Posted by: HelenRortvedt | 16 January 2007

Cape Eleuthera

I’ve been at The Island School for a few days now. I have been learning the ropes, meeting people, planning lessons and field trips and enjoying a few “Kaliks” on a breezy seaside verandah. Jill and I are staying at an apartment on campus for the week so we are closer to the action. (She normally lives in a little house in the Settlement of Deep Creek, about 6 miles away.)

Our students arrive this afternoon–in just a couple hours–and we have a FULL schedule planned for the next 8 days. We are exploring sandbars off shore, snorkeling to a shipwreck, learning about sustainable and renewable energy, sea kayaking, going on a field trip with a local middle school group “down island”–which is actually north–learning about mangroves, biking around the island, and a whole lot of other great things. It should be a blast.

I had my first experience as a driver on the left side of the road, and so far, so good.

The Island School is a fasicnating organization…very multifaceted…and sustainability is at the core of everything it does. All the energy consumed is produced right here on campus. Solar and wind energy provide me with access to this computer the lights in our apartment and the scalding hot water that flows through the pipes into my shower. Used cooking oil is refined and mixed into clean biodiesel fuel for the fleet of vehicles (both land and sea vessels). Food waste is sent to the pig in the organic farm or to the compost bin. There are signs in every bathroom that read “If it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown, flush it down.”

It’s been a steep learning curve for me these last few days to get everything down before the group arrives, but I feel prepared and am really excited about the week to come. It should be really busy, so I don’t know how often I’ll get to post, but I hope to get some pictures up one of these days.

I hope this finds you all well.

Warm thoughts from the Bahamas to you all…



  1. Yeah Helen, great to hear things are off to a great start down island. enjoy the time. any good food? how many windmills are there? do they produce extra electricity and if so what do they do with it? does this mean your snkorkeling a bit? alrighty, can’t wait to hear more. be well, peace.

  2. Helen! Sustainable and Renewable Energy is like music to my ears just like “experiential education high school abroad” is music to yours 🙂 I am looking forward to seeing you over the summer (Yes, I will be working a few weeks for AL) and keep the posts coming!

    – Caroline

  3. OO la la. Sounds like a great experience Helen. How big are the groups your taking out? How many teachers/instructors are there? I’m sure you’re rocking their worlds and will come back with an amazing amount of new knowledge and wisdom. Best of luck!

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