William and Ian here. This being the last blog post, we would like to use this time to reflect on the main aspects of the trip.
I think it is safe to say that we all started off extremely excited for the trip but also a bit apprehensive. From the way the trip was described, it almost seemed like a boot camp with its early wake-up times and daily morning exercise. The first day definitely measured up to our expectations. We woke up at 6:10 and made our way to the ocean for a swim test. The sun had yet to come up and simply looking at the water caused shivers all around. I (William) remember thinking that this might not be the two weeks of paradise that I initially expected. Despite everything I had heard from Mr. Daly and Mrs. Becker, I had still expected the trip to be two weeks of paradise with nothing but warm beaches and relaxation. Basically, many of us thought that it would be an extension to winter break. I don’t think any of us could be happier about how wrong that expectation was.
As you know, our days were filled to the brim with activities. We were constantly gaining new experiences and somehow everything done added to our knowledge and appreciation of the oceans. Through snorkeling we were able to see the beauty and majesty of the oceans. We saw scores of fish, rays, and coral. Through documentaries we learned of the delicate balance of marine life unnecessary destruction being done to marine environments. We learned about how fishing and pollution was devastating marine populations. Through work with the Center of Sustainable Development we learned how one can live a less harmful and more sustainable life. We lived without single-use plastics and reused materials that could otherwise harm the environment.
Life at the Island School was another concern that turned into a blessing. The initial reaction to no Wi-Fi or phones was pure horror. However, the lack of a distraction resulted in our group of teenagers doing things completely unheard of for our generation. We talked. We built friendships with people who we didn’t know beforehand. We focused on the here and now. It was amazing what taking phones away did. There were nights when all 20 of us simply went outside and watched the stars for half an hour. We played games, and yes we did sometimes talk about our feelings. We were able to totally immerse ourselves into Island School life and it was one of the most peaceful and content times we had ever experienced.
The trip really was a completely new experience that very few people get to have. We students would like to conclude this blog with a few thank yous.
First, thank you to Logan and Kim for taking time out of your busy schedule. We loved to get to know and really appreciated that you were willing to break the teacher-student gap and get to know us as friends.
Second, we would like to say thank you to everyone at the Island School. From the kitchen staff to the interns to the instructors, everyone was so kind and passionate about their work. The experience would not have been the same without them.
Lastly, we would like to thank Galen and Casey for being the best instructors and companions anyone could ask for. You guys are so knowledgeable and passionate about your respect fields, and your cheerfulness was contagious. We appreciate all the work you guys put in for us, and you guys were the reason why leaving was the hardest part of the trip. Once again I think that Ian and I speak for everybody in saying that you changed our lives and we will truly miss you.
William and Ian