Prayer's Power

“Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.” ― Mother Teresa

I'd like to share a devotional that resonated with me last week. This post has been through several drafts as I wasn't sure which way would be the best way to share my experience until this was read during my family's evening devotion.

Before March 11th, I felt a level of spiritual detachment that I had never experienced before. I pondered whether what I was experiencing was actual feeling of "grieving the Holy Spirit." This shook me to the core. I was able to pray, however it wasn't as often, and I often did it out of habit not because I needed to communicate with my friend and Father, there was a sense of rebellion swelling up within me because I couldn't understand why certain things were taking place. For instance, why no matter the amount of time I dedicated to my academic studies my level of application and understanding must have been deficient since my grades demonstrated underperformance rather than confidence and understanding. My family life was being targeted and I was just over the dysfunction.

I found myself frequently ill, despite having received the recent influenza vaccination and constantly depressed. The fire that once burnt brightly within for medicine and this ministry of healing was slowing diminishing.

This devotion offered me hope and my prayer is that it would do the same for you as well.

God Hears Prayers

"Surely the Lord our God has shown us His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice from the midst of the fire. We have seen this day that God speaks with man; yet he still lives."-Deuteronomy 5:24

Andrea met Christ and wanted to accept Him as her personal Saviour, but she was reluctant to surrender herself entirely to Him. Her main problem was that she was not willing to adopt a simpler physical appearance; above all, she did not want to stop wearing jewellery. She decided to speak to God through prayer to ask for His guidance. 

She went to her room and knelt. As she prayed, she experienced the feeling of being in the presence of God. She felt in her heart that earthly things are worthless once God occupies the right place in our lives. When she finished praying, she knew that the Lord wanted her to know that He truly calls and qualifies the candidates for His kingdom. All doubt disappeared and she decide to be baptised, surrendering her whole life into God's hands. 

The Lord speaks to us in the context of prayer. We can hear His beautiful voice that validates our faith and gives us the assurance of our salvation. We need to remember as well that He speaks to us primarily through the Bible. We must remain open to listen to His written word. The apostle Paul urges us to open our ears to His voice:

" So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it. For the message God delivered through angels has always stood firm, and every violation of the law and every act of disobedience was punished. So what makes us think we can escape if we ignore this great salvation that was first announced by the Lord Jesus himself and then delivered to us by those who heard him speak?" (Hebrews 2:1-3 NLT)

However, we must train our spiritual sense to recognise the voice of God in His word. We must ask the Holy Spirit, who inspired the prophets, to enlighten our minds to recognise what God wants to say to us. Let us allow Him to be present, to touch us, and to communicate His will and bring peace to our heart. 


Based on the above, my practice now when I pray, is to ask to be able to differentiate the voice of God and to know when God speaks to me. I often try to remind myself now, that God never turns away from His promises nor does He walk away from a relationship with us. It is us, who decide to stray based on the deceptions planted by Satan and his demons because he knows that once we believe that God is unable to forgive or accept us as we are, it is easier for him to see us lose out on salvation.

Prayer has the power to change our hearts and our minds and to awaken our senses once we pray earnestly and receptive to the reply.

As you move into the upcoming week, aim to pray more selflessly and ask for discernment and the ability to recognise what God is saying to you.

Quit Faking IT!

“All the world's a stage.” ― William ShakespeareAs You Like It

The elephant in the room needs to be addressed. The time has come to shed some light on what some may have heard throughout the first three years of medical school, and what others may be told when they begin their journey.

There is nothing greater to the person whose passion is medicine and whose desire it is to be at the service of others, than to be given the title of "Doctor."

Before I started my journey as a medical student, I never fully grasped what so many medical bloggers meant when they wrote "the easy part is getting into medical school, the hardest part is staying in." How dare they? I thought as I sat in my apartment on my night off, with my Pomeranian on my lap, working diligently to complete as many tasks on my medical school application 'to do' list. The most daunting being completion of my personal statement or the autobiography sketch as some schools may call it. At that point in time, trying to convince a committee of admissions directors to grant me acceptance, was far from easy. Studying for the Medical College Acceptance Test (MCAT) in and of itself while working full-time appeared an even greater challenge-not impossible, just challenging-and here I was reading that this was the easy part.

Makes you wonder whether or not those medical bloggers had a high threshold for challenges or if they were simply crazy. Now that I've completed most of my medical school training, I now understand what they meant and I'll admit they weren't exaggerating either.

As you sit probably with your rough draft of your personal statement either on your lap or rolled up and tossed on the floor, once you soar over this hurdle, you will be well on your way to gaining acceptance and entry into the medical society.

You see, with each passing day, the challenges we face intensify and our ability to face our obstacles and fears and to supersede them not only become easy, but more bearable. We are strengthened in our capacity to overcome our challenges and fears; we become more resilient and sooner (rather than later, hopefully) what use to have us down for the count, won't even knock us over.

With my acceptance to medical school, came excitement as well as fear. Fear of failure, fear of not being able to stay in medical school, not to complete the courses on time and the list goes on. Mixed with the fear there was some excitement, mainly due to the fact that here I was with a youthful appearance but years older than my teenaged counterparts who were just as intrigued by the mechanics of the human body as was I. We were all ignorant and in it together.

Due to the large class size, we were alphabetically categorised into smaller groups for just about everything from laboratory classes to clinical skills sessions. This allowed the laboratory directors and clinical skills instructors to teach in a less intimidating manner and also afforded us the  opportunity to "network" and to get to experience medical learning in a different way. It was in these sessions where we were told how OSCE's were all a 'big show' and that in order to pass all we had to do was 'to fake it' until we made it.

You may have heard how competitive medical school is. It's true. But it doesn't have to be. What I believe most students fail to realise is that regardless of how many persons are accepted into your graduating class, the last thing any school wants to do is to see you fail.

There aren't shortages of medical degrees that can be awarded per year or per class. However, this is how medical students act. Rather than perfecting skills that will ensure their success in the long run they limit themselves to faking it and doing all that they can to hoard material and preserve themselves whatever the cost.


1. Invest in Your Career

It is easy to become distracted by the idle talk and lose sight of your overall goal. Especially if you're surrounded by persons who have already graduated who want to offer their "advice". You must remember that not all advice is good advice and in regards to decisions you have to make for yourself that relate to your career and your overall happiness, the experience of others should be taken with a grain of salt, especially if you realise that advice is coming from a bitter vessel. 

Once you enter medical school, make the decision to utilise every resource available to you and never stop exploring your options as your interests may change or evolve as you advance in your schooling. Be sure to reach out to persons who are in your field of interest and have a conversation with them regarding opportunities that are available in that field that would allow you exposure you would otherwise not be exposed to. 

Do your own research into programs that you can sign up for during your summer months, that would allow you the opportunity to practice your speaking and to exercise your medical vocabulary as much as possible. By investing in your career, your medical education becomes more than an education but the catapult for your future success. 

2. Consider yourself as more than just a Medical Student

Sometimes as students we find ourselves limited in what we can do but doing more than our licensed medical counterparts. The minute you start referring to yourself as just a medical student, you're short-changing your reality. 

When you graduate and take on the role of an intern, you'll then find yourself, walking away from things or referring to yourself as "just the intern". The time you're spending in medical school is the time you are to grow as a medical professional. This is your time to use the platform to exercise your muscles by becoming involved in humanitarian organisations and giving back to the community in which you reside. This is the time to be present in the hospital and to make your face a familiar one to the nurses and other staff on the wards and in different departments. Why? Well because the way in which you will learn, will begin to shift, you'll start to transition from the library to the radiology department, the emergency room etc piecing together the basics in order to construct a sensible assessment and treatment plan that you can discuss with your seniors. 

By doing this you're now allowing yourself to grow and believe it or not becoming more than prepared for your final exams. 

3. Learn to Practice

As a child, I grew up in a home where expressing oneself was expected. I can recall standing at the foot of my parents bed reciting from memory a book report I wrote hours before to my father who was listening to every word. He offered constructive criticism based on what I said and from these exercises it was easy to speak in front of anyone on anything. 

With lack of practice, I do find it hard to eloquently express myself as I once was able to, but like anything, once time is dedicated to doing something, I'll be back to where I was in no time. 

As students, we often become fixated on studying in the library, reading all of the books, watching all of the videos and then find it hard to convey all that we spent time reading to our peers or seniors. So I would encourage you as you study, get in the habit of studying in groups early on in medical school and take the time to verbally review what you learnt as you covered a topic. Come up with a system that you can follow that would make it easy for you to cover the salient points on any topic in ten minutes or less. 

4. Learn to be a Motivator

There are few people in medicine who are motivators. It saddens me whenever I read posts from other medical bloggers about their day on ward rounds and how their attending belittled them, or how after a day of ward work, rather than receiving words of affirmation, they were criticised and as a result felt as if they were unworthy of becoming a doctor. 

In a field where empathy and respect are core principles, they often don't exist. The culture has now become one where tearing someone down to get a foot ahead is commonplace and expected and teamwork although it is spoken of, is lacking. 

The culture is so superficial and sadly with this comes patient negligence and a lack of accountability but a whole lot of blame. 

Learn to motivate your peers. You don't have to be their friend or go out of your way to make friends with persons you just aren't compatible with, but once you learn to accept the fact that the people who fill the seats of the lecture hall with whom you may have to interact with will eventually become your colleague and at some point your paths may cross in the form of a consultation. At the end of the day, you're learning to be a practitioner that is capable of respecting others, building them up in the process and placing the needs of the patient first. 

5. Be Consistent

Learning to be consistent from the beginning makes it hard to fake anything. By adhering to a study schedule where you incorporate practicing your physical examination skills, summarising your findings following your examinations and reviewing past papers, you will find that medicine and all that it entails is now second nature. You will become fluent in the language and when placed on the spot to perform an exam, rather than breaking out in a sweat and panicking, you'll confidently step to the plate. You'll be more open to constructive criticism and comfortable with things that once were foreign. 

Consistency is key in your overall success as a student. That is if you're consistently practicing good habits. If you're consistently procrastinating then you can see how that would just lead to you being a consistent fake and unreliable in the end. 

The goal is to be consistent, intentional and bold with good habits from the inception and to learn to grow with each semester that starts and finishes. By doing this you'll find that you're no longer faking it, but evolving into a Physician patients will be wanting to see. 

Baked and Brewed| My Favorite Bistros and Coffeeshops

“I could smell the food fill up my hunger before the order was even 
placed.” ― Phindiwe Nkosi

With the change in weather (can someone tell me where all of this rain is coming from?), iced beverages are being traded in for the warm cups of tea or coffee.

As a student, I experience my fair share of cravings of studying in a coffeeshop enveloped by the aroma of coffee beans and the chatter and laughter of perfect strangers. There's just something about the atmosphere that offers a calm peace of serenity that I enjoy but not always can afford.

Locally, there have been a few new openings of coffeeshops and bistros which of course equated to my new found adventure.



The popular American franchise can be found strategically located throughout Nassau at 3/4 of the cardinal points.

My home is located within 10 minutes of 2/4 and it wasn't until a few weeks ago actually,that I decided to venture outside the confines of normalcy which is the Harbour Bay Starbucks location to try the Palmdale branch.

Staff/Customer Service

This location offers a warm and cozy feel and welcomes the student and businessman alike to venture in and spend their money and also time admiring the pleasant surprise of the interior's aesthetics and warm, welcoming and vibrant young staff of baristas.

I can't say that I felt like Norm or Frasier from the sitcom Cheers, but they did take the time to learn my name and offer me the sentiment.

My choice of drink at this location since I'm on a mission to find a barista that can truly make a Chai t latte to my liking which is on par with perfection, was just that. A triple vanilla Chai latte. It truly warmed up a rainy and gloomy day I must admit, however it was missing a little something; nonetheless it was enjoyable and worth it overall.


Like any other Starbucks worldwide, this location offers a variety of hot and cold caffeinated and decaffeinated beverages that can be made while you prepare your space for a productive study session or an afternoon filled with people watching. They also offer a few bottled beverages like their Cold Brew Coffee, Doubleshot Energy Coffee and the Refreshers Revitalizing Energy with Coconut Water.

During your study session if you're hungry and wanting to stay put to eat, Starbucks offers pre-made sandwiches such as the Turkey focaccia sandwich, the CEO, and the Curry Chicken Chipotle Wrap; they also offer a Vegetarian burrito which is tasty but not filing for $7. If you're wanting to satisfy your sweet tooth, they do serve a few baked items ranging from the traditional Banana Nut Bread to a more daring chocolate cake. For the light snackers, you can choose between their selection of fruit or prepackaged cookies, yogurt or Kettle chips-the salt and vinegar are my favorite.

Depending on what you're wanting and how much you have to spend, the Palmdale branch is a stone's throw away from other popular fast food eateries such as McDonald's, Bahama Subs and Subway. If you're open to Greek food, and not afraid to walk (about a block) Acropolis Restaurant is ideal either for food to go or to dine in.

The Harbor Bay location is within walking distance of the Caribe Cafe at the Logos Bookstore, Fresh Market's deli, Bahama Subs, Domino's Pizza and Dairy Queen.


During peak hours (which depends on the location) the Wi-Fi service can be a bit patchy. I've had issues with the Wi-Fi at the Harbor Bay branch particularly on a Sunday evening between the hours of 6 and 7 o'clock. They do offer more than one open network so you're never without for too long of a time. 


The Palmdale location was definitely welcoming and less crowded which allowed for a productive study session. The flow of the shop was also nice and added to my productivity since there was an aesthetic separation of the seating. The front of the shop is set up for larger parties with seating for about 4 persons per table, while along the right lateral wall is a continuous bench that appears broken up due to the placement of small round tables and additional seating. The lighting adds warmth and just enough lighting to enjoy a cup of your favorite beverage while getting work done. 


If you're not accustomed to paying $5 for a cup of coffee (which you can have in an actual coffee mug upon request either store provided or your own), then this may be a shocker for you. For those on a budget looking for a place to study I wouldn't suggest making Starbucks your daily "study joint" mainly because those tall Frape's can add up. However, if you plan smart and order the daily brewed coffee which is less than $5 or try out their Earl Grey tea bag and pack yourself a light snack then you can make it work-if you must. 


Move over Inagua, you've got some competition in regards to being the "best kept secret in all of The Bahamas."

This little Parisian themed Cafe' is a unique, intimate addition to the other coffeeshops and bistros on the island. Named after the owner's daughters, this quaint store offers a variety of instagram and Pinterest worthy pastries and boutique items from mugs, stainless steel water bottles and even bridesmaid gifts. 

If you're looking for an new experience while reviewing study material or just to break the monotony of studying you'll definitely want to add this coffeeshop to either your list of places "to study" or places "to visit."


Nestled in the Caves Plaza, in the Western part of the island, this coffeeshop may be out of the way for some and down the street for others, but regardless of the distance you have to travel to get here, you won't be disappointed. It's not far away from the beach and other restaurants and businesses in the plaza.

Staff/Customer Service

On my visit, I was fortunate enough to be dining when both the Creative Director and Operations Manager were both in store. The staff was very pleasant and accommodating and ensured everything was up to par. 

Having the opportunity to hear first hand from Mrs. Loretta Thomas how the store came about was truly a blessing and a sweet surprise, like that Madeleine. 

The staffing is adequate for the size of the store and after I left I felt like a member of the growing Cafe' Channing Noelle family. 


Believe it or not, this little coffeeshop serves lunch and I'm not referring to the basic pre-packaged "can I microwave that for you?" sandwich. 

If you're in the mood for something specific you may want to call ahead to find out what the menu of the day is. After speaking to the staff and owner, they tend to serve a balanced meal which may include grilled salmon served with roasted potatoes and a salad or baked chicken served with roasted potatoes and a salad. They also serve light options such as a variety of Quiches and sub-styled sandwiches. 

The food is exceptional! I was pleasantly surprised when I took that first bite of salmon; it was moist, flaky and cooked to perfection. The house dressing which gives your regular Balsamic vinaigrette a run for its money, could be drizzled on everything not just the salad. 

If you're just in need of something sweet to prevent hypoglycaemia, their sweet, delectable pastries include the signature French Macarons, too cute to eat cake pops, chocolate covered Oreos and a variety of breads and brownies. The banana bread was delicious and affordable (move over Starbucks) and by far my favourite.

Speaking of Starbucks, the store proudly serves Starbucks beverages and they aren't too shabby either. They also offer a variety of teas from brands like Tazo and Harney and Sons.

If you opt for a hot cup of tea, be sure to pair that afternoon cup with the soft, "looks like a cookie, but is a cake" Madeleine. They are airy treats that are "just right" as Goldilocks would say. 

 One of the hardest things for me to find locally, is a beautifully styled coffeeshop that caters to the Vegetarian/Vegan and Pescatarian. There weren't any Vegan food options available when I went, but depending on the day they do offer a vegetarian quiche'.

This little bistro has a lot of things in store for its patrons. In the New Year, they will be offering Brunch once again so be sure to visit their FaceBook page for more information regarding that, as well as their daily menu postings and monthly events.


During my visit, I didn't have the need for Wi-Fi as I was in such good company but there is a Wi-Fi code that you can receive from the staff if you're planning on spending some time in store that would require its use. 


With its clean, polished and sophisticated style, it's easy to enter and think that you're going to break the bank just on a cup of coffee but the perk is you get the posh atmosphere without paying the price. 

The palette is bright, clean with a modern flare and allows for seasonal decorations that explores various colours of the colour wheel. 

During the busy hours, which seemed to be around noon and the early afternoon, if you're wanting to study here, the patio may be your best option if the weather permits, otherwise inside can be ideal depending on what you have to do. 


The drink items are similar in price to that of Starbucks. The lunch was very reasonable (<$20) and the pastries are all affordable. I was shocked though when I first learnt that the Macarons were $4.30 each, but after learning that the Macarons are flown in from overseas and tasting a few, they were worth the $4.30. 

As a student on a budget, this may be knighted your "reward" outing after fulfilling the tasks on your agenda. 

As aforementioned, this coffeeshop/boutique offers other items, like these gorgeous gold handled mugs that are priced at $30.00

 If you're not one to walk with cash, they do offer you the option to pay with your card.

Now that you know their open, be sure to check them out. If you're a medical student looking to try one of their French delights or simply see if their cup of Starbucks is truly the best on the island, be sure to walk with your medical school identification card for a 10% discount.


Did you know New Orleans also known as La Nouvelle-Orleans was founded May 7, 1718 by the French Mississippi Company under the direction of Jean Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville; from its founding the French had intended it to be an important colonial city (courtesy of Wikipedia).

Given its rich history, its easy to see why some would have it listed on their Bucket List for places to visit. Fortunately for those not particularly wanting to leave the comforts of their island living here in The Bahamas, they can sample a bit of N'awlins right here in Nassau.


This little piece of New Orleans is situated on West Bay Street, next to the Traveler's Rest Restaurant. It's directly opposite an amazing, relaxing ocean view that makes the drive and price worth it in the end. 

I must admit, this is a bit out of the way for me as I reside in central New Providence but on days when I'm in need of fresh air, something different than sitting in a well lit room at a cubicle in the library, this is definitely one of my recommended options if the weather permits. 

The view is breath-taking and transporting. Each time I'mm here regardless if I sit and study or read on the inside where jazz can be heard over the speakers or outside at one of the benches down in front looking out at the ocean, it takes either the local dialect or glimpse of the Bahamian license plate to remind me that I'm still in The Bahamas.  

Staff/Customer Service

Southern hospitality is often bragged about and there's good reason for it. There's just something about that down home Southern charm and warmth that emanates through the staff at Louis and Steen's. Their smiles are big and bright ALL the time and they demonstrate such passion for what they do which translates to excellent customer service. 


This coffeehouse is unique in that unlike the others that are on the island, they serve specialty coffee using slow brew methods. Keeping with the N'awlins theme and feel, Creole and Cajun cuisine can be found here with a little bit of Bahamian love of course. 

They serve breakfast and lunch with some customer favourites being the Cajun Chicken Wrap and the different Po'Boy sandwiches. For the vegetarian, the options are limited which was a bummer for me, but the apple pancakes were worth the try as they are quite different from your typical pancake. 

As they serve specialty coffees they acquire beans from around the world for the perfectly brewed cup of gourmet coffee. It was a wonderful surprise to find out that they serve Matcha lattes. Listen I was in my glory to have the option of having either a hot or cold cup of Matcha with my choice of nut milk. Truly a wonderful surprise and change from the norm. 

In addition to their sandwiches and cajun cuisine, they also serve a selection of French pastries such as chocolate croissants that tend to sell very quickly. 


Louis & Steen's offers free Wi-Fi. Need I say more?


As the weather permits, this coffeehouse offers the perfect spot to watch the waves and be transported for a moment, to New Orleans Louisiana. 

On the outside speakers, between the moving of the wind, the cars passing by and the laughter and chatter from other patrons, jazz can be heard faintly over the speakers. 

As there is limited seating on the inside, on a rainy day if you're planning on escaping to this spot, be mindful that the seats indoors may be filled. 

They've executed the theme perfectly, from the funky coloured exterior to the aesthetically pleasing decor on the interior. It's just enough to get you to contemplate venturing across the scene to visit Bourbon Street for yourself. 


Given the location, service and menu, you're looking to spend a pretty penny on a simple meal. 

Depending on what you're ordering you can easily spend >$20 on a coffee and sandwich. If you're wanting to experience this venue without spending so much, call ahead for price listings and what is available before you go and eat elsewhere before you go so that you're fuelled and can begin your study session once you arrive after placing that order for your specialty beverage which can be made upon request. 


If you're in the mood for French cuisine and a sweet treat, then Cafe' Madeleine at BahaMar Resort is what you may have in mind.

With the opening of BahaMar came an introduction for some to unique pastries and delicious gelato. This little pastry/coffee/ice cream shop has something to offer anyone.

The atmosphere elucidates French elegance and the bright open floor plan allows adequate room for moving about during peak business hours when there is a crowd.


Cafe' Madeleine can be found westward of the Casino if you entered the hotel from its main entrance. It is the last shop on the right hand side just before you exit the hotel in the direction of the Convention centre. They offer indoor as well as outdoor patio seating. The only disadvantage in regards to the seating is based on the time of day you decide to dine, the sun might be a bit overwhelming. 

The style of seating on indoors is in keeping with the overall aesthetic of the shop. Plush, winged back chairs at the entrance provide intimate seating for two with a quaint, vibrant tile covered table top to hold either your warm or cold beverage. If your party is larger in number there are also leather, tufted chairs with additional chairs available all centred around a small coffee table. The outdoor furniture provide bold colours and comfort if you're wanting to soak in as much sun and natural air as possible. 

Staff/Customer Service

No complaints on my end regarding the staff or customer service. They were very thorough with taking the order and ensuring everything was fine with the order. I was welcomed with a warm smile and had all of my questions answered without the attitude. 


The menu was as expected. Simple, offered sufficient amount of options for breakfast and lunch and was in keeping with the overall theme-French cuisine.

Rather than have multiple menus available, the menu was neatly displayed on the wall behind the serving counter and also provided on request if one wasn't on the counter itself. It was a one page document that was easy to read, well organised and laid out.


Honestly, I forgot to ask whether or not there was Wi-Fi available and if it was free. I was blown away by the atmosphere that I didn't use my phone at all during my time there. 


As this coffeeshop is housed in a hotel, I expected the prices for the food to be ridiculous. As a student, some items are reasonably priced and others are a bit outrageous. I ordered the Nutella crepe with bananas and berries that came up to $12 USD, my mother had a salad with feta cheese and balsamic chicken that was $14-I found that to be a bit steep for some greens and a small chicken breast, sliced in fours. 

There are also pastries that you can order that range from $2.50-$6.00 based on what you have and I must say, these aren't your average pastries, so to see that price for something a Pastry Chef took the time to create in house, that not only looked good but taste divine, that price is worth it. I mean when Starbucks is selling a slice of banana bread for $5 that's not even made with love, $4-$6 seems like a steal for something you'll want to purchase repeatedly. 

As mentioned before, they also serve an assortment of Gelato for $8 when VAT is factored in. There is only one size cup that you can order and it's the equivalent to a Cold Stone Creamery Gotta Have It cup which I believe is about 8 ounces. 

Overall, I enjoyed my visit to Cafe' Madeleine but was a bit disappointed in the limited Vegetarian friendly options available. The coffee offered is adequate for the store size and I appreciate that it's not Starbucks. It is a great place if you're in the mood for dressing up and taking gorgeous photos as their storefront makes for a wonderful backdrop. Be sure to visit them if only for a cup of Gelato and nothing more. You'll be glad you did.