It’s a beautiful Sunday morning here on the island! The sun is shining off of the ocean and I can see the surrounding islands clearly on the horizon. As I drink hazelnut coffee this morning, I am so thankful to be in this beautiful place to study medicine! Reflecting back, my MD1 semester has gone by faster than anything I’ve ever experienced. I can’t believe that in less than a month, I will be back home for almost 3 weeks, in my own bed, surrounded by the people (and animals) I love most. I’ll admit, I was scared and excited and anxious to start my life over in a new, foreign place, with only knowing two people beforehand. But who wouldn’t be scared/anxious to do something like that? Change is never easy, but sometimes it can be one of the best things that can happen to someone. I’ve learned so much and adapted so much just from being here a few months. I’ve grown to love my new environment, friends, and classmates. So thankful for meeting them during this transition in my life.

One thing that will be hard this week (with it being Thanksgiving week) is not being able to spend it with my family back home in the states. I FaceTimed with my mom for a couple hours yesterday, just catching up, and (as usual) they are going to have a full house for Thanksgiving. I hate that I am missing that! I miss having a chaotic house with lots of people. However, I am so glad that I have a second family here on the island, and that we will all be able to celebrate Thanksgiving together. I truly love where I live. It’s great to just walk outside and be surrounded by awesome people. Being able to sit on the balcony and talk for hours while losing track of time is an awesome feeling. Just being able to walk by an open apartment door and have conversations with anyone and everyone.

I am glad that I did not choose any other place to live, because I am biased in saying this is the best place on the island. Our landlady is one of the most compassionate, hard-working, sweetest women I have ever met and will go out of her way to accommodate anyone and anything. What other landlady would make food before exams, go out dancing and on boat cruises with us, give us rides to/from school on occasion when we are late, and just sit and talk to you without being in a hurry? So blessed to have found her! & can’t forget my awesome boyfriend! Thank you for always making me feel safe, looking out for me, cooking for me, and always making me laugh. We may have our disagreements and different opinions sometimes, but at the end of the day I’m thankful for having met you, and thankful for how well you treat me! It’s great to be with someone who understands the same struggles you’re going through, and treats you like a princess!

My (biological) family has been some of my biggest supporters during this transition in my life, and honestly I don’t know if I would be where I am today without their support. They are the people who I miss the most, but I am satisfied knowing that I am living out my dream of studying medicine, and making them proud at the same time. FaceTime is THE BEST THING THAT HAS BEEN INVENTED! I remember before I left for school, my mom was telling me about how when she met my dad and they started dating, she was in the US and he was all the way in the Philippines. There was no FaceTime, Skype, Facebook, iMessage, nothing like that… They had to send handwritten letters halfway across the world and record videos on VHS tapes and send those. Having to pay for collect calls just for a few minutes on the phone. Obviously they survived and have a successful marriage to show (about to celebrate 25 years together!), but technology nowadays makes it so much easier to be far away from loved ones. I am able to talk to my family every day, and it doesn’t make me feel so far away from them.

Sometimes, you meet people in your life and you know that you might not talk to them after this part of your life is over. But there are the people you meet who you know will be by your side no matter what happens, and you can see them in your life 10, 20, 30 years from now. That’s my best friend! I can’t believe we have been friends since 9th grade of high school and we are closer than ever, despite me being thousands of miles away. Nothing has changed and I love it! I can’t wait for you to come visit me and I can show you my new home. My life is truly better with you in it! Can’t wait for all the things we have planned when I am home for break. Thank you for unending support, motivating texts, and just being here for me. You’re bae for life!

Enough of the sentimental posts! LOL time to get back to studying for block 3 exams – we have anatomy and medical ethics tomorrow. Only 20 days left until my mom, brother, and best friend come to visit me. Then I get to go home for Christmas! It’s time to buckle down and work harder than ever, so I can enjoy some time with them before we head back home! Attached is a photo of my view yesterday morning from the kitchen window. I was studying and heard some rustling (which freaked me out at first) but then I looked up to see these two cuties! I love everything about the island life! ❤



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