Friday, May 4, 2012

Not even a thought...

I saw it somewhere yesterday... it said The most difficult challenge is leaving.... That hit me hard... the most difficult challenge is leaving. Such a powerful statement for so many of us who are leaving and actually some who are staying too. It means so much to me and I know to many others...

Coming to Grenada was not easy for anyone. Even if you are excited for a new opportunity or in my case excited to move to where your husband is it is still quite scary. It is a challenge leaving your friends, family and comfort. Its exciting of course but its just a scary jump to make. you are living in a third world country, very far from home and it is SO different from the US. Fast forward almost a year since i have been here on and off and its a totally different challenge. The challenge now is leaving Grenada..... 

You would think going home to friends, family, the u.s. would be a no brainer but throw in some amazing amazing women and some precious kids and you have a whole different ball game. 
So I have met hundreds of amazing women in my life and I adore everyone of my relationships, but these are different. Many of them are very new friendships but goodness are these women amazing, they are selfless, fun and crazy smart women. I think its because we are all in the same boat we are all down here together, working toward the same goal. don't me wrong not every women here is special like these handful I'm talking about, but these handful are incredible. These women EVERY day yes I said it EVERY day do something for others. Its incredible and so eye opening. I am NOT saying goodbye because I know its not BUT see you soon because these women have taught me so much! Today two very amazing women Laura L & Laura C created a DVD of pictures with music to go along with it... Seriously we just lost it watching them. They are beautiful and I will cherish it forever. I am so grateful for the time and energy they put into my dvd because I will keep it and watch it when I need a little pick me up/cry...incredible. I honestly know God puts you some place for a reason and these women are reason number 1... 

Now down to the other challenge reason #2. The kids... I fall hard, but I have fallen really hard for these kids. I know this is not my journal but I feel like I am abandoning these kids. These precious kids who should not be in the home in the first place, these kids that should get hugs and tucked into bed every night...These kids who I have fallen harder for than just about anything else in the world. I am jumping on a plane to head back to the US and Leaving these precious children.... Challenge is the biggest understatement I could think of. 

Leaving Grenada has nothing on leaving the US. It has been the BEST year of my life by far and I just can't imagine not seeing my babies every week. They seriously make the worst day so amazing....

I'm posting this UNEDITED... I will not and can not read this...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I Love My Husband...

I have been very emotional about leaving Grenada... I am not ready, don't want to leave and feel like I am abandoning my babies..... But last night as I laid in bed with my hubby he promised this wasn't the last time we would see the babies, or be in a position to adopt. He promised me we would do Doctors without Borders to help babies around the world..... He told me he thought I was the most caring person he knows (he must not know too many people....) and he just rubbed my backed as I cried about leaving my babies.... 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Im obsessed with Turtles...

I Know its such an odd title but my husband just said to me this morning "man you really love turtles now" and its true I had the most amazing experience last night and I love/am obsessed with turtles!

Last night at about 6:00PM about 25 Significant Others (wives, Girlfriends, fianc├ęs, etc) Loaded up in a big bus and drove about two hours to the northern tip of Grenada! You can see in the picture below we are in Point Salines thats where the school is and we went all the way to Levera Beach to watch the turtles. A few fun facts before my pictures! 

Leather Back Turtles are the largest turtles and the the largest living reptile in the world. The turtles can get up to 6.5-7 feet long and about 2,000 lbs!!!! The females lay clutches of about 100 eggs several times during the nesting period. 

The leather back turtles are Critically endangered and there was a research team Ocean Spirits that stay throughout the entire nesting period. They sleep on the beach and are up from sun down to sun up watching for turtles and assisting the turtles when they get to shore. They track and tag all of the turtles that come to Grenada and a lot of times the Moms go back to the same place they were born to go lay their eggs. Out of about 1000 eggs about 1 will make it to adult hood. The mom we saw has been nesting on this beach for the last 6 years. 

It was an amazing experience, we sat on the beach for about 30 min until we got the call that a mom was ready and started to dig! They wait to allow people to come up until they are fully committed so we don't disturb them. There are no flashes aloud and you have to be very quiet. The mom works so hard digging about a 3 to 4 foot hole and then lays about 100 eggs. (last night our momma laid 109 eggs) When we were leaving we got to see two more coming to shore and one just finishing up laying. I seriously was ready to call my husband and let him know I was moving to levera beach for the rest of the season. 

It was that incredible, if anyone has the opportunity PLEASE go watch! It is a lot of waiting and for us about a 2 hour drive but one of the most amazing experiences in my life!!! Now to pictures... Here she is! 

Here she is digging a 3 to 4 ft hole...A lot of work..

The lady in the picture is part of the research team and is counting the eggs and catching them as they are laid.

There are the eggs! 

We were allowed to touch her and it was amazing! 

I wanted to start to cry as I was sitting on this amazingly beautiful beach. I have had a once in a life time opportunity to live in this beautiful country and experience things I would never get to do. Just such a wonderful experience I will never forget...

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Makes me giddy...

Just came across this engagement video and how precious and creative is this!! LOVE IT!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

What am I going to do in 20 days?

Having a very tough timing thinking about leaving this little baby here.....

Monday, April 16, 2012


The countdown is officially on, we have 32 days until we are on the plane back to the USA forever :( It makes me excited because I am really excited for the next adventure but also VERY sad. My journey here and time in Grenada has been incredible. I am soooo glad I moved here and will never look back because I have grown and learned so much.

There has been a lot going on, can't talk too much yet but really exciting things! I have been interviewing to go back full time for the last month or so and let me tell you its exhausting! So much going on, but all of the time and travel has really paid off. I am moving up to NYC in 35 days...yes you are reading it right! I land in Florida on the 17th and move on the 20th. It is such a world wind and I can't wait for the next step!

So much exciting and scary changes!!

Here is a lovely picture that Ty and i took on Saturday when we went to the beach and relaxed!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


What is on my wish list for our next apartment?!?!?! 

You guessed it!! A DISHWASHER!!!!

While I have enjoyed mastering jenga with our dishes on a daily basis, I would love to be able to just put them right into a little machine that washes them for me! Seriously, I appreciate a dishwasher more than anything right now after finishing our huge load of dishes!! I am quite proud of cooking in almost every night, but I miss being able to just run out and pick up a great ______.... I keep telling Ty, I have been tested in Grenada with very few ingredients to cook with. Example 1: I went to get limes today...Excuse me can you show me where the limes would be?....... "no limes today.." Kara has a sad face and walks away. Can you imagine Publix just completely being out of limes? Or MILK! Milk is always gone. OR if there is a huge shortage the grocery stores back home would post a note of sincere apology. Here no milk, no cheese, no limes..... 

We officially have a count down, back to the USA sign. Our cleaning lady who I adore to pieces saw the sign and said I see you all are counting down the days. It made her sad, and I know I will miss her, the little kiddos, and the gorgeous beaches.... 

51 days left in paradise

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wait what? March? No seriously...what?

Whooooaaa whoooooaaa whooooaaa hold on there February, not so fast! When you leave its March and then we only have April and 17th days in May and then we are leaving this beautiful island. Last time I checked it was like January 13th and now you are telling me its almost March!!! 

Ty and I are officially in the process of our next step...hopefully NY! We have to rank the states in order and we did NY 1 (obviously :) ) and NJ 2 (not obviously but the others are worse.....) Anyways we will be back in Florida on May 17th and then will find out where our next home will be in the end of June. 

Just to show you what I  imagine our place to look like here are a couple of pictures of us in our new apartment... 

Wait..... hold on......its how much a month.......... oh ok well can we at least have the chair in the study?!?! Wait what?!?! There is no way......a chair... ok how about one of the know what never mind...  So in conclusion Tyler and I (i wish delante) will be living in a fancy box for the next two years :) I will make sure there is a 2nd box for visitors :) 

Can't wait for our next step though, can barely wait!! 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Moving right along...

We are almost to the end of February! Can you believe it?!?! All that is left is March and April and we will hardly have a May and then we are back in the U.S.! I seriously cannot believe it!! So many great things have been going on in our lives and we are so lucky to share them with our family! 
This past weekend, I was so fortunate to share Grenada with my Dad! It was a short 2 day visit but it was so fun to show him around! I so wish my whole family could experience Grenada but unfortunately flights are outrageous!! Luckily there are videos and pictures of Grenada to last a life time! 

This was our second visitor, Ty's parents were our first and its so fun to have one. It's almost like we are on a vacation too!! Crazy that we have only 2 more months and we can no longer say we are residents on the Caribbean! It has been an unbelievable experience and can't wait to print pictures from our crazy adventures when we are back in the states! 

Next week we get the list of rotations for where we could possibly be for the next two years. I have been talking about the day when we have to rank where we would like to be and goodness we are right around the corner! We will be new residents in AUGUST!! Life does fly by, I remember the day where I was when I found out Ty got into SGU. I was so excited for him but also so nervous and scared for 2.5 years of long distance. 2 years later we are now married living together in Grenada and now planning our move to NY very soon. How time flies!! 

My health is still not back up to par yet.... It is really tough to be around 27 little ones in Grenada and not get sick. Unfortunately that is the risk I take going to visit every week. I try to be as careful as possible but unfortunately some things I can't control. Back to the doctor tomorrow for a check up and if things don't go well I will be making a quick trip home next week!!! 

I will post some pictures soon of my recent days in Grenada!! 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

So Thankful....For America :)

I think everyone should live on an island or in a third world country, it is eye opening!!!!!! I just love this little island, adore it really. Not sure how I feel about leaving here soon, but I do appreciate my country more than I ever have in my life. 

I know the U.S. is soooooo far from perfect, but I do have to say how thankful I am for all of the hard work people have put into our country and health of their citizens. Yes we have a long way to go but after my first experience here in a doctors office and hearing about Tylers experience in the hospital here I think we should all be thankful for a few seconds..... 

I know I am lame and corny BUT I just am missing my convenience and comfort back home this week. I miss the comfort of my doctor, my CVS down the street, my clean and always stocked publix, and my family. I am so lucky that I have my husband down here who won't leave my side unless I ask him to, who tucks me in every night, and usually wakes me up with the biggest smile on his face during the week days! I am also so lucky for my precious little children down here that give me the BIGGEST hugs everyday I walk in! I never feel more loved :) I have enjoyed taking them to dinner once a week and can't wait to continue it tomorrow night!!! KFC here we come!!

Anyways, I am so lucky to have this time here in Grenada as I learn to appreciate what I am soooo lucky to have and learn to help others everyday. 

My Dad is landing bright and early on Saturday morning to come visit!! I cannot wait!!!! Not quite sure what we are going to do yet...Eat......sit on the will keep thinking!! 

I love my little island of Grenada... adore!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Bad mood to Better mood :)

I had one of those days today.. I was a bit of a grump! I haven't been feeling the best so I decided to head to the campus clinic to see a doctor. I signed in and noted I was the wife of a student, waited 25 mins to then be called in. I was asked what I came in for then she said so you are not a student correct, well you need an appointment! Even though it says clear as day NO APPOINTMENT necessary! She said yes we should update that.. GRRRRR!!! She said I could make an appointment for tomorrow but I was so angry I made an appointment someplace else! No way they are getting my money.... This was the first time I felt a little helpless in Grenada...Im used to having my doctor right down the street who I trust and always solves my problem but here I know no one and do not trust anyone... I do have an appointment tomorrow at 2 and am crossing my fingers it goes well :) Anyways I came home in a terrible mood and Ty suggested maybe you should go play with the babies..... Excellent idea and that is just what I did... 

Here is little man Delante, cute as can be. He was so snuggly today and I just love that! I get sad when he just wants to run and play and stop cuddling :( He is really starting to try to talk, so fun!! 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Kippsie, KPC, KFC!?!?!

How ever they say it they just LOVE IT!! When I say they I mean the kids at the home here in Grenada! There are 27 kids who are currently living at the Belaire orphanage in Grenada. I am so lucky to have found the home and now almost visit them daily when work isn't crazy! These kids are just some of the most precious kids ever.
Is it super hard? YES Do I cry sometimes? YES Do I want to take them all home everyday? YES But I have never in my life felt more wanted by someone. 

You walk in the door and you are literally tackled by at least 6 kids just for hugs, they want to know how long you are staying and when you are coming back before you even start to play... Breaks my heart! Discipline as you can imagine is VERY tough with about 20 kids under 8 and 2 workers taking care of all of them! Did I mention 6 of them are under 2 and 1 is 6 months!!! What a handful, they do their absolute best and they really do love the kids. It is nearly impossible to discipline and have order with so many kids and also have one on one time with the kids. So I suggested that as a reward system if we get good news back from their teachers and they are good at home then Ms. Kara will take two kids to dinner a week! 

KFC to these kids is the holy grail! They just LOVE the chicken, fries and oh yeah Ketchup! They would eat the ketchup alone!! All joking aside, KFC is such a treat to them! Its delicious and also so much more food than they normally would receive. So I am so happy and just love to be able to do this! 

Last week was my first trip with a 4 and 6 year old! Goodness I am either becoming very old or just having an emotional night because I seriously just about cried 10 times. They were so excited.

The night started off with me picking them up and they seriously still wouldn't believe me until I told them to get dressed. They got in my car and had a little bit of water and a handful of fishies!!! (gold fish) We then went to the stationary store and bought a new pencil for school and a little tiny notebook. We then left for KFC! The line was SUPER long but they got a kick out of being there!! Remember this is their first trip to a restaurant and later to the grocery store! They ate every last piece of chicken, fries and TONS of ketchup!!! We then left to go to the grocery store to pick up a Popsicle!!! We ate our Popsicles in the car and headed back home! It was a fabulous night and all I wanted to do was just take them home with me. It was so rewarding and I can't wait till Friday when I get to bring two more kids to dinner! Here is a great video of them at KFC, and shondell's first time using a straw! So precious! The second video is just a video to hear (can't see them too dark) but I love listening to them talk about the night!

Monday, January 30, 2012

New Name, New Year, New Husband!

Well hello 2012, hello Kara Manis, hello husband!!!! So much to catch up on and to chat about! So I have a new name, its a new year and I guess I should say I now HAVE a husband and not a NEW one :) He is so handsome by the way and I love calling him my husband!

As you may or may not know I went home in October to finish planning the wedding. I thought I was way ahead of schedule until I touched down in Orlando.. it was a rush of planning and constant to do lists! Would I do it over again and go home sooner... probably not because I loved my time with Ty but would I like to plan a wedding again..probably not! Haha! I just adored my wedding and loved having all of my family and friends all in Orlando for the wedding. I do wish we could do it all over again but not plan it again!! I have a couple sneak peak pictures to share :) more to come soon! 

I had heard there was something called the wedding blues. Where after planning your wedding for so long you get pretty sad when its all said and done; I had a feeling I would have that because all the way up to the end I enjoyed the planning process. BUT Ty and I were so lucky because I hadn't seen him in 3 months, then a week later our wedding, then a week later Christmas, a week later our Honeymoon, then a week later back to Grenada! It was NON stop for about a month which kept my mind very occupied. We had an amazing Christmas, and an amazing (very lazy) honeymoon! Here was our daily schedule on our cruise.. sleep in.. breakfast...pool or off the boat...back on the boat to shower...nap...get dressed for dinner...dinner..go out.. to sleep! For 9 Days!! It was just fabulous!!! 

We are back in Grenada now and I just LOVE it here! I guess I would say I love the time with my new husband! Don't get me wrong I love Orlando BUT here I get him all to my self. Im so lucky! I have been at the orphanage here in Grenada almost everyday. 2 new babies and my old babies who I adore! I get so much back from those little kids and I am going to miss them when we leave in May! 

We only have 3 1/2 months here and I have a lot to do before we leave! I know Ty is ready to get back to the states but I'm not yet :( 

I will try to catch up some more soon but Happy New Year! Here is to an amazing 2012!!!!

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