Here is an excerpt of her Island School experience, by Link School student Medina Purefoy-Craig:Sorting the plastics we collected at Cotton Bay Beach

I can now safely say that I can jump into water and actually not drown. Early this morning before the sun itself was up we embarked on a “Run Swim”. We did multiple drills that would help us feel more relaxed in the water and know what to do to conserve energy. When I first arrived I had no idea how to swim. I relied heavily on every flotation device around even when I have my PFD (Personal Flotation Device) on. After the drills I was able to swim from one shore to the other by myself, even though I did swallow more salt water than needed and flipped over on my back when I meant to swim forward.

After breakfast, we had a small lesson on plastic and how much ends up in the ocean. We then proceeded to Cotton Bay Beach where we picked up plastic of the beach and did a not-so-competitive competition to find the weirdest things. We found a lot of nets,  refrigerator door, toothpaste tube (made in the US, package designed in the UK) a plate, some clothes, and a lot of unidentified objects as well. Overall it was a great way to give back to the earth and to save the fish even though I never eat any. In the end we had three full boxes and had to leave some there to grab later.

After we had a picnic on the beach we headed to the gift shop which had slightly overpriced stuff which made sense since everything was handmade. The stuff was very beautiful and I was happy just window shopping. We then traveled to a small corner store which we got ice cream from thanks to our Island School guides Stan and Anna. I had a “Junkanoo” which was a rainbow colored vanilla ice cream. Despite its look, it tasted just like the plain white vanilla ice cream you would get every day. Next we headed to the Banyan Tree.

The whole group at the banyan tree

The Banyan Tree is a tree that was actually born off of another tree. The branches start to sprout off the host tree and usually move down and connect with other branches making lots of other trunks. We were then serenaded by bird calls provided by Josh who was able to get calls back from other birds as well. We were informed that if we were quiet we would get to see wild horses that live around the tree but all we got was a load ton of “evidence” which we made sure not to step in as it was practically everywhere. We did some tree hugging and made our way home to get ready for our dinner at Sharil’s Inn

Even though it seemed as if we had enough time to wash hair and take a quick shower we were quickly pushed out of the dorm by Ms. Pierce. I settled for a ponytail which looked good considering my too curly and tangled by the waves hair which I was able to slightly tame with a small hairbrush. We got to the Inn and were graced with beautiful food and soda which will maybe never top any feast I’ll eat again (maybe).

Dinner at Sharil's

The rest of the night is chill and we get out a long time before lights out, waiting  to sleep in tomorrow.