[slideshow]

Caciques: Sarah S. and Jack

Our first week at The Island School has come quickly to an end. As the students and faculty begin to know each other more, we are all realizing that not only is this our home for the next three months—it is also our family. Although many hearts on campus are longing for the comfort of their own family, the environment at The Island School creates a sense of community and connectedness that only a home like The Island School itself can provide. Tonight at the dinner circle we demonstrated just how much we support each other. As we stood in a tightly knit circle, all facing the same way, we slowly sat down on each other’s knees. With the support of the one behind us, and with a little trust we all sat holding the collective weight of the community.

As I look above me tonight and the stars that endlessly stretch above me, a feeling of gratitude and pure tranquility overwhelm me. It’s a simple, yet reassuring feeling to know that beauty exists wherever I look--Whether it be in an ocean of blue that surrounds me, or a small shell I find on the shore--All I have to do is look. The people here are who tie the experience together, though. Perhaps it’s a stranger who waves as I ride my bike to the Marina, or Joseph (the Haitian who works on the farm), or simply a fellow Island School student or faculty member who makes your day. Together, with the breathtaking views that surround us, an air of excitement and appreciation launches us into our second week at The Island School.

Sarah S.

“Going Back to The Big ole Blue”

Our class was divided into halves: one starts the week with scuba diving and the other goes on a three day kayak trip. Today, a caravan of four scuba boats headed out into the water where our PADI Scuba certification skills testing continued. My scuba group made heading to the Saddle and Tunnel Rock. First stop was The Saddle where we splashed into the water, doing flips at the seafloor and completing our never-ending certification requirements of scuba skills. After the tests were over we took off for a beautiful dive at the Tunnel Rock. At forty feet below the waters surface, we explored the pristine coral structures, rocky caverns, or the sandy flats with Barracudas and Stingrays passing by in curiosity. With the water’s surface seeming to be a hundred feet above me, and hearing the crashing of waves above, the experience and tranquility was truly one in a million. It was an amazing day and I believe there will be many more while I’m here at The Island School.

Jack