Ten Link 7th and 8th grade students along with two staff as chaperones are attending The Island School in Eleuthera, The Bahamas for a week’s study of marine ecology, sustainability and Bahamian culture. Students will swim, snorkel, camp on the beach, explore the island including a cave and a banyan grove, eat a meal at a traditional Bahamian restaurant, dissect sea life, and so much more!. Check back here every day to see what the students are doing and learning each day. Next week we will post photos from their expedition! This opportunity was made available through a grant from Novartis to Link Education Partners.
Today, was the first day of the Island School Expedition. I can honestly say that it was a long day because of all the traveling we did. It was my first plane ride and it was really inconvenient when your ears would pop during the plane ride. The Bahamas is extremely beautiful and we’ve already seen a bit of it when we went to Nassau (New Providence). At the moment, our group is having fun and getting to know each other. We wake up 6:00 AM tomorrow to get ready for a 6:30 AM activity. Light’s are out at 10:00 PM. I’m excited to see what the day will bring tomorrow. ~ Edwina
Today was nothing short of spectacular. Although it may have started of on a bumpy road, at the end we all became a little closer to each other through our experiences and challenges. At 6:30 am, we started with morning exercise in the water practicing our swimming abilities where the water was cold and rocks were sharp. Then after breakfast, we took a tour of the Island School. We learned all about sustainability and how they are all about being eco-friendly. Later, after lunch, the morning exercise had prepared us for snorkeling at a beautiful sandy beach and we saw all types of marine life! I even collected a few seashells! However, the snorkeling was somewhat annoying because at some point we got tons of saltwater in our mouths. Last but not least, we had a night wade where we went out into the water at night and went searching for a few nocturnal sea creatures. We looked at a conch who whipped out of its shell like an alien! Mr. Hogan was so scared he shrieked. Now its the end of a long and great day, can’t wait for tomorrow! ~ Sabriyah
We started the day off with potatoes and egg squares. Then we began our down island trip/camping excursion (an off-campus trip to a few amazing sites). At our first stop, we entered a cave filled with rocks and bats. That cave led to the ocean and was referred to as an ocean hole. After that, we went to an ocean hole that we were actually able to swim and snorkel in. We then went to a bakery that had the best homemade cheese and coconut danishes. We then traveled to an amazing pink sand beach which came with high tides and crashing waves. After that we went to the beach that we camped at. We ate stir fry and collected fire wood (by the way Khyri collected the most fire wood). Then we set up our tents and went off to bed. ~ Khyri
The next morning, we woke up and packed the camp up and went to Preachers Cave. It was called that because the pirates that crashed at our campsite hundreds of years ago held church there. Chris K. and Jalen Coleman preached a quick sermon that left us all in laughter. Then we left the cave and went to another cave that was partially underwater. Which was awesome because there was reddish brown clay (which Ms.Snyder and some students rubbed on themselves to looked like tribal tattoos) that came from sand from The Sahara in Africa. Bernice and Jade were really adventurous by guiding us out the cave. After finding our way out the cave, we revisited the bakery to grab a quick bite. For the last time on this down island trip, we drove to a beach to eat our lunch. For the final trip before we came back to our dorms, we saw the Banyan Tree surrounded by horse feces and gnats (positivity is power.) After our relieving 1 minute showers, we went to a wonderful dinner where we ate lion fish, brown rice, french fries, etc. We ended our night off with a documentary on the 6th mass extinction on Earth with another school. Now we are ready to sleep cozily in our beds; hope you are too. ~ Bernice
In the morning, we all woke up and went to the sandbar. We traveled by boat . A sandbar is a long, narrow sand bank. Jalen Coleman found an alive conch shell. Then we all ate breakfast and we split into two groups. Jade, Zabria, Jalen Canada, and Kwanique were in the sea turtle group. The other group that consisted of Bernice, Khyri, Jalen Coleman, Sabriyah, and Edwina headed to the sting rays. Our group caught two turtles and saw eight. We took measurements of the length and width of the turtles, we finally headed back to eat lunch.
All groups switched. My group went to catch sting rays while the other went to the sea turtles. Kwanique was smacked in the face by the sting ray. Luckily, he’s okay and has recovered. We caught two of the biggest female sting rays according to Dr. Owen. Group #2 saw 12 sea turtles. At the end of the day we dissected a lion-fish and hung out in the common area after we discussed tomorrow’s schedule. ~ Bernice and Kwanique
Today we started the day out riding bikes for a half hour ride (Khyri, Bernice, Kwanique, and Edwina rode in a van) to High Rock Cliff. After arriving to High rock we jumped off the cliff one by one into the Caribbean Sea. Then after riding back to the campus we had breakfast and lucky for us it was oatmeal day (which is like a holiday around here, oh and because Jade does not like oatmeal she had about four of their delicious home-made muffins with butter). Next we took a look into aqua culture in which we went out into the rocky, choppy, 85 ft deep waves of sea. Although some people got sea sick and or got somewhat freaked out with the roaring deep sea (Jade bravely took on the challenge and actually stayed in longer than any of the other students [at that end Mr. Hogan crazily stripped off his life jacket and tried to see how deep he could go in the water] which made Jade get out cause she did not want to see him drown). After returning to shore we went to lunch and enjoyed some delicious pork ribs and red beans and rice (not the Popeye’s kind). Soon after lunch we took on aqua-ponics learning about how the lettuce is grown and how the fish (tilapia) is raised and filleted. Then we had a bit of free time where some of the girls hung out in the dorm and others caught up on some sleep or packed their bags for the next activity and or to go home. Dinner was pretty tasty, we had pulled pork stew and moist, buttery corn bread and with other optional side choices. Our after dinner activity was hiking through an abandoned little resort, (abandoned in the 70’s) in the dark checking out old, broken down buildings. After that we came back to the campus and chilled until now. ~ Jade and Khyri
Today will be something to remember in our lives. We all started off with a great game called Nukem. It might be a silly game but we got use to it. Next, we were get ready to go to the dining hall for breakfast. We had french toast, sausage, grapefruit, and orange, with orange juice. Then, came the our arrival to Light House Beach. We had to walk to destination once we got out the van. Some of us had a problem with walking for 45 minutes there and back, but we all stayed strong and pulled through. That was one of the nicest beaches we have ever seen, except for the fact that some of us got pricked by tiny death stars( spiky tree seeds that thrown in the ground). We had so much fun. We also checked out the old light house and the great view. When we got back, we have done a few chores because we were packing up for tomorrow. After dinner, we came to the octagon to snack on some cookies and marshmallows, we also shared some good things from our week. It felt special to my friends and me.Can’t wait to see you guys in Jersey! ~ Chris, Khyri and Jade
After a long day of travel, students and chaperones arrived safely at Link, happy for the adventure but happy also to be reconnected with their loved ones!