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Well, school is finally finished (for now). I finished classes on July 18, then we took off for 8 days in Belize. My parents fly in this Thursday, and my graduation and awards ceremony is Saturday! School went well, I finished with my 4.0 intact and got a fairly astronomical score on the standardized exit exam we all had to take. I have my first interview set up for August 11, and it's for the job I want more than anything. I really hope it goes well, I've never interviewed for a job in anything but a bar or restaurant before. They're taking 70 people and doing 3 days of interviews, but some of the 70 slots will be taken by experienced nurses and within-hospital transfers. I bought a suit a few months ago, and some black shoes that aren't Doc Marten's. I've read a lot of sample interview questions online and formulated answers to the common ones, so I just hope they don't ask me too many of the "If you were a fruit, what type would you be?" sort of questions. If I get it I still have two months to kill before the job would start, but I can use the time to study for the boards. Plus, my old boss said I could pick up a few shifts while I'm waiting to start - then I'll be an extremely overqualified bartender. 

The Belize trip was fantastic. I've wanted to go down there ever since our first cruise that stopped there two years ago. We stayed in a small community called Maya Beach (populatiion 200) in a small hotel owned by an American/Australian couple. Their onsite restaurant was amazing and relatively inexpensive - the food rivaled some that I've had in New Orleans. We went on some great tours, did some exploring of the area, and I got my scuba open water certification as well. There are a lot more expatriate Americans down there living than I had expected, but it is a pretty amazing place. Aside from diving, which I did alone, Monte and I went to tour one of the many Mayan Ruin sites in the country, explored a submerged cave, hiked through the jaguar sanctuary/wildlife preserve (no jaguar sitings though, there are only 60-80 in the whole park), tubed down a river, and took a boat ride down Monkey River, where we did get to see a few monkeys and some crocodiles. We also did some relaxing, logged a little beach time, and spent every evening sitting out on our balcony watching the ocean. There was no TV, the roads aren't paved, the internet service was unreliable, and our cell phones don't get international service - my idea of paradise. I read 5 1/2 books in 8 days, and even Monte started a third. I highly recommend it! Airfare is the only part that sucked, if you can get an affordable ticket down there somehow, or drive through Mexico, the country itself is very reasonable. Our room was $90/night, and that was for the second floor suite of a guest house with two balconies, a kitchenette, and a front room with a daybed in it. Breakfast was $5-7 each day, including coffee, and lunch was usually $5 plus a $2 beer. The most we paid for dinner was $27 each, and that was the night we each got a big lobster tail. I think the cheapest dinner at the hotel was $10 or $11. Beer was usually $2 for the local Belikin or Lighthouse, and Belizean rum drinks were $2-3. There was a beautiful resort less than a mile up the road that didn't mind if we used their huge pool and beach bar, so Monte headed down there when I was diving. We had a fabulous time, and I'm pretty sure we'll be back.


Maura White

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November 2008
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