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The first Cacique post by Camden Hills, visiting Educational Program

August 19, 2011

Hello Parents, Teachers, and Friends!

This is our second full day in the Bahamas, and I think I speak for everyone when I say that we are having one of the most incredible experiences of our lives. It is difficult to describe in words the time we are having, but it is unlike anything that we have ever experienced before. It is not what I would describe as a vacation- it is much more like an expedition. We are eating totally delicious food, much of which is very different from food in the states. We have seen some of the most interesting marine life there is, including the Queen Angelfish (I suggest you search for some images, it is a really spectacular fish). Finally we have had some of the most intense experiences of our lives.

When we first woke up, we went down to the beach and went for a short jog and swim to wake ourselves up and get ready for the day. After breakfast we went on a boat to the sand bar to explore. It was absolutely amazing! The blue sea stretched forever, as we jumped from the boat and trudged against the current to get to the beachy part. Then we all got on our fins and were set out to snorkel around and see what we could find. We saw all sorts of fish, like a spotted moray eel, sea biscuits, cushion sea stars, cocoa damselfish, donkey dung (sea cucumbers), conch, and tons of others! Also, can’t forget when Tess found the coolest rock. We went back on the beach and sat in a circle and talked about how the sand bar formed. We learned that the sand there forms perfectly and played some games. Matt taught us all the game “Ooid”, and Shayna was the piece of fecal pellet. Then we taught everyone how to play the game “Wa”. It was so much fun to be on that isolated island and look around and see how genuinely happy everyone was to be there. Sure, some of us had sunburns, and others bug bitten. But while we were standing in a circle, I could see everyone smiles and hear all of their laughs.

In the afternoon, Tiffany brought us to the mangroves on bikes. We learned a lot about how although they are not the most beautiful scenery, they are important to the islands. After this, we biked and got ice cream at a cafe that had air conditioning! It was so nice, after such a long hot day in the sun. The caciques for tomorrow will be Sam, not just for her willingness but happiness in sweeping the sandy dorm floor when no one else wanted to. The other cacique is Marina for being bug bitten all over, but not complaining about it. Everyone’s getting along great and overall, today has been yet another incredible one.

-Chris & Allie

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