The first day of our trip we met at the airport at 5 am. We finally arrived in Cinnamon Bay at around 3:30 to 3:45. After a tiring day of travel we had a little bit of time to enjoy the water and unpack our things. We, at this point, had run into hundreds of mosquitoes but with some good bug spray and a positive attitude we continued with our activities. The water was beautiful and created some much needed relief from the hot sun and the pesky bugs. We then went up to enjoy our first meal here at Cinnamon Bay where we served by an extremely nice and willing to help group of people. They also showed us places to fill up our water bottles, which was probably the highlight of the day. We held a meeting to plan for our first day of school and were again eaten alive by bugs, but the excitement for the first day of teaching was enough to focus on. We also tried to get wifi, which proved unsuccessful for me. This general lack of access to internet and communication has become a relief and a much needed cleanse. When we arrived back in our cabins we played some games and hung out until about 10 pm. It had been dark for about three hours at this point so it felt much later than it was. We had taken on a long day and were ready to go to bed. Setting our alarms for 7:30 in the morning so we could shower, we were off to bed, falling asleep to the sounds of nature.
Today is the first day of St. John!! It has been a long first day and most of us are really tired. We woke up at around 4:30 this morning to go to the Columbus airport to fly out to Philadelphia. Once we all had our Starbucks we were ready to take the day. The flight to Philadelphia wasn’t too bad; everyone was mostly sleeping. We then had approximately 2 minutes to get off that flight to go all across the airport to the flight to St. Thomas. The flight to St. Thomas was a little rocky, but once we got settled on the plane almost everyone fell right to sleep. We then took a car to a ferry and once the ferry ride was over, we had finally arrived to St. John at around 4 pm. Pretty sure we all got eaten by mosquitoes maybe 100 times so far: yolo. Everyone was really hungry so we got fruit smoothies while waiting for Mrs. Murakami and Ms. Wood to bring the cars around for us to load all our stuff, and once we did that we then headed to our cabins on some really really windy roads. As soon as we got to our cabins, we bolted to the water and finally all that traveling was worth it. We had lay in the sun and then had a pretty good cheeseburger for dinner. After about 6 pm the sun went down and everyone was still pretty tired, so we went back to our cabins and played cards then all fell asleep. It was a pretty tiring day, but teaching tomorrow will be fun!
Travel day. It’s a tough day, even for the veterans of the group. All the hard work and uncertainty are ahead of us. It feels like the next 14 days will be an eternity. Plus, we woke up at 4:15 or so to meet at the airport at 5:15. We all made it with happy, tired faces, but it’s only the first step in a long day. We all know the momentum will pick up, but it’s a slow start until we get to see the kids tomorrow.
The flights and connections were flawless. Columbus to Philadelphia, where we landed early but still had only just enough time to walk to the gate before they started boarding. Then Philadelphia to St. Thomas, again for an on-time landing to a beautiful 83 degree afternoon. The weather was cool enough to not necessitate immediate changes of clothes, we made it to the ferry in perfect time for the 3PM ferry to St. John, we met up with Bill to retrieve our boxes of computers and equipment, got our two cars and drove to Cinnamon Bay while the girls rode in an open air taxi so we could fit all the bags and boxes in the cars. It couldn’t have gone more smoothly, but arriving at about 4:15, I realized that it was already a 12 hour day’s-worth of travel.
Most of us went swimming almost immediately upon arrival, and the water is, of course, crystal clear and that cerulean blue that only the Caribbean can be. Very refreshing after a long day! Dinner was at 6:30 (BBQ night!) after which we had our first meeting to plan and prepare for tomorrow’s lessons.
Tomorrow we’re starting out with Scratch instead of Etoys. Sam thought, and I agreed, that it is a better way to start the lessons, and as the veteran of the group, she’ll be teaching tomorrow. Everyone seems very engaged, sincere, and hopeful for a good experience here. I’m sure it will be. It always is.
Thanks for checking in on the blog! We will have two students blog each day so that you can get different perspectives on what we’re doing. Hollis and I will alternate days so you can get the teacher perspective. Please send us your comments! It’s always motivating to know that someone’s reading our writing!