Sunday, 19 January 2014

Life in Semesters

Back at it down in Dominica, and I have made a promise to a few friends out there that I will continue to update the blog. Thank you for reading and thank you for encouraging me to continue. I may have only made two posts last semester, but I vow more in the new year.

The last 3 months have carried much travel and brought many new relationships for which I am very grateful. I will give a quick rundown, but as my posts continue this semester I want to give less play by play and more posts inspired by some amount of contemplation. For tonight I give you a little silly banter, and part one of the past few months' play by play. 

Since we moved to Dominica, I've been compartmentalizing my life into semesters. Not because I am in school, and not only because Steve is a medical student, but largely because life on the Northeastern part of Dominica is dictated by semester. I never thought much of this, never thought it was odd that I  described my life by semester, not until I was home in Texas over the holidays. I found people looking at me funny when discussing experiences and plans... by semester. To us here in Dominica and at Ross, this is the way it is. Right now we are embarking on Steve's 3rd semester. This means he has successfully completed his first year of med school, like a rock star I might add, and has begun "year 2," which will carry us through the end of August (as Ross is an accelerated program, you do the math).  

Semester 2 flew by, as life tends to do. My mom came for a visit in October, which rebooted my travel escapades. We hit St Martin together and then lived lush at Secret Bay in Dominica. We had a blast and mom rekindled my inner hedonist. French food, snorkeling, shopping, and massages. Not to mention the luxury of 5 star resorts and air conditioning. It came at that perfect point when I was needing a refresher from what was starting to feel like a long 6 months without the simple luxuries that don't really exist in every day (affordable) island life.

The "guest room" at our house, where mom stayed a few nights

The pool at Radison Blu in French St Martin

View from lunch at Radison Blu St Martin

Kitchen area in Zing Zing Villa at Secret Bay Resort

View of Ti Bay from our Secret Bay villa

A week after her departure, I packed up and headed north to Paradise Island, Bahamas where I spent two and a half weeks, reconnecting to my inner guru. I studied under Kam Thye Chow for two weeks in a Thai Yoga Massage course, and became more connected to my Buddha nature while having a blast. Kam is just a riot. He teaches Thai massage like a kung-fu master and fills an experience with joy. I made some new yogi friends and heard some incredible talks by a range of spiritual teachers. I was so thrilled to be back in a Sivananda ashram, the lineage and home away from home where I have studied intensely off and on for the last 5 years. No matter which center or ashram I visit, I always run into old friends, and meet new ones that really feel just like I've rekindled old friendships. A really special place. This visit, I was so thrilled to be among yogis and spiritual brothers and sisters that easily understand the path I walk. I was certainly floating in the clouds by the time I was finished at this go round in the Yoga Retreat. 

A travel rainbow to encourage me on the long journey

"Buffalo Soldier" music video cheers me up in the SJU airport

The dock where the Yoga Retreat boat comes to pick up guests from Nassau

Course Initiation: invoking the gurus and a blessed learning experience with a puja by Swami Bramananda

Our classroom

End of Level I, Lion Face

Level II Graduation with Kam

My cousin!!! I love running into her in the Sivananda Ashram. A really rad bonding experience to have a blood relative that shares the path of yoga.

From Bahamas, I volunteered myself for a free overnight in Miami. I had just barely missed my flight, and I said what the heck: give me a free hotel and some meal vouchers, I'm heading out to check out the town. I visited some art galleries and the beach and reflected on my ashram experience.  I love silent solo trips to a new place. Always reminds me of the time I spent in Paris, roaming into museums and boutiques, sitting at cafes over espresso in a land where I can hardly speak the language. That's what Miami felt like for that one day. I got some pwetty pictures. Oh. and a great cortado. 

A rainbow to send me off from Nassau

Obey Giant Art

Graffiti art yard 

delicious cortado

side of the road


the graffiti version of a nun I had honestly met the day before in the ashram. trippy.

The strip art deco'd out. 

back on the beach. feeling at home.

South Beach

Art Deco shop.

So back to the island of Dominica I made my way for Thanksgiving, a new massage shop; and then back to the states for a month of holiday, family, and an anniversary. To be continued......

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