Sunday, March 13, 2016

Arm Day: Vieques

Saturday started by meeting with our favorite folks from JAK Watersports, a local company run by husband and wife team, Carlos and Denise. We spent the morning snorkeling through some serious surf and paddle boarding.We saw a green turtle, an octopus, schools of Blue Tang and a big Eagle Ray! After all this activity, we are all developing some serious biceps! 

A more somber moment of the morning came when we paddled out to a small island and saw buoys that warned us not to approach the island because there were active bombs present. Our guides warned us we were not in danger, but it was a scary realization to understand the impact that the U.S. Navy’s bombing has on the island.

After a great lunch on the beach, we headed back to the “Trust” to meet with our favorite guy, Mark Martin. With the help of some local kids, we spent the afternoon handing out over 400 reusable grocery bags to locals. Last year’s Project Week group got the ball rolling with this project and now plastic bags are BANNED on the island!! It was great to connect with that project and understand how small actions can have a big impact.

Our day finished with a fantastic dinner at La Finca. Taco night! We spent the evening playing games, giggling, and discussing the impact this trip had in our lives. Caelin F. commented that, “her eyes were open now, and this trip changed the way I look at the world.” Many other students dittoed her sentiments and discussed the profound impact that the people of Vieques played in their lives. Mr. T and Ms. Barila became a little teary eyed watching this powerful transformation.

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