Closing Words: Casey

How can I even begin to describe this course in one final blog post? It was memorable in so many ways and I am happy that I got to experience the Bahamian culture with this group of students and the two wonderful professors that we had leading us. Obviously, I had never taken a class in another country, and I was unsure on how I would adjust to this new challenge. It turned out to be the greatest trip that I have ever been on. These last four weeks have provided the perfect balance of academics and enjoyable adventures. The majority of our time was spent doing diabetes outreach education to over 200 students ranging from 3rd grade to high school on the island of Eleuthera. By teaching these students about diabetes prevention, and the consequences that can arise from diabetes, we as teachers also got to learn so many new things about this global epidemic. Along with the teaching aspect of the course, we spent time putting on wellness fairs for various communities on the island. This allowed us to check things like blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and other general health factors and then gave them checkup sheets that they could give to their nurse or doctor. It gave us all such a good feeling inside knowing what a difference we were making in the world by helping citizens in rural areas fight this silent, killer disease.

Of course, we had to fit a little bit of fun into this trip so we didn’t go crazy! Between snorkeling above beautiful reefs, laying out on pink sand beaches, and going on an amazing three day kayak trip down the coast, I feel we accomplished our goals of “fun”. Without having some of this down time built in, it would be really difficult to stay focused on our objectives the entire trip. By the end we would have all felt pretty worn out and not been able to provide adequate presentations in the classrooms that we were lucky enough to teach in. To travel all the way to The Bahamas and not enjoy some of the amenities that these beautiful islands have to offer would just be ludicrous. This trip allowed me to see who I am right now, and who I could be in the future. It opened my eyes, touched my heart, and showed me that sometimes, there are more important things in life than money. If a student were to ask me whether or not they should take this course I would probably tell them that if they are interested in outreach education or experiencing a completely new culture and lifestyle than this is the course for them. It is a trip that nobody would want to miss out on. I have absolutely no regrets from taking this course and can say with complete honesty that I am a better person now that I got to experience this beautiful country in this context. Thank you to all who kept up with reading our blog! Carpe Diem everyone!