Barbados Update January 8th

Group One, also known as the “Baller Group,” would like to announce that we have successfully arrived in Barbados. In the past three days, we have experienced a whirlwind of adventure and learning. A few of the many adventures we have had consist of: cliff jumping, touring a gully, getting lost, exploring caves, and learning about local craft (all while taking public transportation).  Not to mention, the beaches here are incredible.

On the first day, our lovely professors sent us off on a group challenge to accomplish different tasks while learning about the city of Bridgetown and the culture of Barbados.  From checking the rates at a Laundromat, to speaking with other tourists as well as the locals, we ended the day feeling ready for more exploration.  Upon our arrival in Bridgetown, via a ZR (sounds like “Zedder,” a sort of public taxi), our group first learned about the breadfruit, which can be prepared anyway a white potato can.  Then we continued to visit department stores, the bus terminal, grocery stores, banks, parliament, and a nice café along the harbor.  For the afternoon, we enjoyed class bonding on the beach and a dinner with local cuisine, including excellent fresh fish, at Just Grillin’.  To end the day, Matt educated the class on “bucknut” squash and Jacob made a new friend.

Our second day here included a full class bus tour with our new friend Andrew. Andrew took us first to Welchman Hall Gully, where we walked through an old, collapsed cave filled with native (and some exotic) wildlife and vegetation.  Here we learned about species that began in Barbados and ones that were introduced by foreigners. We saw monkeys, millipedes, cocoa trees, and bamboo grass.

After this educational experience we hopped back on the bus to learn about some local crafts.  We met Winston, a potter of thirty years, at his hilltop studio overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. We watched in awe as he seemed to create a flowerpot out of a heap of clay in less than five minutes.

 

Winston Crafting a Pot

 

In his studio, he had an array of teapots, flowerpots, mugs, and other various dishes. The pottery was beautiful and unique.

 

Mugs in Winston’s Studio

 

We then took a scenic bus ride, while learning about flowers, prisons, crops, and various trees to Crane Beach.  This beach is viewed as one of the top 100 beautiful beaches in the world and it did not disappoint.  To access the beach, we had to climb down stairs, walk over a wood plank, and hop over rocks all while the ocean pelted us with waves. It scared Dr. Gallagher to death. After that treacherous experience, we hung out on the beach, jumped off a cliff into the ocean, and explored a bat cave. Our expedition ended with a dinner on the beach at a restaurant named Carib.

Day three consisted of the class going in all different directions on the island. The professors had set up separate challenges for each group to accomplish by the end of the day. Group Baller’s challenge was to make their way across 21 miles of island to the most northern point in Barbados. After waiting for over an hour and a half for a bus and then an hour drive we made it to this remote point.  Our bus driver missed our stop and left us stranded in the middle of a field.  We explored and ended up finding the most beautiful view of the Atlantic Ocean.  The field ended in cliffs dropping into the ocean and we spotted a small beach within the jagged edges of the rock.

 

The Cliffs of the North Coast

 

We explored the beach and then decided to try and find our final destination of Animal Flower Cave.  We wandered to the street and a bus driver graciously found us meandering aimlessly in the road, lost and confused (but still having such a great time).  He generously drove us to the cave for free, and we then found spectacular views and the northern most point of the island.  We descended into the Animal Flower Cave, where we learned about how the cave was formed and the different species that live within it.  We were pleasantly surprised when the guide told us that we could swim in a pool within the cave that overlooked the ocean.  It was one of the coolest things any of us had ever done.

 

Inside Animal Flower Cave

 

To end our adventure, we waited at the bus stop for an hour and a half to go back to Bridgetown.  While waiting, we met an 87 year old Bajan named Keith, who was ecstatic about teaching others about his country. He got us safely back on the bus and after our hour-long bus ride, we made it safely back to the hotel and the rest of our group.

Thus far, our experience in Barbados has been magical.  We have met many locals, lots of tourists, and have had tons of memorable experiences.  The whole class is excited for the rest of our time in this unique and hospitable country.

 

-Jack Selbo, Rachel Creech, Jamie Fries, Megan Murray, Erin Maher

 

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2 Comments

  1. Marla Roth
    Posted January 12, 2012 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Thanks so much for the detailed update on what the class has been doing in Barbados!!!! The pictures are awesome and I am so jealous that I didn’t get to do this while I was in college….so…..tell Steve I am ON MY WAY to join all of you!!!! Enjoy the rest of your stay!!!!!!!

  2. Lori Bova
    Posted January 12, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Thank for sharing your incredible trip. Barbados sounds amazing. I love The sound of the Animal Flower cave. Swimming in a pool, within a cave, over looking the ocean…..it’s hard to imagine! I would love to see more photos.
    I love that Keith, the 87 year old Bajan, wanted to teach you the culture of his island. So fascinating!
    Reading the Blog and seeing the photos is hard to take as I sit here in cold, rainy, Connecticut.
    So I think I will join Maria and head on down!

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