Greetings! Today’s news comes to you from a self-selected squad of eager student journalists. As you will see, it was another action-packed 16 hours of challenge and learning (and some laughter). Some details have been highlighted and others left out entirely. Like all working journalists, these stories were written on a deadline and editing is minimal. Enjoy!
ELLIE: Snorkeling in the sand bar quickly turned scary when a boom of thunder filled the air. We ran out of the water and onto the small patch of sand in the middle of the ocean. Seven of us crouched on the sand, counting the seconds in between thunder and lightning and waited for the boat that had gone back to land to drop of the rest of the group. After what felt like a bajillion years the boat came into sight and we ran through the water to get to where it was anchored, about 200 feet from land. The waves were aggressive as we frantically climbed into the boat. Once safely back on land we realized how lucky we were to be “home.”
KYRA: While life at the Island School can be carefree and fun, there are responsibilities that come with it. We are reminded at many points during the day that we are not in the United States and we have to go out of our way to make the community run smoothly. For example, on the first day we headed to dinner as soon as we arrived. I enjoyed the delicious options and beautiful variety while talking with my friends. Feeling carefree, I cleared my plate and started to head towards my dorm, but I was stopped by the realization that I had a job to do when staff asked for volunteers. Some friends and I were lead to the kitchen where we spent roughly twenty minutes scraping, cleaning and putting away dishes. Everyone has to do this every few meals. Every time I remember that it is my turn to be on dish crew I get slightly worried, simply because it is another thing to keep track of. We also have to remember to be conscious of the water we use, where we put our trash, etc. There are so many fun things to do here and it is easy to forget the responsibilities of being in a new community.
LINDSEY: Everyday, after fun filled activities, we get two hours of “exploration time”. During this, we can do and go wherever we want. Today, after swimming through the mangroves, I was glad to relax on my bed for the whole of our free time. I have also done many other fun activities during this time. One day, I went swimming in the beach right outside our door with a group of people. We found starfish, and talked while sitting in the shallow water. Another day, the whole Brookwood group went out to a store to buy food. A lot of us (including me) had whole pints of ice cream. That was a very delicious but stomach ache inducing trip. Exploration time may be my favorite part of every day.
SOPHIA: I tasted the salt in my hair as it whipped through the wind. Though Micah (as usual) was on the brink of throwing up, we still had a blast as he spurted out his thoughts. For example, “Why can fish swim through water but we can’t fly through air?” and many more. As our boat pulled up to the mooring, we got on our gear and dove in. Under the choppy water we saw the huge cage, as promised. I grabbed Micah, my swim buddy, and we followed the little schools of sergeant majors (fish) and jacks. The cage looked about 50 yards in width, covered in algae and a wonderful home for the fish. Out of the corner of my eye I saw frantic pointing and shoving. I made my way to the scene. Everyone was circled above a shark! I put out a muffled “wow” through my snorkel and continued to explore. In a blink of an eye, we were on the boat on the way home, with more of Micah’s quease-induced thoughts, dreaming of those wonderful fish and shark.
ELLA: The strong current pulled at the group, leaving us struggling through the almost waist deep water. There was a short stop where we learned about the types of mangroves, and a short rhyme to help us remember them: “Red, red pointy head. Black, Black salty back. White, white hold on tight.” Of course being us we were all chattering loudly and laughing until we fell as the sandy ground dipped and swerved. Half way up the stream the teachers stopped us, challenging us to be quiet for at least 5 minutes. We all lasted till the end of the stream where we then waited for the sand to settle so we could begin the journey downstream. 5 minutes later we were all floating in the stream with our faces in the water. The current carried us and soon we were on our way. On the sides of the stream fish lurked in the root of the mangroves. There were yellow tailed, juvenile schoolmaster snappers, a brown spotted French snapper, and spiky, blown up pufferfish. Soon we were at the end of our adventure and it was time to go back to the vans for a short car trip back to the Island School.
ANNABELLE: Every day we are pleasantly surprised. All of the sudden the sky turns dark, and thunder crashes. Whenever the sky goes dark we all sigh because we know our drying clothes and towels will soon be soaked. The rain begins to pour loudly, and lightning strikes. Although this event usually ends up with soaking clothes and wet shoes, it’s quite beautiful. The lightning strikes the dark air and pierces the sky. But it doesn’t always turn out wetting our belongings. One of the most beautiful things I have ever seen is the heat lighting. Actually, as I am writing this, lighting is cracking the inky sky. The air is humid but there’s no rain or thunder in sight. Only five minutes ago I saw the shape of crooked light interrupting the sky. I feel that the heat lighting, and the thunder storms are a huge part of the Bahamian culture.
Oh, the drama!
Tomorrow we run, swim, snorkel, and eat some more. ‘Til then, we sleep. Good night!