Sunday, May 30, 2010

Mini Exam 1 - One week away!

Luke continues to Skype with us each evening and has truly found his pace in studying. He's putting in enormous hours of studying per day in the "Barn" with his ear phones and computer rolling. He feels it is paying off as he reviews with his buddies and 2nd semester friends (many thanks to Kyle and Wincie for the encouragement.) His first big test is Monday, June 7th, so please keep praying. I know he will do well and has started seeing a connection between what he is studying and what they are doing in lab.
The third box sent has arrived at Ross! Luke is going to pick it up on Monday and we are starting a new box to send now that we have faith in the mailing system. I told Luke tonight it is too bad someone hasn't come up with a "errand runner for hire" business for single students. He is continually trying to find his laundry, has no time to go to market or buy bread when they are open, and everything takes enormous amounts of time to do since the locals move on "island time."
As we were talking to him tonight he started laughing. One of his buddies took this picture when they were on one of their tours the first week. It was pouring down rain and he looked a bit bored. I guess the picture says it all.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Two Boxes Delivered- Hooray!!

Food or Friend??
On Tuesday Luke received notice that two boxes had been delivered. He quickly went down and picked up a totally destroyed one from me and a box from Aunt Nance. As he Skyped last night, he had a big smile on his face to receive so many goodies at once. All of the contents in my box were fine and he even received a new watch from Andi as a surprise (he loved it!) The English muffins were expired, but the tortillas were edible. The best was Aunt Nance's peanut butter fudge! He said he put the fudge in his freezer and will eat it carefully. School continues to be long hours and a lot to learn. His first big test, called Mini Exam I, will be June 7th. Please start the prayers, he is doing his part, a little divine intervention would be helpful :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Oh Where Oh Where Are The Missing Three Boxes?

On May 4th I sent my first Priority Mail box to Luke filled with some of the items he needed. Inside we also put tortillas and English Muffins to get some bread in his diet. Shortly after, Aunt Nance sent a box full of goodies (mostly peanut butter fudge), then a week later I sent a second box. As of today, May 23rd, there have been no boxes delivered. All three were "guaranteed" to be delivered in 6-10 days, so either someone is feasting on lots of goodies, the boxes went to the Dominican Republic, or they are moving on a slow boat to Dominica.

Man Cannot Live Without Bread and Meat

Luke had a busy second week of med school with a ton of studying and the chance to finally do his first "cut." Luckily, he was able to use a new cadaver. He was able to go into the back and look at the rotator cuff. He said he really liked it and can't wait to do more.

Kyle's wife, Heidi arrived on Sunday and promptly called the meat man. She was able to get Luke 12 pounds of hamburger and some chicken. He was so excited he went home and started preparing food he could eat during his study breaks.

Kyle and Heidi had Luke over for dinner on Thursday. He was in heaven with a home cooked meal and some Snickerdoodles to take home. Thank you Heidi!!

On Saturday, Heidi took Luke into Roseau to shop for food. He found two loaves of bread and snagged them. He said the city of Roseau was a lot like the towns in the Bourne Identity movies, narrow streets, cars going everywhere, and people galore. After the hour long trip home he immediately came into the apartment and made two PG&J sandwiches. Oh the simple pleasure of life!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

White Water River Tubing

Luke and many people from Ross went on a white water river tubing trip today. What a nice break from studying. In the picture you will see his friend Ryan (back right), his mom and two sisters, and Wincie (a second semester student who has helped Luke so much prior to the trip) and Pat. He said they had guides and things got a little crazy at times. So glad to see him smiling and out having fun.

Where is the island of Dominica?

Many people have asked where Luke is going to school. He is going to Ross University on the island of Dominica, not the Dominican Republic. I have posted a few maps to help you understand. The island is just north of St. Martinique. Luke's school is located in the northern part of the island, Portsmouth. The largest city is Roseau which is located in the southern part of the island. Dominica is very mountainous. The movies, Jurassic Park and Pirates of the Caribbean were both filmed on the island. It is very native and untouched.

Sunset fun after the White Coat Ceremony

After the ceremony most of the single guys went out for a drink at local bar by the ocean and then went snorkeling. He is seeing amazing fish and enjoying the sites. The sunsets are amazing and he sent quite a few amazing shots. Good for you Luke, take some time to enjoy life before getting back to the studying.

White Coat Ceremony

After a long morning of classes, all of the students in Luke's class went home and changed into nice clothes. Be aware, that on the island most of the students only wear shorts, shirts, and flip-flops. This was a special event and warranted dress clothes. The Dean of Medical School at KU was the key note speaker. He shared with the students that this is going to be a difficult journey. They need to be prepared to study long and hard to take in the massive amount of information these first two years. Luke was then "White Coated" along with his classmates.

One of Luke's friend's mom and sisters were in town. They went out for a nice dinner and took a break from all of the studying for an evening.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

First Week of School

This week came as quite a shock for Luke. Class started on Monday morning with an anatomy course he enjoyed. Then he went to his biochem class that lasted two hours and felt overwhelmed. The saving grace with Ross is that every lecture is recorded and you can go back and watch, rewind, watch, etc. until you have it. The days have been long in class (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) with a quick lunch break. Most nights he finishes studying around midnight and gives us a quick and tired call on Skype.

On Tuesday, he had his first dissection. He was not in the group who cut, but gave directions and observed. He said it didn't bother him and can't wait for his turn next week. The days are long and he is searching for his "study spot" so he can settle in each evening to catch up and make sure he is ready for the next day.

We are so excited to see his White Coat Ceremony on Friday.

Luke's boxes arrived!!

The much awaited day came on Thursday during orientation week when his two boxes weighing 160 pounds arrived. He was so thrilled and felt like it was Christmas as he was unpacking all of his belongings and putting his home together. Because electricity is so expensive, he has found little use for his kitchen and family room, but mainly stays in his air conditioned bedroom. The humidity is still playing havoc, wet towels, clothes, walls, etc., but it seems like he is starting to adapt.

Thank goodness for Skype and Gmail IM, we are able to talk to Luke everyday. If you would like to mail Luke his address is:

Luke Seibolt
c/o Ross Medical University
P.O. Box 266
Portsmouth Campus
Roseau, Commonwealth of Dominica
West Indies

The week of orientation included daily seminars, getting materials ready, finding your way around Picard, going out with the guys in the evening, and resting. On Saturday, he decided to get up early and take a bus into Portsmouth to go to "Market." It was quite a shock since he couldn't figure out what most of the food was in the bins. He was desperately looking for chicken, ground beef, and bread. Unfortunately, he came home with bananas, eggs (not refrigerated), and papayas. He is still looking for bread to make his peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

We luckily made contact with a young married couple, Kyle and Heidi, from Mesa, AZ . Kyle is in his second semester at Ross and his wife is amazingly resourceful. Kyle arrived back on campus on Thursday and started showing Luke around. Heidi will be back on Sunday and promised to show Luke where to find bread and offered to meet the "meat man" to get some meat for Luke.

First Week of Orientation

Luke with his new classmates in the beautiful jungle during a class tour.

School officially started on Monday, May 3rd. After meeting at the school, his group took off on another tour of the island. This time they went on a boat ride up the Indian River to a place where they were served lunch, drinks (rum), and entertainment from the natives. Luke had a chance to meet more people and relax a bit before school started.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Day Two and Three

After spending his first night in a strange country and apartment, he found his way around his new home getting adjusted and all of the must do's (banking, getting organized at the university, etc.) On Saturday and Sunday he went on tours of the island including Emerald Pool with many fellow first semester med students.

The waterfalls are amazing and Emerald Pool looks just like its name. Each evening he made his way up the big hill to have a drink with the guys and meet new people. He realized that everyone is in the same boat and has a lot to learn when it comes to living on Dominica.

Day One

Flying into Dominica- beautiful!

Ross Medical University

Luke left Phoenix on April 28th at 11:00 a.m. After traveling to Dallas, then San Juan, Puerto Rico, he had a 12 hour layover. Thinking this airport was like all others, he thought he could just sleep and rest in the San Juan Airport. Wrong! All of a sudden he looked up and everyone was gone. They had locked the doors and he was in the the airport alone. Suddenly, a fellow Ross medical student showed up and found herself in the same position. They kept each other company and didn't sleep a wink. The rest of the trip to Dominica in a prop plane was uneventful and he thankfully found all of his luggage safely waiting for him. People from Ross were waiting for all of the students who flew in, took them back to the campus, fed them, and deposited them and their luggage to their new homes.

Luke's apartment

Luke moved into his new apartment on the first day and quickly found how to buy electricity (very costly and purchased by the unit in advance), a bank to exchange his US funds to EC's, and met a few guys and headed to a local bar to have some fun. As he walked up a huge hill to the bar he found himself soaked, walked back down the hill to change shirts, then caught a ride to the top. The humidity with 90 degree temps was a shock for him.