Closing Words: Kendra

I cannot explain or describe well enough how incredibly amazing this course was, it was honestly the best month of my life and I already wish I was back because I miss it so much. Academically, I learned so much in terms of the nursing and teaching elements, and I learned a lot about the Bahamian culture. In my exploration experiences, I learned a lot about myself and feel I have grown as a person for the better, from those experiences. Some of my top and most favorite highlights from the trip was probably visiting the glass window, scuba diving, the home-stay visit, Junior Junkanoo and the wellness fairs, specifically the one we had at the baseball game in Rock Sound. They were by far the most beautiful and fun experiences I had on the entire trip.

One of the best things about the trip that I liked was meeting all these new people who taught me so much and knew so much. It was the most interesting and memorable experiences I had during this trip, because those stories I was told by various people, will stick with me for the rest of my life. I learned to take chances and risks by doing something new or out of your comfort zone. I learned that material things in life are not important but the relationships you build with people are. I learned to be more laid-back and worry less about the little things that don’t really matter in the long run.

For future students who decide to take this course, I would say that come into this entire month with no preconceptions because then you can experience everything fully and go into everything with a positive attitude and open mind, because I found that made my experience that much better. I also would says take every opportunity you are given, because the ones you are usually unsure about tend to be the best experiences. Lastly, I would say to future students, have fun and enjoy yourself and everything you do because it is gone before you know it and it is an experience you will always miss and want to go back to.

I learned a lot about myself during this experience that allowed me to grow as a person. I found out that I am happiest when I am relaxed and more laid back, and that it is important not to stress out or worry about small things because I found out, those things I thought were important are actually not important at all. Another thing I learned about myself after doing this course is that I want to be a travel nurse or I want to do my practice in another country for a few years. I loved the people I was working with and I loved learning about the different culture and people I worked with. I also learned that I want to become a certified scuba diver, something I thought I would never do. There are so many more things I have learned and I loved every opportunity and experience I had, that I could go on about each one in detail but instead

I’d like to wrap up by saying, this was by far the best month of my life and I would like to thank everyone who made this experience possible. Now onto my next adventure, nursing school!

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Central Eleuthera High School, Emma Cooper Primary School, Tippy’s and Beach House: Kendra Howard (1-30)

Leaving at 8:30 this morning, we all knew we had a busy day ahead of us because we weren’t going to be back to the Island School until around midnight. But it was definitely a day well worth it. We had our last day of teaching today, it was very bittersweet. I have loved teaching the students about diabetes and I felt like everyone had finally become comfortable interacting with all the different age groups and had the knowledge and information needed to be taught down to a tee.

Teaching with Ms. Pauls

Teaching at Central Eleuthera High School with Ms. Pauls

First we went to Central Eleuthera High School where we had two twelfth grade classes and an eleventh grade class to teach, so we split into three groups to teach. I started in the classroom, as was Pendrey before the two of us were pulled aside to take some of the faculty members’ blood glucose levels and blood pressure. It was super fun! I had not yet had the opportunity to test people at the schools we have visited and it turned out to be really great! We definitely had some laughs while testing the faculty and the people we were testing made a little competition out of it, which was great to see. After we tested everyone that wanted it done, Pendrey and I went back to our separate classrooms for the end of the teaching session. This high school group was hard to interact with and keeping their attention was nearly impossible, which made it difficult to teach. It was still a great experience working with the older students because my class was full of 25 twelfth graders, so they were already pretty educated about Type II Diabetes.

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Learning how to crack a coconut.

After we finished, we all headed to lunch with one of Janet and Jay’s good friend, who they call their “Bahama Mama,” Mrs. Paulette. She was a hoot! I loved talking with her! The first thing she did when I met her was give me a huge a hug, and it was so sweet. We ate our packed lunch on a dock at the beach in Palm Meadow Point, which was beautiful. At one point during our lunch break Dave and Casey found a coconut and decided to break it open. It was the highlight of our lunch because we all were able to try fresh coconut water and the meat of the coconut.  It was seriously the best coconut I have ever had.

Teaching at Emma Cooper

Emma Cooper Primary School

Then we went to the last school we would teach at for the trip Emma Cooper Primary School. It was the perfect place to end because we all were able to teach the class together. It was a huge class  of third through sixth graders. It was so hot in the classroom! Everyone was sweaty, so we taught for about 30-45 minutes about diabetes, which was fun because the kids were so polite and participated every chance they had. After we taught, we decided to go play outside for about another hour. We played basketball, soccer, duck-duck-goose and danced around their play area. I had a blast! It could not have been a better place to end our teaching experience in the Bahamas.

After we finished teaching we had a really fun evening planned. We went to a beach on the Atlantic side, which was probably the most beautiful and amazing beach I had swam in and been on all trip. The water was so clear and warm and it looked and felt like I was swimming in a saltwater pool or something. And then of course the sand was pink and the softest and finest sand I have felt yet. It was a great place to relax with everyone. We all swam for about an hour and then layed out until we headed over for what would be a delicious dinner at a restaurant called Tippy’s. The food was absolutely amazing and it was just an all around fun dinner to say the least.

dinner at Tippies

Dinner at Tippys

Once everyone was in a food coma, Janet and Jay decided to take us to this place called the Beach House. It was a poppin’ place. There was live music, dessert and drinks, so we all hung out there for the rest of the night and danced to some real authentic Bahamian music. It was a blast and I didn’t want to leave! Today was an incredible day and I am definitely going to miss teaching the students during the last couple days that we have left here in the Bahamas, but I would not have wanted today to end any other way.

Kendra Howard

Deep Creek Primary School: Kendra Howard

Deep Creek Primary School Grades 3-6.

Deep Creek Primary School Grades 3-6.

Seriously today was such a full and amazing day, and it’s not even over yet! Wake up call was early again because we had breakfast at 8:15 a.m. and then we were off to Deep Creek Primary School to teach another class of fifth and sixth graders. Everyone in our group ran the presentation just like yesterday, only today went a little more smoothly. But both have been great! Everyone spoke their parts super well. Miranda opened and did the introduction and got all the kids talking right away, David and Amelia talked about the physiology aspect of Type 2 Diabetes, Hannah talked about the symptoms, Veronica and I talked about the complications involved and Sarah and Katie talked about prevention of Type 2 Diabetes through diet and Pendrey and Casey explained how exercise can help prevent the complications of diabetes as well. Then we played games with the students, they had tons of fun and so did I. After we taught for about an hour we went back to the Island School to learn about our host families that we will be going to tomorrow night.

Kendra and Miranda leading the nutrition section.

Kendra and Miranda leading the nutrition section.

Bahamacats discussing diabetes at Deep Creek Primary School

Bahamacats discussing diabetes at Deep Creek Primary School

Then we all ate an amazing lunch and did some service on the Island School, ripping cardboard and sorting through wood and plastic things to dispose correctly, it was cool. One disappointment of the day was the lack of bull sharks seen during the shark feeding. We saw one or two during what seemed like an hour of waiting and watching for them. It was a lot of anticipation for not much of a show but we will go back to actually see a show.

After that we went and read to the children in the after school program at Deep Creek and it was great, we played basketball and bump and it was just a blast. The kids loved it! I loved be involved and playing! Then we came back to the Island School and ate dinner and played Apples to Apples, it’s been blast and I wish I could stay up forever but I can’t! There is a full moon with some clouds and stars and it is amazing. The pictures do not do this beautiful place justice, but try to imagine how wonderful it is here. Tomorrow is another day full of adventure and I can’t wait!

Casey

Casey

Kendra

Kendra

Veronica

Veronica

Amelia

Amelia

Katie

Katie

Pendry

Pendry

Hannah

Hannah

David

David

Sarah

Sarah

Miranda

Miranda

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First night in Nassau: Kendra Howard

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Running on little to no sleep…our group met at the airport at 4 a.m. Hannah, Sarah, Katie, David, Casey, Miranda, Amelia, Pendrey, Janet, Jay and myself all checked our bags through Delta and boarded the plane shortly after. We officially departed from Portland at 6 a.m. We arrived in Atlanta for a 4-hour layover; I fell asleep on the ground at the terminal after stuffing my face with Qdoba. Everyone looked like walking zombies, but super excited at the same time. It really started to hit that we were leaving for the Bahamas once we boarded the plane going to Nassau from Atlanta after a long day of sitting in the airport. I slept the whole time luckily and I think almost everyone else did too, but this flight was shorter than the first. From Atlanta to Nassau we had a one hour and 37 minute flight. Once we arrived, the warm humidity hit and there was an overwhelming excitement throughout the group. Everyone was beginning to realize that we had actually made it to the Bahamas and the adventures were about to begin! After loading up a cart with all of our luggage and a small bus ride later, we are at the hotel. (We didn’t pack all that light, as you can see!!)

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I am writing this blog from the hotel, which is called Orangehill. It is a really cute place with a nice pool and the beach is right across the street! It is pretty hot especially because of the humidity so I think a couple of us are going to take a quick dip in the pool to cool off before going to bed because tomorrow is going to be a long, busy and memorable day!

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