Sunday, 25 November 2012

The Jitney Experience

So, a couple months ago it was anounced that the ambulance would no longer be picking anyone up for shift change due to excessive milage abuse. Seriously, its a talent to be able to rack up over 150 miles a shift on a 37 square mile island. With out any calls.

So I had to find a new way to work, Don't have a car, and can't really afford to buy one right now. Taxis are so expensive - about $14 one way. So I settle on taking Jitneys. These are the illegal cabs that populate the island. They are a cross between hitchhiking and buses. You stand on the side of the road and wait for someone to honk at you, and it cost $2 to go just about anywhere.

Now I am sure all of you can guess how sketchy this is. And it gets worse. The illegal drivers are quite often illegal themselves. So no licence, cars aren't highly maintained either. My favourite is the cars with no door handles on the inside. Usually just a little string tied to something in the door.  And for some reason, no seatbelts. They are tucked behind the seat so you can't use them. Delightful!

I've also had some interesting drivers, occasionally someone will stop to pick you up who doesn't run a jitney- I've had some kindly good samaraitan, and some guys who gave me their phone numbers too! But its all in all an interesting experience, and I keep a giant maglite tucked in my backpack whenever I go anywhere!

I will note as well, I am sure many of you remember the Toyota commerical that says that 80% of all cars sold are still on the road. Well, its very true. This is the place where corrollas come to die. Almost every older car is a Toyota! I have to admit, when I see a red corrolla I wonder if it might be mine! ;)

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Guests in October

Ok, well we are almost caught now!

October was a good month though still pretty hot. You break a sweat thinking about doing something. Which, let me say, is not conductive to activity. If it was more strenuous then lifting a book or a beer I wasn't interested.  Work did get a bit interesting. We had an EMT come back from a leave so he spent two weeks working with me for a bit of remediation.

We did have one exciting night where there was a serious car accident. We were siting in the ER hanging out with the nurses when a car came screaming up and two guys fall out all covered in blood. While we are helping to get them inside dispatch radios us about the accident, where another guy is trapped in the vehicle.  And our truck won't start. Luckily my boss likes me, or he would have really hated me when I called at 11:30 on a Saturday night. So he raced out to grab us and the three of us went to the call.

It turned out to be great to have the extra hand there, the Fire Department was still extricating the patient when we got there and he was pretty bad off. So while my boss and my partner dealt with him I checked his passenger who was ok, though pretty shook up. We put her up front in the front then got the patient into the back and rushed him to the hospital. In EMS three isn't a crowd!

We also finally got a new driver! I had been without a partner for half my shifts for months. Which sucked! He's a hilarious guy and we have a lot of fun working together.

The next good thing was my mom came for a visit. It was a great visit and I was so happy to see my family again. We went on a snorkling adventure. It was amazing, there was a long boat ride out to West Caicos, and we saw a couple dolphins along the way! We stopped at this reef along the south end of the island and did three different snorkels.  There were several sharks, barracudas and even a huge eagle ray!  I think the craziest part was the massive storm to the north of us. You'd be paddling along with the sun on your back and here a hugh boom from the thunder!

The rest of the visit was mostly relaxing. Went snorkling of my beach, which wasn't as good because the waves were pretty choppy. One day we went for a long walk into Grace Bay for some shopping then met a couple of my friends for dinner. The teachers were all thrilled to meet an author and I had mom bring down several books which she autographed for them.

At the end of October we had the threat of hurricane Sandy. That bitch (it makes me giggle saying that, anyone from my childhood knows why!) swept up through the Caribbean before it rained distruction down on New York.  But she was actually considerate enough to give us a miss! Again just had a few grey days.  Though we did get the storm surge! Crazy high tides and waves just pumled the beaches. A lot of hotels lost beach chairs and umbrellas and at my spot the water erroded the sandstone so much the stairs were washed away.

So I sat by the pool for  a week!

Then at the end of the month I got my crazy day again. This time a busy morning was capped off with a shooting, actually my first gunshot wound call. While responding to another call the amblance was flagged down by a Police Officer who told us a suspect had been shot. While assessing him, they decided to let us know another suspect was still at large so we quickly got him on the stretcher and got the hell outta there!

If nothing else, this island certainly is interesting. Well, I guess that is the last five months of my life. I'll try to keep these more regular again. If for no other reason then to save myself from having to type for a couple hours to get it all down!

Adventures in August

After my trip to Tampa, August settled into a simple month. Many of my friends had gone home for the summer so there wasn't too much to do. Work stayed steady, had a few more interesting experiences including another cardiac arrest. I have started to notice a trend on the island. I am usually not very busy at work, but one day towards the end of the month all hell breaks loose  and I get some crazy stuff.

I also got to finally go diving again. It was my first dive since I was certified in January. I was happy that my dive instructor was also the dive master that day. It was comforting to go in the water with someone I was comfortable with. My first dive went ok, had a few boyancy issues and my breathing wasn't as great as it could have been. I will boast that I still outlasted most of the other divers for bottom time - except the nitrox divers. They are quite advanced and can really control their air!

The second dive was even better. We saw lots of cool things, several sharks, a huge turtle and of course lots of fish!

I also had my first hurricane. Issac swept by in late August. Luckily it stayed far enough east that we just had three grey rainy and windy days. I was off work so I hid inside and watched tv. Not much to do when the sun is gone!

As the summer ended, man it got hotter! September was terrible as the rainy season moved in and so did the humidity. On the plus side the teachers came back so I was going out a bit more. But with the rains came the REALLY slow season and most of the hotels and restaurants shut down for a month so things were a bit boring.

This did help as I took the opportunity to do a detox diet. It was hard since I had to eliminate a lot of my favourite foods. Sugar, caffinee, dairy. And worst of all, alcohol. For three weeks! It worked well though, I got through the challenge with out and withdrawl rages and have cut back a lot of my sugars and am drinking more water! Still love my beer though. That'll never go!

Lets Go Blue Jays!

So I decided to spoil myself with a long weekend in Tampa Bay. I had a fairly short trip over, though I did have to layover in Miami. Ick. I stayed in a Hilton in St Petersburg for a couple nights that had a Playball package. It included a ride to and from the game and some "Tropicana Money" to use at the field.

I arrived in the afternoon and had about an hour to settle in before I headed over the the field. I had bought a ticket right down by home plate and was pretty excited. I got to the stadium for gates because I wanted to watch batting practice and try for some autographs. I only managed one that day from Omar Visquel. I did get to chat with a bunch of other Jays fans at the game, and with Barry Davis from Sportsnet. I'd met him before since he is friends with a coworker back home.

The game was great, except the Toronto loosing part. But I was sitting next to a really friendly woman who has seasons tickets. I also went for a long wander around the stadium. Its a bit blah but it has its nice parts. Like boneless wings.  Mmmmm, I'd missed wings.

I also ended up chatting with random people along my way, including an usher who had offered to take my picture. During our chat I mentioned I had worked at the SkyDome as a medic and he flagged down the stadiums doc as he walked by and I got a tour of their first aid facilites. It was great to be around nice and cheerful people!

After the game I caught the shuttle back to the hotel, mostly packed with other visiting Jays fans. I ended up chatting with some guys who were in town on business. We ended up going out for food and a few drinks. The night ended at a small local bar, and in walked Jessie Litch (a pitcher for the Jays) and I got to talk with him a bit. Nice guy, he even bought us a round of drinks!

The next day started early with my free buffet breakfast. Yum, then my friend Nicole came over and she and I went to another game! This time we bought some cheaper tickets on the upper deck, though it was empty enough we were back in my old section by the end of the game!

It was a lot of fun to watch the game and hang out with a friend, it was an afternoon game so we went for a drink after and some sushi for dinner! It was a fun day. I only had the two nights in Tampa, so the next morning was departure day. I got up early again for the free breakfast then found a salon to get my haircut before heading back to the Turks and Caicos well rested and happy again.

Playing Catch Up

Hello All,
Well it has been a long time since I have written here, I had a rough month in July which a few of you will have heard about. Not having much cheerful to write about I just decided not to.  Then I got lazy, then I kept meaning to and was forgetful.

Well, no more excuses! Its bloggin time, and I will try and catch you all up on the last few months of my life!

So back to July. As I mentioned my boss decided to take a little vaction and go home to Canada to have a baby with his wife. I was given the dubvious honour of becoming the Acting Supervisor in his place. It was a great experience at least, and will make my resume look awesome.

But clearly this island loves hi cause all hell broke loose when he left! The trucks starting breaking down one by one. Then I had huge staffing shortages, which led to a few 80hr work weeks for me. And we suddenly got tons of serious calls! This island only has about 25,000 people, acording to statistics we had about 20 cardiac arrest calls in the first six months of 2012. And seven of them happened in the six weeks I was in charge! Then we add in several serious car accidents and I was just waiting for a plane to fall out of the sky.

Well that was July, a mostly dismal month with a few bright spots, I had a lovely birthday, I went out to dinner with a few of the friends I had made here. Also hung out a few times with a Canadian Nursing student I had met at the hospital.

Well thankfully my boss did come back and not a minute too soon in my opinion. Arriving back on island at the begining of August it gave me a perfect opportunity to escape for a few days and indulge one of my passions. The Toronto Blue Jays. Bless who ever did the 2012 schedule, cause my boys were in Tampa Bay for a series over my days off. So I flew to Tampa to give my self a well earned treat.