When people ask me how my trip was my response is always the same, “It was the best time of my life, I want to go back”. That’s pretty much all there is to say. I feel like we did a lot of good things for the communities that we were apart of for the month. In the first few days on Nassau we toured clinics, nursing homes, and a soup kitchen asking questions to get a better idea of how health care in the Bahamas was different from that of the US. Although a difference in technology was distinguishable, the Bahamians were getting cared for with the same or more compassion that we give. I was excited to learn about and administer foot examinations. On Eleuthera our focus was educating the people of the Bahamas about the risk factors, complications, prevention techniques, and disease itself. We visited a number of primary and secondary schools and put on a handful of wellness fairs to get the word out to people that Diabetes is a real thing that is becoming more common. I think it is important to note that the children of the Bahamas seemed to be more responsive to the advice we were giving than the adults. I don’t know if this surprised me, but I am hopeful that the youth will make changes to decrease the number of diabetes diagnoses in years to come.
Our free time was spent making a number of unforgettable memories and connections. We spent the first weekend on Eleuthera with a host family. I could not be happier with my placement. Casey and I made some friends that we are still in contact with via Facebook. Gwen, our host mom, treated us like kings and I wont ever be able to thank her enough. We visited a beautiful botanical garden and learned about the native bush medicine of the Bahamas. During the second weekend on Eleuthera we were able to participate in a countrywide festival, Jr. Junkanoo. Pictures tell the story better than I can but they still don’t do it justice. Our two and a half day kayak trip is also too exciting for words. I swam with five spotted eagle rays in a blue hole and one of them was nearly as wide as my wing span (6’6.5”)! Those activities only took up our “scheduled free time”. I spend our free time free time doing the best snorkeling of my life on some of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen, meeting a ton of new people each from a different place, and making countless memories with my fellow compatriots. I am a sucker for sunsets. I think 85% of the pictures I took on this trip are of a sunset. Something about them makes me feel good inside and out. Let me tell you I was feeling good the whole entire trip. My fellow trip mates couldn’t stop me from singing songs of joy daily. I had my own chair over there at sunset beach and was in it every night I could be to watch the sun go down before dinner. I will miss those sunsets.
In closing, I had the best time of my life over there on the small island of Eleuthera and I can’t wait to go back. I fell in love with everything about island life. This experience sparked an interest in me to travel more. I feel that each journey I take outside of the US makes me a more well rounded individual. I can’t wait to see what the next adventure has to offer. If I were to offer some advice to others thinking about studying abroad it would be; Say yes to every thing but drugs. This means go into the journey with an open mind. Try to meet as many people as possible. Learn about them and how they came to be. Experience everything you possibly can (that is morally acceptable) while on the trip even if it makes you uncomfortable at first. You have to do these things because you never know when you will get the opportunity again.