Live from Dominica (Part 1)

So, I'm sure some of you are wondering how Dave is doing on the rock of an island that is Dominica. What better way to get an update than go to the source itself... well, more like himself...

What is a typical day like for you, Dave?
"My day generally starts around 7-8AM depending on what I have to do.  I hoof out the 10 minute walk to RUH (Ross University Housing) and grab the shuttle to the Annex (a huge classroom for first semesters students) for class.  I cant stress how key this is, because if I miss the shuttle I have about a mile and a half walk to the Annex... most likely in flip-flops.  I am not saying it hasn't happened;  I am just saying you're a jerk for making me thing about it.  I snag a quick breakfast from the cargo truck gone order-out restaurant that caters to students pouring into the Annex.  With coffee and said breakfast item I settle in for a morning of lecture.  Now let me clarify something about medshool.  The material they throw at you isn't really beyond anyone... but the speed this shit storm comes at you makes you checking to see if you are still wearing clothes.  My brain gasps for air and I realize its 12 pm and time to grab some lunch.  What I do from here really depends on the day: whether I am 'done', or I have another lecture, or I have to go to lab... whatever.  But it all ends the same way... Me and my computer huddled up in 'the barn' (a popular study hall) reviewing my notes and going over the finer points of a lecture until anywhere between 8-10pm.  After I realize my brain has reached its transport maximum (lame joke, deal with it), and I want to squeeze in a little face time with the love of my life, its about time to wrap it up.  I pack up my stuff and head home, talk with Nikki for an hour or more if I am lucky... then either play a little video games or just watch bootlegged TV to try and stave off the aneurysm for one more day.  I finally slip into a restless sleep where I am eaten repeatedly by the next exam looming in my future.  No really, a huge test the size of a UPS van eats me... I even have to sign it and bubble in my name correctly.  I tried using a pen once... it incinerated me..."

Approaching your 8th week in Med School, what do you feel you've accomplished so far?
"Well I haven't failed out yet, so that's good... I have even managed to get what some people might consider a respectable score on my MINI.  I don't know any of these people... but I am sure there ARE people.  When really looking over my accomplishments I think its more important to point out what I HAVEN'T done over what I have.  I have not gotten arrested, deported, attacked by stray dogs, contracted dengue, been injected with neurotoxins from urchins, fought in a no holds cage match with Dr. Yin, or blown up the island.  I am sure you all roll your eyes... but there actually was a chance of this."

Side note: Regardless of Dave's humor (that we all know and love SO MUCH *eyeroll* haha), I'm extremely proud of how hard Dave has been working. He totally rocked his MINI! Also, I really think they should rename the "MINI" exams. Who the heck would name a  HUGE tests that students (usually) put in HOURS extra every day studying for a "MINI". Oh, and if you don't know, MINI exams are a review all of the information given the entire month. Kill.Me.Now. God bless your heart, Dave. You have a bigger brain than I do. Although, I (and everyone) knew that already...moving on...

What do you like about the island?
"Honestly, how much someone can enjoy this island is directly proportional to how big of a wimp you are.  If you would just DIE without being able to shop, or had to go without having Walmart and its fat people scooters for all your needs... then this place will kill you.  But if you can accept, its like a cross between medschool and a shitty summer camp... well, its still a tropical island.

The weather here is a flat 80 degrees constantly and there is so much wildlife here you wonder if we actually even have any in the US.  The Caribbean Sea is very clear and the water is amazing.  We sit on the western side of the island and are privy to spectacular sunsets every day.  However, I think what I like most is just the essence of the experience of living here you just can't put a name on.  Its the part that makes me respect the luxuries we have back home and what that really means. Understanding the gifts I was born into and that there are people in the world that live very different lives.  Its not anything I didn't know, but being surrounded by it everyday is humbling and worth a moment of thought."

So, there you have it. A live update from Dominica and my favorite person in the world that is living there.Thank you for taking the time to do this for me (and our friends and family), Dave!  You are such a great sport. I know that picking your brain after you got home from studying (at 10:30PM) isn't exactly the most ideal way to spend a Friday night!

I miss Dave to pieces and can't wait to see him, but I am SO proud of how hard he is working. It inspires me and pushes me to be that much better everyday. Oh, and after talking to Dave regularly about life in Dominica, I've been really trying to appreciate the little things in life here in America too. Like having clean tap water, even after a hard rain. Or that we have paved roads. Or that when we go to the grocery store we can buy all the things we want (if we have the finances), and not just buy what we think we can manage to carry home over a mile in the burning heat.  Or that the air doesn't almost always smell of burning garbage and poop.  That when we buy spinach at the grocery store we don't have to wash worms out of it (and look for bugs in other produce)....

I (and WE, as Americans) are truly a blessed people.

Oh, and side note to friends and family, there will be more to come soon. I could only squeeze so much out of Dave after he had such a long day but hope you enjoyed this! I sure did :)


  1. First, Dave is HIGH-LARIOUS! I was laughing the whole way trough it! The bit about the UPS size test eating him is just to much.

    Second, of course I know Emily she is so fun and seems to still be able to stay chic on this fashion forsaken island! Love her! You really make friends so quickly here. Most of the "spouses" are very close. We run into each other ALL the time on campus or at the pool, or the CAC, because there is NO WHERE else to go.

    Third, If you don't mind I would love to have your email so I don't have to keep leaving these humungo comments on your blog! You can find me at or! Are you on Facebook? What am I saying of course you are unless you live under a rock which I don't think you do! I'll look you up!

  2. Hi Nikki! You commented on my blog a while back (pricelessadventure) and I thought I'd stop by and say, "You CAN Do It!" Even through the sweat, I don't regret moving here. If you have Facebook find me: Katie 'Olson' Price. I'd love to share my photos with you!

    Talk to you soon!