All right, enough with the drama posts! It's time to start posting about the cool things we see and the cool things we do in Grenada. (Oh, and yes, our power did come back. Oh, and yes, we are looking into a new apartment to move into next term.)

Jared's white coat ceremony was last night. This is a big event where all the new med students gather with their families (except that we live in Grenada, so actually only like 20 people showed up with family), a couple influential professionals give inspirational speeches, and then the students file onto the stage a few at a time to be coated in a new white lab coat with the school's logo on it.
Jared with a few of his med school buddies
Because SGU had such a big incoming class this term, there were two white coat ceremonies. Jared was in the first one, and students with last names later in the alphabet were in the second one.

It was a proud moment to see my husband up on that stage. The man who helped him into his white coat was a student here a few years ago. He went on to be successful in the research aspect of medicine and it sounds like he's currently getting a PhD at Cambridge. Good prospects for SGU students!
The wooden sword/mace pictured above (bottom right side) is present at all academic ceremonies. This one is unique to Grenada. The wood is local and was carved by a local artist. Instead of a snake wrapping around the mace, a dragon twists around it. It is the dragon of Saint George, the fourth century Christian figure that the University was named after. In addition, the pommel of the sword is a nutmeg, which Grenada is famous for growing. (Fresh nutmeg goes on everything here--ice cream, pina coladas . . . it's amazing.)
A highlight of the processional was when the announcer (who was hilarious) introduced a Gregory House from New York to get his white coat. Tons of laughing ensued (Gregory House is the doctor on the show House), but that really was his name.

After the processional, the students recited an SGU oath and the wives all cried because their husbands looked like real-life doctors. Then the wives all cried even harder because they realized that it will be a looooong time before their husbands are real-life doctors.

We took pictures after the ceremony, but it was already dark outside so we did the best we could.
 And then Jared wouldn't take the pictures seriously anymore and started making weird faces.
(He didn't know I'd be posting them for the world to see. JOKE'S ON HIM!)
 (By the way, can anyone help me out with the best settings to use for night pictures on my DSLR? I shoot with a Canon rebel t3i, and I'm useless with it at night. Hence why half these pictures look darker than it really was and the other half look lighter.)
I'm not a doctor, but I was there and my hair was straighter than it will ever be here again, so I'll include this next picture.
Single ladies, you need to go find yourself a doctor man. They are a good-looking sort of group.
 After the ceremony there was a reception where local passion fruit juice was served. And we were like, "Grenada ain't so bad."
White Coat Ceremony

I woke up this morning to a kiss goodbye from Jared, headed early and diligently to campus.

Excited to be able to stay home and get some things done, I turned on our computer and put a load of laundry in the washing machine. Our washing machine has been really island timey (it consistently stops for a two-day-long break at the beginning of the cycle), so I did a happy jig when it started running on the first try and didn't have a single problem for a solid half hour. I put Taylor Swift's obnoxiously catchy new song on the internet and walked over to the sink to get down to some serious dish scrubbing, the floor fan keeping things bearable behind me. But then.

Everything stopped.

No floor fan.

No washing machine.

And certainly no Taylor Swift on the internet.

The power was out.

I should have worried then, but the power went out a few nights ago during a thunder storm and was back on again within three hours. So I stayed. I kept on doing the dishes until the sweat dripping from my eyebrows would permit chores no further. When the heat became too unbearable to remain standing, I did the only thing I could do: I laid on my bed and played Whale Trails on my phone for an hour. Two unavoidable naps and three weird dreams about lobsters crawling around in my fridge later, I woke up feeling feverish. Grenada's humidity is ruthless, but combined with the record heat and lack of breeze it's been experiencing this past month, it really is impossible to remain indoors for any length of time without a fan.

I spent the rest of the day riding in air-conditioned buses, sitting in air-conditioned campus buildings, and wandering aimlessly through air-conditioned grocery store aisles. When Jared and I returned to our apartment at the end of the day and the power was still out, I called our landlord. She sent someone over to take a look at things and then told us, "Whoops, I forgot to pay the electricity bill the month before you came. I'll call someone to take care of it in the morning." In American English this translates to, "Hopefully someone will come fix it this week, maybe."

So we're without internet again! And without lighting, fridge, washing machine, AIR CONDITIONING, and a lot of other things too. Good thing we're experts at this type of thing by now! While our initial reaction was, "Well, this situation stinks like BO," I am now beginning to see the bright side.

Cons of No Power on an Underdeveloped Island:

₪ Our bed will be sufficiently damp in the morning due to uncomfortable amounts of sweat (also, we might not be able to fall asleep at all without a breeze).
₪ The laundry that is currently sitting in a stagnant puddle of water in the machine will start to exude a mildewey reek.
₪ All the food we've been stocking our fridge full of will be spoiled by morning (including the exorbitant amounts of lettuce and bacon I purchased yesterday so that we could eat Jared's mom's salad every day for the next three weeks [it's a healthy obsession]).

Pros of No Power on an Underdeveloped Island:

₪ In a panic, we ate two heads of lettuce worth of  delicious salad for dinner.
₪ It gets dark here at 6:30, and our only form of light will be my very favorite fall candle.
₪ If the power's not back by tomorrow afternoon, I will have no choice but to spend the entire day at the beach.
₪ We've been praying lately that we'll be able to save up enough money to come home for Christmas. If this power outage keeps up, our electricity bill is going to be non-existent! The Lord works in mysterious ways :)
₪ I'm extremely motivated to attend Trash TV night with the other med school wives in the branch. (Because there will be air conditioning. And caramel corn. Unfortunately, Trash TV tonight this week will be Bachelors in Paradise, so this might actually be a con. But you know. Female bonding and stuff.)
₪ I've been able to see Jared way more than usual today because of all the time I've spent on campus.

And with that, it looks like there are more pros than cons to this situation, so it's going to be a cinch to keep our chins up! And since it's the only picture I have with me, I'd like leave you with an introduction photo of all my new Grenada friends at a zombie-themed birthday party. We're . . . well . . .

One Step Forward, Two Leaps Back!

And we are back in business!!

When they connected our internet this afternoon (which took a grand total of four minutes--so that was oddly anticlimactic), I almost wept.

"Der ya go," said the nice internet man after I informed him that I would be spending tomorrow downloading and playing Roller Coaster Tycoon for eleven hours. "Now you don' have to be bored no more."

"Do you know what you've just done?" I asked. "You gave me my family back! I could kiss you!"

I didn't kiss him, but I did Skype call my parents before he had even shut the door behind him, and I didn't come up for air for two and a half hours.

Gosh, but I love this place.
View from Jared's locker.
Campus flora and fauna.
First beach day with the handsomest guy.
Bet you can spot my silhouette! Beachin' with new friends.
Med school bazaar. Raise your hand if your school is this much fun! No hands? None?
Pullin' out the real camera for a front-porch selfie on Jared's first day of school.

Strangest and Best August in the World . . . Tribute

Man alive, I'm convinced that internet and air conditioning are the two greatest inventions of this era.

I followed this doctor man to school today so I could get a rare taste of both:
I might sit in this library all day, even though I'm so not qualified to be here.

Grenada has been a roller coaster so far.

The mangoes, beaches, and tropical thunderstorms have been unbeatable.

The mosquito bites, power surges, and loss of husband to school . . . I could do without.

A couple nights ago after our desktop computer got fried and we were feeling especially homesick, we turned out the lights, turned on the AC, lit up our favorite fall candle (Leaves by Bath & Body Works), and listened to the rain fall, pretending like it was autumn here. 

The next day we were working our way through some last morsels of homesickness, so when Jared got home from orientation meetings we hopped on a bus and got some KFC for dinner (the KFC here is waaaay better than it is in the states . . . and I always liked KFC in the states). Afterwards, we came home and watched my favorite Christmas movie, Home Alone, on Jared's laptop. We've been just burning through all seasons over here. I'll probably hide eggs this Sunday.

I'm needy, so the next night we watched the same movie again, accompanied by a lovely freezer pizza just for us.
Don't dis the freezer pizza. Anything that doesn't require kitchen prep is a miracle over here. PB&J every lunch? Snickers for dinner? I'm all over that.

The longer we're here though, and the more I get used to maneuvering the streets of this third world country, the more we like it. Things are going to be great.

Oh, and here's a happy picture of me with a puppy on our last day in the states. My aunt and uncle breed these Golden Doodles, and they are just the most precious things. This picture's for you, Dottie.

Summer, Fall, Winter

We're alive, and it is just beautiful here! I've got the itchiest fingers in the world (I want to write ALL the time) but we probably won't have internet for another week. So for now, enjoy this phone update from Jared's campus, and I'll keep sweating my face off so good.

We made it!

We just loaded the last of our six 70 lb bags into our car. In about an hour we'll start saying our goodbyes and drive up to meet Jared's mom, who will drop us off at the airport.

Our flight leaves at midnight, and by tomorrow evening, we'll be coming in for a landing on our new island home.

I'm still not sure this feels real. I've spent the last three days in a weird cold-induced haze. On Friday, we spent one last date night doing our favorite Dry Canyon hike and looking out over the valley. Tears fell freely as I realized that this won't be home anymore. I've never spent longer than 3 weeks away from this valley, but that's what the next 7+ years will be.


But it's a good thing. It's a journey we might not be ready for, but we'll adapt. We already feel like we're friends with so many people on the island. Couples we've never met have offered to pick us up, take us grocery shopping, and show us the ropes. It's a tight-knit group we'll soon be a part of, and we have each other. This will be good.

For us.

And for you.

Because you will come visit.

And you WILL like it!

From the USA for the last time, this is over and out. Wish us luck!
t-minus, oh, one day

+ It's better not to start packing until after you've collected everything you need to pack. That way, repacking over and over again is unnecessary. Learned that one the hard way.

+ It's nice to have the world's best grandmother to help you gather last-minute necessities. Now I have a swimsuit and shorts for every imaginable occasion and a like-new Kindle for all my reading needs. (Thank you so much Grandma!)

+ Need awesome and inexpensive sheets? Ross. TJ Maxx. Burlington. That is all.

+ Need lightweight and impossible-to-break dishes? Target. That is all.

+ Shopping for supplies all day every day is only fun for about two days. After day 12, not so much. (I'm kind of an OCD shopper. I won't settle until I find the very best thing at the very best price.)

+ Shopping for supplies all day everyday may turn you into a real-life zombie. After you turn into said zombie, it is a good time to run into your new blog friend Alex at Target and suddenly blank on her name and everything about her and also everything about yourself. (Give me a second chance Alex! I promise I'm not always a glazed-over sleep-deprived zombie! Also, you have nice skin . . .)

+ Our new guest-bedroom sheets are covered in crabs. AKA if you come visit us you will have crabs in your bed. AKA . . . stop thinking about it. We're regretting the purchase already. COME VISIT!!

Thoughts on Gathering and Packing

Preparing to move to a tiny island is so cray.

You get to spend every waking (and should-be-sleeping) minute thinking about all the things you can cram into a few suitcases, because everything is thrice the price on the island or not even available. It's kind of fun, like a really twisted and kind of stressful game.

Jared and I have spent the last three weeks hopping between family reunions and a trip to Seattle to see his family and our adorable new niece, baby Mae. See here:
Even while on vacation we've been buying up some last essentials and securing an apartment. 
The only problem is that every time we think we've finally got everything we need, we think of ten more absolute necessities to add to the list. (By the way, for all you readers out there, Kindle Paperwhite, or Kindle Fire?)

This is all to say that we're really busy and really enjoying it!

But the real point of this post is to publish two of my new favorite recipes. Recipes are something we will not be making room for in our bags, so I want to make sure I have online access to my favorites.

While in Seattle, Jared's amazing mom made us the most delicious salad EVER, like every night.
I loved it so much that Jared and I even made it on the night that we cooked dinner there, and as soon as we arrived home in Utah I made it for my family. This is a big deal, seeing as I've probably only made a salad once since being married. Usually the work required to do so outweighs the taste satisfaction I gain from it. Not with this one though.

Along with the salad recipe, Jared's mom sent me home with a hummus recipe. I've tried to make hummus on numerous occasions before, but each time it has been a disaster because I'm too lazy to go find tahini. 
This recipe, however, calls for sesame seeds instead of tahini, and my mother randomly has sesame seeds in abundance, so I gave the recipe a try for dinner tonight. LIFE. CHANGING. Never again will I buy hummus. This is so much fresher and cheaper. And SO EASY. You must.

So without further adieu, I present to you Salad de Maison and Sesame Seed Hummus


Juice of 1 lemon (or 1.5 T)
3+ cloves garlic, crushed 
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 c vegetable oil
1/4 lb. bacon, diced
2 heads romaine lettuce, torn in small pieces
2 c cherry tomatoes, halved
1 c coarsely grated Swiss cheese
2/3 c slivered almonds, toasted
1/3 c grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 c croutons

Make dressing. Combine lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Beating continuously with a fork, slowly add vegetable oil in a stream. Let stand 3 hours. Saute diced bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels. In a salad bowl, combine romaine lettuce, tomatoes, Swiss cheese, almonds and bacon. Toss with dressing, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Garnish with croutons. 
Yield: 8 servings.


1 T olive oil
1/4 c lemon juice
1/4 c raw sesame seeds
15 oz can chickpeas with liquid
15 oz can chickpeas, drained
1+ garlic clove, peeled
1 t cumin
salt to taste

Place olive oil, lemon juice, sesame seeds, can of chickpeas with liquid, can of drained chickpeas, garlic, and cumin into blender and secure lid. Blend until completely smooth, as long as necessary (I had to run my blender longer than I usually do to get rid of all the lumps). Season to taste with salt.

Salad and Hummus


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