding
So my last post I said it had been raining for a couple days. Turns out it ended up being 4 1/2 days straight of downpours. Tropical Storm Otto developed over us and then sat on us for 4 days. The island was extremely flooded, many roads were shut down, businesses closed on Thursday, apparently they don't believe in drainage systems here. Worst of all our friend Alaina's cruise got rerouted so we didn't get to visit with her. Thankfully by the weekend the storm moved on and we have had sun and blue skies, which gives the island a chance to dry out. We managed to only lose power and water twice, for about 5 hours each time (not bad compared to usual). The unfortunate side effect is that all the crawly bugs are looking for dry space and therefore are in our apartment. Anyway I know pictures never do an event total justice, but here are some from the road
in/out of our area. Also be sure to see the new additions to our blog, the visiting dates on the right and mailing address under "view my complete profile." Exams dates are Mondays, so the Saturday and Sunday before that Owen is not very available so just keep that in mind. If the dates change (these are my best guesses based on the typical exam schedule) I will update that.

The makeshift road through the golf course!

05 October 2010

Life in the Tropics

Official picture from Owen's White Coat Ceremony
Wow I can't believe it's been 3 weeks since we last posted. Sorry to those of you keeping up. We've been house/puppy sitting for an older couple for the last 10 days and have been pretty out of touch since then. The place was about 10-15 minutes away from ours, but a terrible drive especially with all the rain this week. The road through the golf course (the only way to come and go from our area) floods with even the slightest rain. So with all these heavy rain storms the last few days it's been pretty bad. You can drive through the water without a problem, the biggest issue is other drivers. They inch along and stop in the water, and refuse to put their windows up, so they stop and wait for people to pass so they won't get splashed and glare at you when you do drive by them. Islanders are strange people.

Today is the second day of gloom and rain all day long, although the breeze is beautiful today and there's a hint of fall in the air. The school I tutor at closed early today due to the rain. Flooding really is a serious issue around here (though most of it is minor, just everywhere). So I am playing catch-up on everything. Getting laundry done, unpacking and straightening up after being away, updating this, paying bills, etc. Speaking of bills, we got our first water/electric bill. Most of our friends have been saying they pay about $200 for electric so we were preparing for that. Well turns out we only have to pay $70! and $20 for water. Pretty exciting, I guess turning everything off all the time and being conservative about the AC has paid off.

We spent Saturday at the beach with 30+ orphans from the local orphanage. It was awesome and the kids were great, though a bit crazy! Trying to keep track of them was quite the feat. I actually avoided getting burned while Owen is pretty burned this time. He has his next set of exams this coming Monday. We also will have our first visitor this Thursday! Alaina and her boyfriend are stopping here on their cruise and we get the chance to hang out for the day. It should be a lot of fun and really nice to catch up with her. I will post pictures afterwards.

Well that's all the news I can think of for now. Have to get back to getting things done before treating myself to a fancy coffee at the local shop this afternoon. We hope everyone is doing well. We're still figuring out what to do at Christmas break, we'll let you know what happens. Please email or post and let us know how things are. Miss you all!