Mornings at the Island School begin at 6:15 with a beeping watch and a flick of the light switch. It is never easy dragging myself out of bed but the thought of doing push-ups at circle always gets me going. Once up, I quickly throw on some athletic clothes and grab my sneakers before rushing out of the door. At circle we do a quick count off, go through announcements for the day and then sing the Bahamian National Anthem with pride. After the National Anthem we split into either run or swim track and begin our morning exercise.

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Before beginning our daily run, Sophia (an Island School Student) led us through some stretches. These stretches took us all over campus but ended near the dinning hall so we could all see and appreciate the beautiful red sunrise. Although waking up at 6:15 is definitely not my favorite thing, I look forward to seeing the spectacular sunrises every morning.

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Once we had warmed up and stretched, we headed out to the Marina to do some sprints. The thought of sprints always makes me cringe but luckily today we did them in partner pairs so that one person would be sprinting and the other would be waiting on the bridge, recovering. When it was my turn to run the loop I started with a full-fledged sprint. However, by the time I was halfway through, my lungs felt like they were going to explode and my legs felt like jelly. As I neared the final stretch I was about ready to quit but the sound of everyone cheering kept me going. Once I made it to the top of the bridge I high-fived Will, my partner, and watched him sprint off. It was reassuring to know that I would have at least a few minutes to regain my breath. After morning exercises we all split up into different chore groups. In past chores I’ve had Girls Dorm (which usually means you’re stuck cleaning toilets) and Farm Chores (meaning you get to pick lettuce and other yummy foods). By the end of chores music is always blasting from girls dorm as all the girls begin cleaning their personal space. By 8:15 (maybe 8:30 depending on how messy your personal space is) people are packing into the dinning hall for breakfast. When everyone is done eating Dish Crew stays behind to clean while everyone else prepares for the morning classes.

Will and Don on dish crew

This morning we had a 3-hour Human Ecology block, where we split into our separate groups to work on our projects.

Leigh preps us for our Human Eco block

My group is building a garden for the ELC (Early Learning Center). We spent today talking to Oscar (the head facilities manager) and collecting materials to start building our trellis. When we got back the presentation room we saw Anya, Bailey, Tess and Abbe cutting up coconuts for their new soap product. We all crowded around trying to get a small chunk of coconut to eat before class ended.

Abbe and Anya crackin' coconuts

Once class was over I headed to the dinning hall to grab a quick lunch before research. For Sustainable Fisheries we headed out to Rock Sound, a settlement 30 minutes away, to interview some local fishermen on their perspective of the surrounding marine environment. Ted, a local from Rock Sound who works at The Island School, came with us and introduced us to some fishermen he knows. Both of the interviews we conducted were very successful and we heard some interesting stories about sharks. After a long (and very hot) day, full of interviewing, we headed back to The Island School just in time for dinner circle.

Dinner Circle

At dinner circle we went through all the announcements and then one of the caciques, told the quote of the day; “Speak if only what you have to say is more beautiful than silence”. The quote was followed by a moment of silence. Once dinner circle was finished we all headed to the dinning hall to eat.

FOOD

After dinner my hectic day finally winded down. Since it was a nice night I spent my study hours on the dining hall porch with some other Island School students. We played some music and chatted as we worked on our Art projects. At 10:30 we headed back to the dorm for the night. As soon as I got back to the dorm I collapsed into bed, exhausted after such a busy day.

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by Fiona Ross