by Gloria Bell-Martinez
I had been a medical professional for many years, a cytotechnologist; my original goal was to teach my profession to women in one of the third world countries. My dream goal at that time was to secure a job in the West Indies to experience living on an island for longer than the usual 9 day vacation stint.
One day a friend of mine called me at work from a seminar that she was attending to tell me about a job that she had to turn down but which she knew I would be open for. It was in a place called, The Cayman Islands. I did not know where they were until another friend located them on the world map.
I was hooked on the offer simply because it would be on an island. The proposal was that all of my expenses would be paid, including the fare for the interview in another city but only if I was selected for the position.
There was another applicant but I was subsequently chosen because I had extensive travel and work experience at more than one laboratory. I also had additional technical training in Histology. Years ago, a pathologist had offered me an opportunity to learn this field to assist her when her assistant did not show up.
The Dream job was to set up a Cytology Laboratory that would be similar to US Standards. It would be necessary to make the purchase of all the equipment, to write the technical and non-technical manuals, to plan the overall layout of the laboratory. Every facet of this area was on a novice level for the organizational part.
Scholastically, I had acquired a Bachelor of Science in Cytotechnology and other than a managerial background in this area, this would be a first for me and I was overly confidant that I could accomplish the hospital expectations for its needs and objectives.
After a year there was noticeable turnaround from 3 weeks to 2 days in some diagnostic cases. Most cases were submitted for immediate results before they had been sent to Florida.
Once I arrived, I had one to two weeks to settle in and begin work. My search for an apartment turned into another adventure. I did not have a car and I needed to find a way to locate a place to live.
After some brain storming, I decided to call a real estate firm to help me find something preferably close to my job - remember no car. The venture took the real estate person to some eyesore places.
I was growing weary but finally I was going to settle on a almost good place, after I arrived on the island.
Suddenly, the RE remembered a place outside of town, far by island standards (11 miles). It would take me 20 whole minutes (!) to get to work. In the states, it would be one hour and forty five minutes soooo. What do I have to lose and anyway I have enjoyed the search around the islands to all these places.
As we came up over the hill I hear the ocean and then I smell it. Oh my God!, I quietly note.
"Is this place near the ocean, unlike the other inland places I had seen?"
"Oh yes", she replied.
The manager takes us to the apartment on the end where you can see the ocean on two sides. It is a Condo with a tennis court, a private beach area and a swimming pool, my personal patio and a view that was fantastic.
It was a tough decision but I had to make it. The manager was shocked as we walked through the doors and I said, "I'll take it".
"You haven't seen the rooms."
"Unnecessary", I replied.
My next escapade came from my search in town for a car. I remembered that car rental places sell their old cars after a period of time. I took a cab over to that area and became a car owner!
This venture let me know that goals can be achieved and with God all things are possible.
Oh, by the way, I met my husband there. Another story , another time.
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