Good Morning from sunny Saint Kitts!
Two weeks have passed since classes started, and all I can think is where has the time gone, how is it almost June? My first block exam is on June 1, so I am currently going into hiding so I can focus on studying. It’s hard not to want to “Do all the things,” the struggle is real!
Since my last post on orientation week, which you can find here. I have been juggling classes, studying, and taking in the island which will be my home for two and a half years.
Course wise, vet prep students have a lighter workload which allows for more time to adapt to island life, figure out your schedule, study, and explore the island. This semester I have case-based learning, clinical applications, transition to veterinary student life, cell physiology, intro to microbiology, medical mathematics & intro to pharmacology, and veterinary terminology & scientific writing. The first three are pass/fail, and the other four are part of our block exams. So far they are all great classes, but we will see how I feel about them after the first exam.
The first week of classes had the semester Olympics occurring throughout the week, where each semester competed against each other in soccer, dodgeball flag football, and volleyball. I made it out to soccer and volleyball which was fun. There were tons of dogs around and a great view!
The first weekend after classes started was a long weekend for us, so I took advantage of the extra time and explored the island with a couple of friends. On Saturday, there was an event called Mr. Ross which I went to for a short time but ended up at the beach which was more fun, and I met a dog which was way better than being around drunk people all night.
On Sunday, I went for a drive with my friends to the southern tip of Saint Kitts, and we took some random roads which were the steepest roads I’ve been on to date. But the views were incredible, and as usual, I took way to many photos.
Monday, brought me to the Marriot Beach to study and get some sun, followed by a trip tp Shipwreck Beach for Lunch. The cheesy fries are delicious by the way.
My second week of class was relatively uneventful until Friday morning when I went for a drive with my friends around the island. I’m regretting not bringing my good camera this semester, but I guess I have seven more semesters to go. There are numerous very old buildings on Saint Kitts and many old cemeteries and churches which make me swoon. Someday while I am here, I want to go around the island and capture all of them!
It took about an hour to drive around the island, at which point we stopped at sea glass beach to collect sea glass and relax for awhile till we had to make the short drive back to campus.
This past Saturday was Beach Fest on the island, which my friends and I decided to skip. Instead, we took a ferry to Nevis to go on a trail ride. You may recall that in my last post I got seasick on the catamaran, so this time around I was prepared and took Gravol beforehand. I was thankful my aunt convinced me to bring some. When we got to Nevis, we had time to kill so took a taxi to a restaurant and had lunch on the beach.
Just before 2:00 p.m. we journeyed over to Nevis Equestrian Centre, which had we known, we could have walked. Hindsight is 20:20. We met the owner, signed the release forms and met the horses who would take us on the hour and a half ride. My horse’s name was Little Princess, and I couldn’t have asked for a better horse, she was perfect! They told us that most of the horses there were ex-racehorses from Peurto Rico, which was pretty neat!
Our guide took the three of us plus one of their dogs down a trail to the beach where we passed lots of amazing buildings and many people out enjoying the water. For the majority of the ride you could see Saint Kitts in one direction, and Nevis Peak in the other. We also passed many animals along the way, including a couple of bulls which weren’t too happy that we were in their territory. The neat thing about the islands is that you never know where animals are going to pop up.
After a glorious hour of riding down the beach, trails, and streets of Nevis our little group made out way back to the farm. With Little Princess trailing behind trying to eat all the grass she could. Upon returning to the farm, the horses got a nice bath to wash the sweat of the afternoon away. While the three of us inhaled our water while playing with the dogs and cats.
Shortly after, our taxi arrived to take us back to the Ferry terminal. However, our driver informed us someone stole his donkey and drove around the streets looking for her. It was weird! After driving around for 10 minutes and talking it turned out he had her out to get bred, and he didn’t know where the person took her. You gotta love the locals!
We did eventually make it back to the ferry on time and made our way back to Saint Kitts. Forty-five minutes later we were back on solid ground, and I didn’t even get sick! It was an exhausting but wonderful day, and I was a happy girl being back on a horse. But I have to say it was a struggle not to go galloping down the beach with the wind in my hair! A girl can dream, right?
Sunday I hit the books and buckled down for a week of pre-exam studying. But on a more exciting note, I got assigned my Kennel Companion! I went to meet her yesterday, her name is Chloe, and she is the sweetest girl. Unfortunately, university policy says I can’t post any photos of any RUSVM animals, which sucks. However, don’t be surprised if I try to adopt her in the future at which point I will go photo crazy!
For those of you who don’t know about Kennel Companions, its a club here at RUSVM where you sign up to be a companion to the schools kennel dogs. Each dog stays for five semesters and is used by various classes to practice their vet skills. After their five semesters, they are put up for adoption, with preference given to their companions. As a companion, you spend time with the dogs, play with them, take them for walks, and work on their obedience and any behavior problems they may have. You also have the option of taking them to the Behaviour clubs obedience classes every Sunday. As an example of what the dogs may be used for, yesterday, in my clinical skills class we used some of the kennel dogs to practice taking TPR and putting the dogs in a lateral position. Essentially by the time they are adopted out they have been exposed to pretty much everything and have a lot of training.
That’s all for now!
P.s. The beaches on campus are amazing, it’s my favourite spot to contemplate life, or just get mesmerized by the moon and stars.