Hello from Eleuthera! Our summer students have been hard at work this week, immersed in classes focusing on either Food, Ecology, or Tourism and Development. As part of the unit on food, we spent an entire day on the farm with Edrin, a local farmer in Rock Sound. Students talked with Edrin about the challenges he faces as a farmer in The Bahamas, including the summer heat and the scarcity of nutrient rich soil. We then learned about how he addresses many of these issues, and even received a private lesson on the process of grafting and budding as a means of increasing the variety of citrus fruits he is able to grow on his land. Tristan, Weston, Aiko, Molly, Megan, Isaac, Ben, Madison, Bethlehem and Lizzie were enthralled as Edrin talked and were incredibly helpful and enthusiastic when asked to pitch in and transplant some grass to small pots for his fields. Overall, it was a fun, informative and productive day that provided a unique glimpse into what food production is like in some parts of The Bahamas. For a more personal account of the day’s events, check out Bethlehem’s journal entry following this post. More updates will be coming soon to fill you in on the Ecology and Tourism and Development progress this week. Happy eating!
“Today the first Foodies team, visited Edrin’s farm in Rock Sound. After Alicia’s introduction of Edrin, I was really excited to see the person behind the vast “One man farm”. When we got there Edrin was in his work cloth waiting for our arrival. He first took us to see his greenhouse garden where we got to see how he develops his plants. I had later on asked Edrin where he got the soil that he uses in his garden, and he explained that he got it from Continue reading
Hello blog-readers! Check out a couple more stellar blogs from our Summer Term students. These responses are again referencing the recent two-day kayak trips and SCUBA certification courses the students have been completing during their orientation this past week. Today also marks the beginning of our summer academic rotations, in which students will spend a week in each of the three themes of the summer: Food, Ecology, and Tourism/Development. Keep an eye out for more journal entries as students delve into these themes while contemplating the central question of “How do we live well in a place?”
Starting yesterday, as part of our orientation week, we began SCUBA diving in the Eleuthera Saddle, and today in the Tunnel Rock. At Tunnel Rock, we saw all kinds of neat critters including a school of horse-eyed jacks and a peacock flounder. It was almost overwhelming and unexpected Continue reading
…from Summer Term 2012! We hope you enjoy the music talents of the students and the photo slideshow of changing from a Bahamian flag to an American flag!
Hey parents! This is Isaac and Lucy. Over the past few days students have been separated into two groups for an overnight kayaking trip and a South Eleuthera road trip and the other for SCUBA training. During our kayak trip we were fortunate enough to spot a baby octopus on the beach. It was an amazing experience to watch it change color. That remains one of the highlights of the kayak trip. Meanwhile, the other group of students was learning to SCUBA dive for the first time. We dove to Tunnel Rock and saw tons of unique species like Yellow Snapper, a tiny sea star and the most interesting of all, a Peacock flounder. This was our group’s first dive on a reef and it was a memorable experience for us all.
There’s a new assignment in town this Summer Term, and it’s called a journal entry! Students are being asked to regularly reflect on activities and experiences they have had throughout the day or week. These assignments allow our students to connect information across multiple disciplines, from where our food comes from on an island, to the effects of tourism and development on the surrounding ecosystems and communities. To give you a taste of what these reflections consist of we have included excerpts from two recent journals from Claire Miles and Tommy Robertshaw. Claire just returned from a South Eleuthera Road Trip, where she and 12 other students toured the Rock Sound caves and ocean hole, watched the creation of conch salad from shell to plate, and talked with local Bahamians in Deep Creek settlement. Tommy’s reflection delves into the interconnectedness of local ecosystems and tourism and development after spending the night at Palm Island beach on his two-day kayak trip. Both of these journal entries are excellent examples of the depth of reflection we hope to see in these assignments. Enjoy!
“…Along with the general negative economic trend in the world, Eleuthera is facing a problem with a declining tourism industry, an industry that much of the Bahamas depends on. This makes me wonder, what are people Continue reading
During our first day of SCUBA diving, Weston and I, Lizzie, were the two Caciques. Having opposite amounts of experience, I was extremely nervous, whereas Weston was eager to jump in. The first dive did not sit well with me. I hopped out of the water and went to lunch, but could not stop thinking about my second dive in only forty-five minutes. When I reached the bottom of my second dive, my fears suddenly melted away as I explored the beautiful, Bahamian scenery. Although my SCUBA diving experience got off to a rocky start, I couldn’t help but love the beautiful scenery 25 feet below the surface.
My name is Weston Albury and I was one of the Caciques yesterday and Wednesday night. I was chosen by Tommy and Larissa for my amazing energy and uplifting attitude. As part of the SCUBA program for the first week we had a really fun couple of days. I was part of team barracuda and we had a really fun time. On the first day we did a confined water dive off the dock. After lunch we went on our first open water dive to a place called the saddle. This is the name of the dive site because the bottom is in the shape of a saddle. I loved diving in the saddle because there were these really cool walls that went up the sides of the saddle that had some juvenile fairy basslets. Today I will be SCUBA certified and can go diving with anyone!
Kayak Caciques Silas and Aiko!
While on the K1 trip we stopped and learned about mangrove trees. Continue reading
Hello Island School parents!
This is the first of many daily updates from the Caciques! “Cacique” is a Lucayan word for leader, so each day we pass off the Cacique role to two new student leaders of the day. Even after only two full days on campus, we’ve already had a handful of great experiences! One of the most notable was our float down the Current Cut, a small man-made channel with a quick current running through it. During the course of our dive, we encountered a plethora of colorful aquatic life including Nassau groupers, barracudas, nurse sharks, schoolmaster snapper, and jacks. George’s ankles have been severely bitten by bugs because he has no hair in said location. But don’t worry Mr. and Mrs. Reich, he is thriving in this uniquely humid environment, and is maintaining his perfectly coiffed hair which we all enjoy.
On a different note, the morning exercise has been both challenging and exciting. Continue reading
After many weeks of anticipation, the Summer Term 2012 students have finally arrived on campus! They spent a packed first day together, beginning with a short snorkel to a wreck off of Boys Dorm Beach. David touched a sea cucumber for the first time and Bethlehem discovered her love of sea biscuits – a small glimpse into the innumerable new discoveries awaiting each student over the course of the summer. Later in the morning, we talked about the geography of The Bahamas and Eleuthera, and then raced each other in a sustainable systems scavenger hunt as a first introduction to some of The Island School’s eco-friendly systems. Students this semester are split into “work groups” and assigned a color.
Energy levels are high and students and faculty are bursting with excitement as we hit the ground running for an intense next six weeks. Stay tuned for more from updates from the Summer Term 2012 team!
If anyone is excited about the upcoming start of Summer Term, it’s Fritter. He has been lonely these past few weeks with the absence of students on campus, and is especially excited to see so many new faces and to practice begging for his typical six meals a day. He has remained camped out on the deck, alternating between keeping an eye out for arriving students and napping in his chair.
However, Fritter is not the only one looking forward to the student’s arrival. The Summer Term team has been prepping for the past week, with new mentors running around campus discovering our sustainable systems and then venturing out to explore the island of Eleuthera. We are all ready and excited to kick off the Summer Term once all of the students are on campus. All that is left to do is wait!