There is no rest for the weary on Cape Eleuthera as Island School and CEI staff geared up for the arrival of visiting high school and college programs on the first of the new year. Throughout the past week, dorms have been readied and Johnny Bread has been prepared for five academic groups eager to see the world in which they live through new and exciting lenses. -The Canterbury School of St. Petersburg, Florida spent last week on its own mini-Island School adventure, complete with a run to High Rock, a Down Island excursion, and even a half-day kayak expedition! Students were oriented to their surroundings through natural history lessons, daily snorkeling, and a trip out to the sand bar to learn all about Ooids.
-The Maine School of Science and Mathematics is nearing the end of its first week in which students have been teamed up with CEI researchers working on both the bonefish and lionfish populations here in Eleuthera. In their down time, they have been able to explore the waters and surrounding beaches on the cape, and have learned about the sustainable systems that keep The Island School running.
-College students from Monmouth University are in their second week of Tropical Marine studies that have taken them from snorkeling 4th Hole and the reef balls to catching bonefish on the Bahamian flats. The group has been able to make their way down island and will conclude their time here with a trip to Lighthouse Beach, but not before a dive at the Exuma Sound Wall and a day full of presentations!
-Williams College has returned to continue the work that its students began last January, this year looking more closely at Permaculture and food security here in Eleuthera. So far, they have met with researchers, community members, and restaurant owners to get a better sense of where what we eat comes from and have had time to venture out on their own around the cape.
-Finally, students from Linfield College in Oregon spent time touring hospitals and clinics in Nassau before touching down here, where they will zero in on public health and—more specifically—type 2 diabetes on the island of Eleuthera. Highlights will include a two-night homestay with local families, a three-day kayak expedition, clinic shadowing, and several presentations to schools based on raising awareness for this important health concern.
In the near future, we look forward to the arrival of our Winter Gap Year scholars and the New York Harbor School in late January. In the meantime, we welcome these schools to our community and wish them the best as they return home filled with the knowledge, experience, and confidence to be champions for themselves, each other, and their planet!