Greetings From Eleuthera! As the first academic rotation comes to a near close, we are amazed at the knowledge we have learned. Whether we have been wiring an off-grid system at the Center for Sustainable Development, snorkeling through mangroves or heading off on the Down-Island Overnight Trip, these past days have been transforming for us. It is amazing how fast time here on Eleuthera is flying, so it is important for us to cherish the time that we have left together. From laying under the magnificent starry sky, to stretching by the sunrise for our community run, our sense of place on Eleuthera and the bonds we have made with each other are stronger than ever.
This morning’s exercise through the Inner Loop challenged many of us, as we were told to run for twenty minutes, turn around, and run twenty minutes back to campus. Forty minutes of running sounded impossible to achieve, but as the smell of fresh rain wafted in the air, we all set out and did it. Whether we took a minute to walk, ran slowly or sprinted the entire way, every one of us finished with a smile on our face and a feeling of accomplishment.
During the morning class, a group of students in the Sustainable Systems rotation watched a documentary about Cuba’s response to a cut-off of energy resources when the Soviet Union collapsed in the 1990’s. After watching for a while, we gathered around a large table and jumped into discussion about whether or not an energy cut-off could occur in the United States, and if so, how we would respond to it. Many in the group had varying opinions and points to make, which only made the discussion richer and more intriguing. It is amazing how eager the students here at the Island School are to learn and to talk about ideas that get us excited.
This afternoon, the Marine Ecology class traveled to Tunnel Rock for scuba diving, in attempts to find and study invertebrates on the reef. As we approached the site, the usual nerves and excitement hit as we strapped our gear on and rolled backwards off the boat into the calm, warm water. While descending into the ocean, our dive leader pointed out to our immediate left a two- foot long barracuda menacingly watching us go down. After descending into the extensive sea, we broke off into groups and swam around the reef. The silence of the ocean put us in the present moment, and reminded us to stay connected to where we are.
As these last few days have flown by, we are amazed that we have learned so much about ourselves and about the world in such a short time. We are eager to keep learning, to keep asking questions, and to solidify the bonds that we have started to cultivate.
Isabel and Tyler