“Get out and do something.”  That is something my parents have made sure I never forget. No matter what everybody else is doing, stretch beyond it. Be stronger. Be different. Do things nobody else around you ever thought they could. I think one of the major points of my worldview is that people like to stay in a very cozy comfort zone, and those who push out of that restricting bubble are the ones who make a difference in the world. These first lines of Tai Massimilian's Eleutheros essay this week caught our attention. Her style, reflection and distinct voice were just what we need in a Daily Update writer. So, with culmination of the first two week rotation, saying goodbye to Eric Witte and his excellent work, we decided to invite Tai to take over as student blogger for the next rotation. Please enjoy her personal insights and daily observations as blog author for the next two week, starting with today...

Daily Update: This weekend the Island School students were fully engaged in Bahamian culture. Saturday morning, after a long 6 mile run for the runners and 1 mile swim for the swimmers, we left in vans to be dropped off in different settlements with Bahamian families. I had the privilege of traveling to Tarpum Bay, Eleuthera for what I thought was to be a day of sitting in a house conducting interviews. But, as the Island School usually goes, I was pushed out of my comfort zone and pleasantly surprised.

Upon arriving in Tarpum Bay, 45 minutes off of campus, Bobette, my host mother, told my group that she had to pick up her daughter and would be back in a couple hours. My group made the decision to walk into the settlement, take pictures, and talk to locals to try and learn more about Tarpum Bay.

After wandering around the waterside streets and saying hello to just about every single person we passed by, as is the Tarpum Bay way, we found ourselves in a tiny bakery with no sign in the front. The inside swirled with smells of coconut bread and cinnamon buns. We were met by a man named Dino.

Dino was originally fromNassau, but moved toTarpumBayeight years ago and started his own bakery. The bakery was very small, with one oven, one stove, one sink, and one employee – Dino. We helped Dino make apple turnovers and cinnamon twists while he told us about life in Eleuthera - how it was slow and simple. While I was rolling out dough it occurred to me that I was in Histories class, and I had already absorbed more information than I ever could from a textbook.

That night, all the students joined my group in Tarpum Bay at the second annual Tarpum Bay Cultural Fair. The night was filled with music, dancing, conch fritters and barbecue chicken. We even got up on stage to learn a dance from a few of the girls from Tarpum Bay! The night was definitely an awesome highlight of the semester. I know I can speak for everyone in my semester when I say we can’t wait for what’s to come. We’re learning so much and having tons of fun in the process.