Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Getting back on the blogging bandwagon!

A few months have passed since I last blogged I KNOW but I am trying to get back in the blogging groove!  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season!  We sure did bouncing between AZ and TX and GND.  We got to spend Christmas with both of our families together (including both of mine!) and it was so amazing! 


The Shumsky Clan Christmas morning! I love their shirts...they say 'Merry Christmas' in Hawaiian.


We went to my dad's in El Paso and even Luke and Jenn were there! We had over 15 people at dinner two nights.  It was wonderful!  Jenn and Randi cooked up a storm and the food was amazing.


Then back in AZ we even got to go to an Arizona basketball game.  
My mom got us really great tickets for Christmas!


There is a reason they are called the Cardiac Cats we learned...overtime! But of course we won!


Since I last wrote Phil finished Term 4, we have come and gone from the states for the holidays and are now in the full swing of Term 5 (well he is...not me).  As for me, I am now the website and Limes coordinator for the SGU SO Organization down here.  I also started a web design class online and have been working as usual so I am definitely keeping busy.  We got to spend a few days having fun before school started again and have even gone out some on the weekends!  I love it!

University Club pool time


We already had fun playing with our new underwater camera from my Grandparents!


Sunset from Laluna


One night we went to Umbrellas with friends and as we were walking home with Dave and Nicci we heard steel drums coming from Coyaba Resort so we decided to go sit and listen (and dance).  We were the youngest people there by probably about thirty years but it was so fun!





The last two weeks we have gone to bonfire night at Mount Cinnamon Resort, which is on Grand Anse Beach.  It is so nice to just lounge together and have islandy drinks and watch the fire while listening to the waves crashing!  Both weeks after Mount Cinnamon we heard the same steel drum band playing at Spice Island Resort so we had to go sit and listen some more because they are so good!


Did I mention I love this island?? So many fun things to do!!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Limes!

This post is very behind but I was trying to catch up to Term 4 before writing it.  What have we been doing since the start of Term 4 you ask?? Well let me tell you!  Phil has been studying nonstop and going to school as usual and I have been working (some), having a ball with friends, and volunteering!

Three days a week we head over to the "Limes" area "behind the Texaco" (Grenada terms) for the Limes After-School Program.  This program is run by the SO's of SGU and more specifically by two dear friends of mine Laura Lackey and Julie Connolly.  Just to remind you, Julie is a great friend I met way back in England and she just got married this summer!  Nicci (another amazing friend from the England group) has also arrived on the island finally and she comes to Limes too!  The program reaches out to less-privileged children so we get to play with amazing kids for two hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday each week.  You can read more about the program here on the SO website, which I manage so you should take look! 

We do all sorts of fun things with the kids.  Here are just a few of our past activities with some Limes terms thrown in for fun.
  • Coloring (with "de KAY-rons")
  • Soccer ("Football" in the  "pasture")
  • Jump rope ("Skipping rope")
  • Making crafts such as music makers and necklaces
  • Water games and Scavenger Hunt (Nicci's genius ideas)
  • Cheerleading with homemade pom-poms and everything! (organized by Taylor and Katie G)
  • Piggy-back rides (Being a "Jockey")
  • Dancing and singing (SO cute)
  •  Lots and lots of hugs ("squeezes" according to Kyla) - this counts as an activity right? 
Here are some photos from the past six weeks (some were taken by Laura and Julie).



Miss Julie and her baby Jivvy

Miss Laura and Kyla

Miss Nicci doing math flashcards with the boys

Playing Uno

Dancing

The girls and boys waiting patiently for water games

Jada and I...not sure what is going on.  Mel Mel took this.

Water version of Duck Duck Goose - Shark, Shark, Swim

Three girls helping Ezra with her homework LOL.

Making pom-poms!

Jada and Kyla shaking their music makers

I loooove this picture Julie took!

Miss Julie beading jewelry with the little ones

Miss Laura with Kylie, Mel Mel, Lizzie, and Dion

Multicultural day at the preschool.  Ahhhhh so cute!!

Kyla and JadaAdorable Jivvy

Love this little gal

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Carnival 2012

Carnival is an annual celebration in August that brings together all of the island's population as well as many tourists.  There is tons of dancing, food, partying, and costumes.  Luckily the main Grenada Carnival festivities took place the weekend right after Phil had his Term 3 finals so he was able to join in on the fun! 

On Monday morning there is a party called J'ouvert which starts very early in the morning and continues until a few hours after sunrise.  This did not coordinate very well with our precious sleep schedule so we skipped.  Basically there is a ton of paint, tar, drinking and chaos in the streets from Port Louis to St. George's.

We decided to head into the Carenage (via Reggae Bus) to watch a parade on Monday around noon and were faced with leftovers from the crazy celebration the night before.

The gorgeous Carenage
They must have had fun!
We decided to head back towards Port Louis because there were still some extremely intoxicated stragglers coming back from the party and we wanted to steer clear of them.  So we took some advice from the only sober person we encountered (of course he was a Clark's Court Rum representative - go figure) and went to hunt down a place to eat that would have a good view of the parade.



We found a great spot up on a hill overlooking the Port and Lagoon Road (now Kirani James Blvd) to get drinks and food and hang out in the shade.  We were early so we got this table right next to the railing so we could sit on it.  It was perfect!


All of the parade music came from trucks like this that were loaded with speakers.


I loved that everyone got involved including the major companies such as Lime, Carib, Digicel, and Westerhall.  The people from different parts of the island would walk together wearing matching costumes. 




Then came a ton of steel drum players.  This was probably the most amazing part of the parade!

video


 And more costumes!



I thought this was pretty neat


And finally we have Monday Nite Mas.  This is a parade at night that starts a stone's throw from our place and slowly makes it's way to St. George's.  Everyone buys packages from the major companies which include glowing things (such as headpieces, light sabers, swords, etc), a shirt, and access to the drinking trucks.  People usually walk with the company they bought packages from and dance to the music blasting from another truck (with speakers and a DJ) the whole way.  It was pretty cool to see!




Since I took so many videos during the parade I kept running out of camera space so here's a short video clip of the sea of people with their glowing swords. 

video

What a once in a lifetime experience that day was!!  We will never forget it!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Hashing!!

What is a Hash you ask?  Basically it is a weekly run/walk put together by a group of people here in Grenada that takes you through jungle, mud, brush, water or whatever their little hearts desire.  The runners and walkers follow the "trail" by tracking shreds of paper.  You can read more about this madness here.

Each week is on a different part of the island and you can take a bus from SGU to the meeting point.  If you are new or your shoes are new they will make you drink a beer out of them before even starting the hash.  Phil and I may or may not have hidden... This ended up being a wise decision because it had rained all morning so the hash was extremely muddy and it was difficult just keeping our shoes from staying in the mud with each step.  It was so fun but SO muddy!  This hash they went pretty easy on us from what I have heard.  At the end of the hash there is food and cheap local beer.  At this particular first hash of ours there was a live band and dancing as well.  All of the newbies get sprayed by tons of beer.  We didn't get to hide from that one so you can imagine how we smelled the whole way home.

The hash started at the golf club and wound around through the beautiful area surrounding the golf course. 


Then came the extremely muddy part.  I didn't take any pictures because I just knew the second I took out my camera I would fall.  We hiked uphill quite a bit and from the top you could see all of Port Louis and the Carenage.  They called this Hash Kiranival because Carnival was the same weekend and much of it takes place in these areas.







Many of Phil's Newcastle friends did this hash with us.  We ate and drank and enjoyed the music while watching the gorgeous sunset!

  

  

Then everyone danced and had a great time and the band was really good! An amazing end to our first Hash!

  


Oh and what do they call hashers?  Drinkers with a running problem... :)