A Little Flashback

Bonjour! 

I have had an absolutely aaaamaaaazing weekend in Carriacou and visiting the Tobago Cays. I don’t really have any words to describe how beautiful it was, but 1,500 photos of beach and blue water might tell you how stunning we thought it was. It’s taking some time to go through all the pictures, but I will post them as soon as possible!

Here’s a little sneak peak ūüôā

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In the mean time, I just wanted to share a quick flashback to last year with you!


During the weekend I was thinking of how incredibly lucky I feel¬†to be experiencing all the things I am¬†doing and to see all this beauty around me. Being able to lie on a beach with no stressful thoughts going through my head, nothing that has to be done by 8:00am Monday morning, it’s quite a big¬†contrast to last year at school.

About one year ago, I was … BUSY! Final exams were coming up in May and I had one million things on my plate; assignment after assignment, essay after essay. My days started at 6:30 every morning, school was from 8:20 – 15:30, followed by volleyball to 18:00, a quick dinner and then studying from 19:30 to around midnight – every day, week after week! The weekends were always busy with school and to be honest, I’m not quite sure how I did it; it definitely feels like a long time ago right now.

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This was usually me every evening for hours and hours … fun times!¬†

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Study notes were my room decorations…

Last year in March, I also participated in the Global Issues Conference that my school organises every year. I wasn’t as active this year as I was the year before because of … school, but I felt very honoured to be asked to introduce the Duchess of Luxembourg.

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Introducing Her Royal Highness

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Her Royal Highness Marie Theresa speaking to an international audience of high school students from around the world

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Getting a chance to speak with HRH after her speech! A great experience ūüôā¬†

Later on that same week, I actually gave a presentation to a very large audience (600 people!!) when I received my Gold Award for my Duke of Edinburgh. The Prince and the father of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg were present, it was a little nerve-wracking but it was another great experience.

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Cracking some jokes with Luxembourg Royalty as I receive my Gold Award ūüėȬ†

  March was also when we took our graduation photos!!

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My favourites ‚̧

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Missing these girls so much this year! 

As I was going through some old photos, I found a slightly older one as well that I thought you might enjoy, haha!

5gThere was¬†a lot¬†of hard work last year, but it eventually did pay off and I feel it was all very worth it as I am spending this year re-energizing and learning lessons that I couldn’t learn from textbooks ūüôā

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Kite Surfing on Union Island

Not really sure if I can write this here, but let’s hope no Grenadian government officials read this, haha! Because today, Lindsay, Karys, and I were somewhat illegal immigrants. Let me start from the beginning ūüôā

There has been another student who has done an internship with¬†the doctor I have been shadowing¬†for the past couple of weeks. His name is Ryan¬†and he will be a qualified doctor at the end of this year. The other day Ryan told me that he and some friends were going to Carriacou for the weekend and were doing a day trip to some islands known as the¬†Tobago Cays.¬†He wondered if I wanted to come with, and although it is highly unusual to visit Carriacou twice in such a short period of time, why not, haha! I also asked Lindsay if she wanted to come and so this morning Ryan, and his two friends, Lindsay, Karys (a friend of Lindsay’s), and myself, all left for¬†Carriacou¬†(on what turned out to be the rockiest ferry ride ever, I promise you everyone was sick)!!

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Karys, who Lindsay knows from before was also coming with because she was taking a kite-surfing lesson on an island called Union Island, which is¬†not too far from the coast of Carriacou. Lindsay and I decided that this could be fun, so we agreed to join Karys to Union Island. What did not cross our mind about Union Island is that it is not part of Grenada (Carriacou is), it is part of a country called St. Vincent….. So, we were actually going into another country (buuut we had no passport or stamps).¬†Therefore, quite illegally we got into a little speedboat (the pictures will show you that speed boats have a quite different meaning down here), and voil√†, we were in St. Vincent (well, on Union Island…) as slightly illegal immigrants, haha!

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Let’s just say that the ratio of boat size to waves was indifferent. It was an interesting hour-long drive over from Carriacou to Union Island but we survived, just soaked from top to toe ūüôā

We were met by great hospitality on Union Island as Karys knew the people working at the resort where we came. After a delicious lunch, it was time for our kite surfing lesson!

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The view from where we had our lunch

As we walked over to where they do the kite surfing I was completely blown away. I’ve seen videos and pictures of kite-surfing before, but never in real life – and it was so amazing to see people actually taking off and doing tricks.

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Lindsay with the kite surfers

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The kite surfing place had such a chill and great atmosphere

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Karys and I just had a very basic introductory course to kite-surfing, so we didn’t actually use the board at all, we just learned to control the kite itself (which was hard enough!!). Unfortunately Lindsay and I had to leave back to Carriacou in the evening so that we could go to the Tobago Cays the next day, but I¬†hope I’ll come back and have some more lessons!

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We had a beautiful sunset in Carriacou when we came back. This time we were staying in a little more upgraded place than where I was last time, the Grand view Hotel.

It had been a really great day and hopefully today will be even better!! Google ‘Tobago Cays’ and this is what comes up:

Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 7.52.47 AMSo excited!!!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend! 

Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy (I’ll explain later!)

Yesterday I watched a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (in normal language: a surgery where they remove the gall bladder using the keyhole method (in norwegian: kikhulsoperasjon av galleblæren). 

So today, you’re all getting a little introduction to biology/medicine ūüôā
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I have been shadowing a doctor at the private hospital every day for about three weeks now from 9-12. He is a general practitioner and it has been very interesting to sit in on the consultations – I feel like I’ve learned¬†a lot! In the hospital where he works there was a surgery yesterday, which he said I was allowed to watch!!

The goal of the surgery was to remove the patient’s gall bladder. Here’s a¬†little background info on the¬†gall baldder (woohoo – exciting!).

The gall bladder (9) stores something called bile, which is produced in the liver (10 + 11). After bile has been produced in the liver it goes through a ‘tube’ (4) to the gall bladder where it is stores before it is needed. Bile is a kind of liquid filled with substances that help break down fats in your small intestine (15 + 16). The bile then passes through another tube (5+6) to enter your small intestine.

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The liver is the big brown structure, the gall bladder is the small green one, the small intestine is number 15+16, the stomach 14, and the pancreas is the large orange structure (17,18,19).

Sometimes, people get a stone that is stuck in tube 5 that prevent the bile from entering the small intestine. It’s not possible to remove gall bladder stones, so whoever has these stones have to have their gall bladder removed through a surgery called a cholecystectomy. It is a very common and a fairly simple procedure as it is done using a laparoscope, which is when you make four small incisions in the body, rather than a large cut. You then go in with a camera in one incision, and instruments in the other three.

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This is what a laparoscopic surgery looks like from the outside

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During the surgery I watched, there were some complications when they were trying to remove the gall bladder. The surgeon decided that they had to open up the patient with a large incision. This was great for me as I got to see even more! Once they opened up the patient they were able to remove the gall bladder (it just took 4 hours and my legs were tired…).

Want to have a look at what a cholecystectomy looks like? Have a look!!

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The surgeons hard at work!   6This is what the operating theatre looks like

After a pretty long surgery, my legs where aching, but it was of course extremely fascinating to watch. I’ve seen a couple of surgeries before, but this time the doctor was very good at explaining and showing me various organs.

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A tired, but excited Anna! 

So that was your biology lesson for the day! Hope you learned something x

More from Carriacou

Hello, hello!

Hope everyone had a great start to the week!

I arrived safely back from Carriacou on Wednesday (despite the ferry I was supposed to take being full and so I ended up having to take a veeery small “ferry” (it was not a ferry!) back to Grenada – but I survived and pushed my sea-sickness levels a little bit further ūüôā )

I just had some pictures and stories from Carriacou that I wanted to share with you before I update you on the rest of what’s been going on!


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I lived on the beautiful beach called Paradise Beach, which had crystal blue waters and the whitest sand you could find. It was sooooo sooo beautiful (couldn’t come up with a more creative adjective).

The accommodation itself though, was … so-so (my adjectives are really not too great this time…).

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Detailss, haha! 

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Yes, I did end up taking Koster-showers. For those of you who don’t know what that is, I think you’re better off not knowing haha!

Thoughts from Carriacou:

My accommodation was far from luxurious. It did lack air conditioning and well looked like what you saw in the photos. The place didn’t have any website or pictures online that I had looked at before I came there so I had no idea what to expect. So at first, I will admit I was a little bit … curious as to how this would work out. But after all, this is my gap year and money needs to be used sparingly, so I would make this work I thought. On my first night at the guest house, the owner, Sam, asked me if I wanted to go to a small town with him where they had live music. Well, why not I thought. So we went to a restaurant and had a delicious pizza (it was Friday after all – everyone knows the Thomassen tradition ūüôā ). We then went to a local bar and watched a band play local music and then five guys started playing African drums and they literally started playing with fire!

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So, because I lived where I lived, I got to experience a really great night out in Carriacou!

Furthermore, there was a small bar located at the end of Paradise Beach, which I went to go check out on Saturday. Here I met some cool people who bought me drinks, hehe, and we had a fun night together. We were joined by a young couple from England as well and it was a fun Saturday night on the beach! Once again, this happened because of where I was staying!

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Off the Hook Bar and Grill! What a great place ūüôā

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DSC_0051To continue my little thought process: On Sunday night I met Sam’s (the owner of Hope’s Inn) son, who was about 20 years old. He asked if I wanted to go to the jouvert with him on Monday morning and that’s how I ended up doing the whole carnival, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have gone that early in the morning! Denzel showed me how to properly do the carnival, Carriacou style, and it made it a lot more fun to do it with someone!

So, even though the accommodation wasn’t exactly the perfect situation, there were a lot of exciting things that came out of it! I think that’s important to keep in mind sometimes and that things usually work out for the better. I’ve seen that a lot while I have been out traveling, that although something doesn’t seem too great at first, there’s usually something good that comes out of it. It’s just important to go look for an adventure or an experience and it will usually come to you.

QUOTEE*Anna going deep*

And finally I’m going to share my last little ‘coincidence’ story. On the Tuesday of the carnival, Denzel was working so I decided to check out the parade by myself. As I was standing on the pavement, a slightly elderly man approached me and asked me where I was from. We got to talking and he actually spoke Swedish, although he was Polish. He was with a group of people who were on sailboats in Carriacou. One of them was a girl from Australia who was in her twenties and was sailing with her father for some time. I ended up having dinner with them and the girl, Annie, said they were sailing to Grenada shortly. On Friday¬†afternoon as I was having some drinks at a restaurant back in Grenada she walks in all of a sudden!! And we’ve been getting together a couple of times now since we met here in Grenada. So, always lots of coincidences taking place¬†and I still get super excited when they take place¬†ūüôā

There you got some information from my stay in Carriacou and an Anna deep in thought this Monday evening!

MEEEE

See you soon x

CARRIACOU CARNIVAL 2015

I experienced CARRIACOU CARNIVAL 2015 ! And what an experience!

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I’m not quite sure where to start in trying to explain carnival to you, so I put together a¬†video instead which I hope will give a good impression of everything I experienced.

Just before you watch it here’s just a little Carnival background information:

  • Carnival in Carriacou takes place on Monday and Tuesday of the third week in February every year in Carriacou
  • Monday morning starts with¬†jouvert¬†(pronounced juv√©) early in the morning which involves partying and throwing paint on each other. The jouvert also includes the jab-jab¬†which originates from the slavery that took place on the Caribbean islands a long time ago. This is where the men paint themselves with black paint and chant.

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We woke up at 4:30 for the morning jouvert

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Denzel and I after Jouvert

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The Jab-Jab men

  • There are parades on Monday and Tuesday where people dress up in costumes and they are in ‘bands’. So you sign up for different bands where everyone dresses up similarly

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So now that you know a little bit more about carnival – ENJOY ūüôā

(Remember to watch the video in the highest resolution possible!)

Sandy Island!

Hola, hola!

Just thought I’d stop by and show you some pictures from my little excursion yesterday to an island called Sandy Island, which is a very small island, with a lot of … sand! It was a quick 5 minute boat ride from the beach where I’m staying so I got a water taxi to take me there!

DSC_0076Although the island looked like a paradise from where i saw it, I was a little disappointed when I got there (but then again I’ve set my standards pretty high now, haha!) Although the sea was beautiful and the sand was paradise-white, there wasn’t actually¬†that much beach since the tide was so¬†high, so there wasn’t actually that much sand to lie on. But it¬†was pretty¬†stunning.

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My fantastic water taxi

DSC_0032 Welcome to Sandy Island
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I spent a couple of hours on the island before I returned to the beach on the other side of the ocean *tough life*, haha!

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Book, music, beach, and ocean – just how I like it


Today I’ve participated in Carriacou carnival – there’s a lot to say about that!! Still trying to wrap my head around everything that happened, but more on that tomorrow!

Explore: Carriacou

Hello everyone!

Lack of internet has meant no blogging – but I found some working wi-fi so we good ūüôā

A little update since last time you heard from me; on Friday morning I left for an island called Carriacou! Carriacou is part of Grenada and is a 2 hour ferry trip away from Grenada. They are having their carnival on Monday and Tuesday so I decided to go check it out.

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Leaving St. Georges, Grenada

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Just a sailboat and the ocean

I arrived in Carriacou after a pretty bumpy ferry ride. I didn’t have a ride to go the where I was staying so I was happy to hear someone asking “Taxi? Taxi?”. This guy didn’t exactly have a taxi, but he had a car and took people different places. He gave me his business card and it said architect and designer. He had also worked as a secondary school teacher, haha! He very kindly offered to give me a tour of the island, so before I knew it I was eating lunch with Randolph before my 2-hour Carriacou tour!

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Any modeling companies out there? I’m available, haha!¬†

DSC_0080 The first stop was the hospital on Carriacou. I got a chance to get a peak inside and it was extremely primitive. Interestingly enough they had a separate ward for males and females. There were currently 7 patients in the hospital, haha!

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Randolph then took me to see a very special and unique cemetery…it was located on the¬†beach!¬†Quite creepy actually.

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The dead get the best views on the island, haha! 

We also passed a group of children getting ready for the carnival!

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Carriacou only has a population of 8,000 people and is only 34 squared km big/small. It was a really beautiful island, very lush and green. It was very poor though and apart from the main city, Hillsborough, the rest of the island is made up of small villages which are quite poor.

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Overlooking the main city, Hillsborough

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Like, people ride donkeys…

Thanks to Randolph for an excellent tour!!

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I hadn’t planned the trip very far ahead, so when I was looking for accommodation a lot was fully booked because of the carnival. But I found one place which had space which was called Hope’s Inn. It is located about 10 minutes from the town and is on a beach called Paradise beach ūüôā The guest house is very simple and quite run-down but it works!

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Quite correctly named, Paradise Beach

DSC_0046The good life 

More updates will come shortly!