*Please note: This blog will include posts for day 15 through day 22 of the program, as the first group departed on July 21st.
Saturday July 21, 2018
Today was the end of the second week and as we all said our goodbyes the two week group left for Point a Pitre.
Then the rest of the remaining students left for an excursion in Basse-Terre. Our first destination was a coffee plantation.The local guide showed us around the plantation and we were able to eat different types of fruits. Often times on the plantations there are lots of fruit plants. After the plantation tour we started our hike through the forests, on our paths we ate mangos and let cows cross. Sometimes we crossed a roaring stream. Our hiking guide showed us some unique plants and we had a chance to eat termites. At the end of the long hike there was a big crashing waterfall and a place to cool off. All in all today was a fantastic day.
Sunday July 22, 2018
So on Sunday we had another day of adventure but we were lucky because we got to sleep in. Breakfast was at 8:30 which is pretty late in Guadeloupe so we all got to sleep later then we usually do here. Then we had our first breakfast at our new hotel which included a croissant for everyone, it was absolutely delicious. After breakfast we set out on the days adventure. When we finally arrived at a beach at around 11 we met up with our tour guide and the adventure began. We started off on our two hour hike across the shoreline heading south from the northern most part of grand-terre. We hiked from one beautiful beach to the next and stopped several times at these little secluded beaches for short breaks of water and to take a tiny dip. Every beach we passed had the most amazing clear turquoise water that you can look right through to see the marine life under the water.
We also saw many crabs and hermit crabs along the beaches and pathways. What I thought was really cool was how the beaches didn’t have any seaweed because the land on that part of the island is protected by a big coral reef just off the shore. We continued our hike with many amazing sights and lots of discussions until we finally arrived at a more populated beach where our bus was parked, so we grabbed our supplies and headed to a spot that our bus driver saved for us. There we had chips and sandwiches for lunch before we finally went into the water. This beaches water was crystal clear and very warm once you got in, also once you got in it got deep very quickly. But the ocean was so calm and there weren’t any rough waves so we were all able to just relax, hangout, and have fun together. I spent almost two hours in the water before I got out and joined some others to lay out and dry off in the sun.
After about 30 minutes we all squished into one van and rode back to our hotel where we had two and a half hours to chill before diner, this gave us time to shower and settle in to our new rooms. Then we all just hung out I did some coloring in an adult coloring book some other kids made string bracelets and we all just had some fun. For dinner, almost all of us decided to wear some nicer clothes to eat our first dinner at our new restaurant. The food was great it was a large buffet with a salad bar and I was happy to have some chocolate mousse for dessert. After some great food and great conversation we decided to explore the area a little bit and ended up spending some time on a pier looking at the sky and talking. Before bed we had mentor group and we watched a really interesting ted talk. Then we all went to bed to get ready for tomorrows adventure.
Monday July 23, 2018
This morning we all left at 8 o’clock to head over to a small beach located in Grand Terre. As we lathered ourself up in sunscreen, our tour guide handed us binoculars and a page filled with local birds. We began to walk down the sandy path looking at wildlife and different types of mangroves. We learned about 4 different ones and what makes each of them different. Alongside this we learned about how many plants and animals have learned to adapt to the weather and wind here in Guadeloupe. Once we stopped for a break we had a discussion on the benefits of coral reefs and how it helps more than just tourism.
As our walk continued on we began to see more birds and learn many new things about each one. After driving back to the hotel listening to Rihanna songs, we had a little free time to take a nap before heading out to lunch at 12:30. After we helped ourself to local cuisine buffet style we headed over to French class. Considering the mass decrease in students our French classes were much smaller and conjoined. After 3 hours of class we returned back to the hotel to do the second load of laundry this trip. As soon as we had finished we headed out to a dinner buffet style. Following dinner, we went to our mentor group followed by a good nights rest.
Tuesday July 24, 2018
Today we started the day with a great breakfast and immediately headed to the gardens for community service. Some of us played soccer and cards with the kids. We learned about their interests, their lifestyle, and their culture. Some of us worked on stairs that needed reconstruction and made great progress on it. After the garden we came back and had lunch at a buffet close by. After taking a relaxing break we watched Transformers on our way to the Cacao Plantation. We learned about how chocolate is made and tasted unique chocolate flavors. After that we had dinner at the same buffet and planned what to do the next day for kids whom we will be teaching English to.
Wednesday July 25, 2018
Today we went to a local summer camp to teach kids english. we taught them colors, animals, the alphabet, a few songs, as well as playing some games with them. the group of kids i worked with likes to play with lego’s especially. as a gift to us, they performed and taught us a few dances which brought smiles to all our faces. saying goodbye was hard with these compassionate kids. After working with the kids the group did 3 hours of French class. We had some down time and then a we went to the beach to relax and hang out. We had a good dinner and then did mentor group.
-by Sophie & Sergey
Thursday July 26, 2018
Today we started off the morning by returning to a garden the group has been working with these past few weeks. We created cement for the stairs and played with young kids to aid them in learning English. For lunch we returned to home base before going to the beach. Later we met with local teens. With them we played charades and learned local dances.