The beginning is simple to mark.

TODAY! Today is the official beginning of my days marked as an SGU student. Orientation began (but did not end) today.

the first of many jam-packed schedules
the first of many jam-packed schedules

As you can see, my orientation is far from over. The occasional “ice cream social” and “Grand Etang Rainforest tour” will definitely make this week more bearable. However, the 10 am to 6 pm shifts of meeting after meeting is more draining than one would imagine. Today’s main focus was around safety, local laws, campus policies, personal health, and (my favorite) Grenadian culture. That last niche included singing and dancing from some of the SGU student ambassadors, tales of the island’s history, local recipes, and information of the island’s Carnival. Thankfully, I was lucky enough to attend one night of the celebration my first day on the island. The event I attended is known as Monday Mas and is essentially a giant party through the streets filled with music, dancing, lights, and so much energy. Giant floats are pulled miles with dancers, speakers, and drinks pouring out of them the whole way through. I apparently missed the night that is similar except for the addition of paint flying through the air but you better believe that, after the knowledge I’ve gathered today, I will not be missing next year.  As for the night I was lucky enough to be a part of:

Dancing in the streets
truck after truck led the way down the street
this was only one of the dozen of groups that passed during the parade
this was only one of the dozen of groups that passed during the parade

The local people were some of the most warm and welcoming group of people with the most infectious smiles.

Needless to say, it’s not too terrible
here.

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