Monday was the first full day that all of the 48 Island School students were back together as a whole community. For the past three crazy weeks students have been split up in a combination of exhausting eight-day kayak trips, exciting down Island trips and a usual academic week.
I started with the academic week which was very relaxing after our crazy midterms week. Although we were still on campus there was plenty of fun things to do; night dives, yoga, free dives, an earth day celebration and best of all a rake and scrape dance class.
Then my small group of twelve embarked on our Down Island trip where we got to visit tourist destinations and resorts to see how tourism has affected Eleuthera and the greater Bahamas. Highlights of the Down Island trip included visiting a ginormous banyan tree, exploring Harbor Island, indulging in all of the sweets and food that we have missed at the Island School, jumping off a twenty foot cliff into a beautiful blue hole, and the Hatchet Bay caves where we got to paint our bodies with red mud.
When we returned to campus with our stomachs substantially full and our faces a little redder we had to immediately pack for our eight-day kayak trip. This entailed packing six days of food, kayaks, personal and other gear.
After we had a last good nights rest in our beds we woke up early the next morning at 6:30 and finished getting our kayaks packed up and ready. I can easily say that for most of us the eight-day kayak trip and the two-day solo were probably the hardest experiences of our life. With around five hours of paddling per day in the hot sun (don’t worry we were equipped with plenty of sunscreen) the first four days were pretty difficult. On the fourth day we finally reached light-house beach where we had our much anticipated solos.
The 48 hours we all spent separately alone on the beach with very limited resources were spent in various ways. Some people spent the whole time busy adventuring into the coppice others swam, sunbathed and danced on the beach. Personally I spent a lot of time reflecting and writing in my placebook with the occasional visit into the coppice to open up a coconut.
Time at the Island School constantly feels like it goes by quickly so I really enjoyed the time to decompress and step back from all of the experiences that have occurred thus far in the semester. As Klem my group leader said at the end of the solo when we returned as a group, whether you made sense of you solo now or sometime later in your life it is an incredibly valuable experience.
Lastly, we spent our final two days paddling before we returned to the Island School Campus. After a relaxing Sunday where we could shower with fresh water and get a good nights sleep in a real bed we have a normal week of classes.
Students on campus are all so excited for the arrival of there parents which is only a week away but we are also gearing to organize the art show and research symposiums which will both be a huge part of parents weekend.
Like I said before, time passes by quickly at the Island School so I’m sure that we’ll see our parents in no time but for now it feels like there is so much to do before then. It’s hard to believe that the semester is coming close to the end (less then a month but whose counting). After Parents weekend we will only have two more weeks on the wonderful Island of Eleuthera.
But as a quote once said at dinner circle said, “Don’t count the days, make the days count.”
by Faith Isham