Over the weekend, Island School students made their first visits to the host families that they will be interviewing for their Oral History Projects for Histories Class.  Some folks lounged around with members of the family and got to know them, other groups baked Johnnycake, and other students walked around the settlement with their hosts.  The groups of students were dispersed around Deep Creek, Waterford, Green Castle, Tarpum Bay, and Rock Sound. The project’s goal is that each group will make a video of each family’s oral history after a semester of time spent interviewing and learning about them. The families will receive the videos as gifts.  At Tarpum Bay, my group enjoyed getting to know Bobette while she led us around the settlement.  She told us about her history in Tarpum Bay, and introduced us to all of the folks that we met while touring the picturesque town.  She explained the tradition that Tarpum Bay was one of the only settlements to have fresh fish and conch every day. Later, back on campus for our Saturday night activity, the students enjoyed a dance on the roof of the dining hall. Sunday the inner loop was opened for the first time after an exploration exercise on Friday that got students familiarized with it. We explored the area on all sorts of adventures, however, much of our free time focused on the beauty of the ocean around us. A large group of students went to High Rock and went snorkeling.  This group found a stingray and swam with it.  Another group went out with Stephen Connett and his partner Barbara on a turtle surveying expedition.  In order to catch the turtles, the Stephen and Barbara used a student crew to help them track and actually catch the turtles.  Our methods involved chasing after the turtle and then dropping in a snorkeler.  We measured the turtles, recorded tag numbers, checked for overall health, and then released the turtles back into the water.  Sunday was an exciting day.

As we look forward into the week, we begin our second week of classes, and research projects prepare to begin our fieldwork.  The students, after adjusting to their classes over the first week, are excited for another week of learning and exploring.