Well, I am here and survived my first week. Don left yesterday so today is my first day all by myself. I have so much to tell you!! SO much in fact, that I think this will end up being a multi-part story. Starting at the beginning is usually the best place to start, so let’s start there!
Don and I flew in last Saturday. The Grand Cayman airport is so tiny that everyone deplanes on the tarmac and then waits in the immigration line…which is outdoors. Thanks to all of my issues with the admissions office (see Student Visa? I Could So Easily Freak Out Right Now. and My Experience with St. Matthews School of Medicine…..thus far. )I was exceptionally anxious about going through immigration. We had already been stopped once in Minneapolis because my passport is flagged for a student visa. MUCH to my surprise and relief, passing through immigration was quite painless! It does show on their end that my student visa is incomplete but the immigration officer seemed extremely unconcerned. She said she marked me as being here for 30 days and to just makes sure my application was complete before then. Whew! Into a cab and ON OUR WAY!
So…the room…I am not sure what we were expecting, but I am certain what we walked in to caught us a little off guard. The furniture was haphazardly strewn about and while it wasn’t filthy, it certainly wasn’t our standard of clean. Now “our standard” can mean anything and you can totally take that with a grain of salt. If we were super heroes, we would be Neurotic Man and Anal Retentive Woman…cleanest outfits ever! Aaanyways, this is what we walked in to, the “before” pictures if you will, that I took just for you fine people:
Now, the pictures aren’t great (the walls were really dirty and I didn’t want to stand super close to them…I have issues….I am aware). Now, despite all of my whining, it’s not all bad. As you can see from the pictures, there is ALOT of furniture in this room! None of it is great quality (the drawers don’t all open and the doors don’t all close) and was definitely not set up in the best way but still….lots to work with. Moving in to student housing here is a bit like moving into a pre-furnished apartment. There is furniture but no towels, sheets…toilet paper. Yep, no toilet paper. For all of you prospective students reading this…bring a roll of TP!
We made the bed and unpacked some (but had no hangers so clothes were just in piles all over the place) and started a list of things we needed, TP and hangers included. The lovely lady that works at the front desk told us which way to walk to get to the market and advised that Larry’s is the best place to go for things like hangers, dishes, and the like. She also informed us that literally everything is closed on Sundays. All stores, most gas stations…literally everything except restaurants. Ya…that kinda put a damper on the whole being able to go run around and get my room ready before I started school on Monday. BUT I was hell-bent on being positive and my hubs was doing a great job keeping my spirits light. SO we went, we got trapped in a parade of mostly naked dancing people (I promise, PROMISE I will come back to this), went to the most expensive super market we have ever been in, panicked a bit, got toilet paper, and went back to the room for a night of stressful, restless sleep. WHAT did I get myself in to?
Sunday came and with Sunday came MY MAMA! My Mama and the suitcases full of stuff she brought for my room. By this point we had rearranged the furniture so that it made a bit more sense but really couldn’t do much else since the stores were closed. So instead, we spent a great day relaxing on the beach. My Mom’s excitement and positivity re-charged me. The next day was orientation and I WAS READY.
I spent the week in class (they waste NO time here…you jump right in). Don worked from the room and obsessively cleaned everything while my mom made the brave decision to rent a scooter and ran around finding any and every thing she could that she thought I could use. By the time she left on Thursday, the room seemed like a small but very comfortable and functional apartment. Ready for those after photos??
Thank goodness for my Mom and Don. I cried when each of them left. But only for a minute and I made it to my room first…which now feels like mine.
OK all…that is part one. I have to go study but I promise there will be more on my next study break! As always…stay tuned…