So, today is Chris’s last exam. At 4pm, he will officially be 50% a doctor and will have completed his basic science courses, meaning our time in Grenada has come to an end. We’ve been working, tirelessly, toward this moment for the past 2 years.
I remember sitting at the pool the first week of school. Med school AND Grenada were these whole new animals. The big kids had just started in a school here and little B and I were just sitting at the pool talking with other SO’s (significant others). Some of them were 5th termers, sitting in the boat we’re in now, getting ready to leave the island. They said, “it went so fast,” and “before you know it, it will be over.” It sure didn’t feel that way at the time. We were still in, what felt like, a VERY long adjustment phase, mostly getting used to missing my husband and helping him manage his stress and schedule. But also adjusting to life on an island, which I talk more about in one of my first blogs (https://theycalluscrazy.com/2013/02/13/roll-with-it/).
A month into 1st term, school was not going well for the kids. They were unhappy, it was stressful for all of us. This was another blog topic, https://theycalluscrazy.com/2013/03/11/broken/ . We explored our other options and had a family pow-wow and we decided the best choice, while in Grenada, was for them to stay home and be homeschooled. So, with a 6 month old at home, no plans, no school supplies, and no teaching experience, I was thrown overnight into educating our children. It seemed daunting and some days, it was.
After first term, 6 months into our adventure, it STILL didn’t feel like it was going fast. First term was hard. It was difficult for Chris, the rigors of medical school are no joke! It was difficult for me and it was difficult for the kids. But, when it was over, we felt like we conquered the world. (https://theycalluscrazy.com/2013/04/21/redefining-success/)
Then we had the entire summer off and we were able to spend 6 weeks back in the US with our families. It was amazing, and again, enough of an event that it turned into a blog, https://theycalluscrazy.com/2013/09/22/summer-lovin/.
We returned to Grenada for 2nd term refreshed and ready to take it all on. We were more prepared for homeschooling, we brought back some things that made life a little easier, and we felt like we knew what to expect. We were ready. But 2nd term was ready to give us a run for our money. Academically, term 2 proved to be just as challenging, but Chris was navigating it perfectly. The kids and I were more adjusted to our schedule, but still getting into the swing of things with homeschooling and spending every waking second together. And, another blog (https://theycalluscrazy.com/2013/09/27/yes-i-can/). We were all really missing our family and friends. The beach is, undoubtably, an amazing place that can wash your worries away … but being lonely/homesick don’t just vanish with the washing away of the waves. Before 2nd term was over, we had all finally settled into a rhythm and we were busy, we were exploring paradise all the time, and we were all happy. (https://theycalluscrazy.com/2013/11/06/a-year-might-not-be-enough/). Yes, 2nd term tried to break us, but we fought back and once again came out on top.
By term 3, we had it down. Term 3 & 4 ran right into each other, so it was much longer than terms 1 or 2. Although 4th term was rumored to be the most difficult, Chris had completely settled into his routine and was calm, and much more available. So, yes, it felt long but it wasn’t so bad. We were all in a really good place. By the middle of 4th term we were the best we’d been since living here. Chris had great, supportive friends at school that really helped bring out his best. The kids and I were super involved and enjoying every single day. Between that and seeing Chris a ton, life was really good.
After 4th term, we had 5 weeks off before starting 5th term. We spent those 5 weeks as a family, all day everyday. We explored every inch of the island, spent entire days building sand castles at the beach, and we had the opportunity to go on the family vacation of a lifetime. We spent 4 days in Carriacou (an island abut 30 miles from Grenada) at a little cabin that we rented on the beach. It was picture perfect and in those 4 days we explored amazing beaches, and we took a day trip and snorkeled the Tobago Cays. We all agreed that it was one of the best days of our lives and, most definitely, our best day in Grenada (although I think the excitement of today may win that one). At the end of summer break, we found out we’d be welcoming another family member very soon. Needless to say, we’ll never forget Summer Break 2014.
And, onto 5th term. Was Chris even in school during 5th term?? Just kidding, yes, he has continued to kick the crap out of this term but it has been so relaxing and the perfect ending to our time here. Between making sure we soak it all up and the excitement of all of the wonderful things to come … the time has just flown by. The last 8 months have been the absolute highlight of our time in Grenada.
It seems almost impossible to sum up the past two years. It’s been the hardest, craziest, most trying, happy, wonderful 2 years of my life. The challenges of living on an island (blog post to come) have made us recognize and appreciate, SO much, the privileges and opportunities we have as American’s, and will have again for the rest of our lives. I hope we never forget that feeling. I hope our kids never forget how awesome the experience was … but at the same time, I want them to remember the struggle it was for us as well. I hope they’ve learned to follow their dreams even if it takes them to a rock in the middle of the ocean … I hope they’ve seen that there can be some really difficult days on the way to that dream, but with a good fight and a good attitude you can accomplish anything. I hope they remember how much quality, family time we had all together because soon we’ll be back to the race of school, extra curricular activities, and jobs. Life will forever be busy again, but I hope we all remember to slow down and adopt a little bit of “island time” to our new lifestyle.
I think the best way to recap the past two years is to borrow a famous saying …
“The days went slow but the years went fast.”
Veni, vidi, vici!