Join Joseph Stambaugh as he Travels Through the Bahamas

Studying in the Bahamas with Joseph:  I started my Bahamas journey by leaving Charleston around 7 am to head to the Indianapolis Airport. Once getting to Indy airport, I met up with my group and met up with Dr. Carter. We all got our boarding passes and began our flight towards to Atlanta for a brief layover. We finally got to Fort Lauderdale that afternoon and took a bus back to our hotel for the night. It was there that I finally met Dr. Lizowski who would be in charge of my learning during the adventure. For dinner 5 others and I decided to take a hotel taxi to go get some crab legs at a authentic seafood restaurant. We found the Rustic Inn and split a bunch of crab legs and coconut shrimp. Actually the coconut was the best dish by far and we wish we would have just ordered that because it was hands down the best we had ever had. After getting back to the hotel, the two guys I would be rooming with (Matt and Tyler) decided to go with me to the hotel’s bar to get a drink before bed. I “manned up” (sarcasm) and got a strawberry daiquiri which was amazing. We ended our first day playing heads up with some girls on the trip before going  to bed. Sadly all of us struggled to fall asleep and did not get the best rest. This was mainly out of excitement for the next day to travel to the Bahamas.

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We left our hotel and arrived at the airport at around 9 am during our second day. We had originally thought we were leaving at 9 for Andros but we did not leave until roughly 11:30 am. Everyone sat around and waited and I learned how to play yuker finally. Our plane was a 30 passenger plane and many people were nervous to fly on it, but I was just excited to fly in a smaller plane. On our flight over I was able to see the ocean and I even thought I saw some dolphins way down swimming and jumping out of the water.

Taking my first steps on Bahamian soil was fantastic mainly because of just how warm it was. We got through customs and took taxis (which were vans) to drive an hour to our new home: Forfar Station. Once everyone arrived from their taxis and we had lunch, we went out for our first snorkeling of the trip. We took one large boat out to Dave’s Reef to snorkel and I was determined to get tan, so I did not put on sunscreen.. which I would later find out to be a terrible idea. As for the snorkeling, I was very nervous. I am not the best swimmer and I had never snorkeled before so I was not sure what to expect. Turns out snorkeling is very cool and I loved it. I eventually even dove down in some places to grab sea shells and conchs. Once we got back to Forfar we had dinner and had a brief orientation of our expectations for the trip from Dr. Lizowski and the Forfar staff. After playing volleyball and unpacking, I sat out on the deck and watched the waves roll in and out that night with others in the group. Sleeping was very hard and uncomfortable due to the heat and my sunburn, but as the week would go on it would be easier for me to sleep.

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We started our routine today that would end up being our routine throughout the week in terms of eating schedule. We would eat breakfast at 8 am, lunch around 12 or 1, and eat dinner at 6 pm. At 9 am we went out to another area to snorkel called Staniard Reef and Staniard Wreck. This was a rough time snorkeling due to the waves and wind being so strong. I swallowed a ton of salt water and it was not the most pleasant thing. I did however dive down to find a tulip mollusk and conch shell that I would later take home. We ate lunch at the 2 mile beach and by then I could really feel the sun’s power. The previous day I did not wear sunscreen and today I only wore a tiny bit. I also did not wear a shirt all day so that did not help my case. When we got back I lathered myself in aloe vera and played volleyball and ping pong with some people. I was extremely tired by the end of the day but I still went outside to the deck that night to feel the breeze and watch the ocean waves with others. Sadly sleep was still not easy that night and the sunburn was the main reason for that.

Overlooking Paradise Island

Today would be my first day teaching in the Bahamas and it would definitely be an interesting one. I would teach at Fresh Creek Primary School and the drive (which was rough like the other drives) was 45 minutes, so breakfast was quick. When I got to the school I was a little nervous but quickly settled in with my teaching. It was hard because I could not hear all that way from the previous night because I either had too much water in my ears or I slept on my ears weird. Either way it was hard to hear my students’ responses at times and it was a struggle. My first couple activities were alright and the students responded well enough; however, my best activities were my puzzle activity and my reader’s theater.

The students responded well to putting the puzzles together in silence and really worked hard to do so. They also enjoyed reading the plays in front of the class and acting them out in a way. I was in charge of ringing the school bell when it was time for lunch or break time. My teacher was very helpful at times when the students got a bit crazy and she was in the classroom and I really appreciated her being there after all. She enjoyed the gifts that my partner Brianna and I gave her too. After teaching we went back to the station to relax and some presented their topics for Dr. Lizowski. I forgot to mention this yesterday but I presented with Matt yesterday about sharks and we did a fabulous job presenting as we usually do when we present together.

If you want to read more blog posts by Joseph Click here to visit his blog!

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