11 August 2009

Goodbye Summer 2'09

The second SFS summer session ended today and I just got back from escorting all of the students to the airport in Provo where they'll pick up their international flights back to the US. What a mess! (mislabeled luggage tags, confusing airport policies, lost bags, missed flights...) It was hard to end the session on such a chaotic note, but at least the students will be together on just 2 different flights so they'll get to reminisce and say their goodbyes to one another on the plane.

Last night we watched a slideshow of photos from the past month, and recognized a few of the students for various achievements (most of which were quirky or mildly embarrassing rather than serious). It was really fun to think back on the range of activities and projects that we carried out together, and in such a short period of time. Below are a few photos that reflect some of my fondest memories from the past month.

Playing ultimate frisbee on the "field" just a few blocks from the center... (that's me in the yellow)

Creating reef balls that will placed on the ocean floor in an effort to simulate natural reef ecosystems and provide habitat for the coral, fish, and other species that depend on them...

The final product! (above)

Brett and me on one of our exploratory walks around town, which we like to take whenever we have a little free time...

Teaching swimming lessons during our final Saturday afternoon Community Outreach session for the summer...

Unfortunately, our "Ladies Only Swim Lessons" was not nearly as well attended as our Saturday lessons tend to be. Only 2 girls showed up. I think the obstacles we'll have to overcome to encourage women (especially those who have lived here for decades without ever having venured into the ocean) are greater than we initially anticipated. We aren't giving up on the idea, but the students from this most recent SFS session are passing the torch onto the next group, and I'll work with them to brainstorm some new approaches and tactics.

I like to take pictures during Community Outreach, because it's a great way to depict our students in action rather than posing for the camera. It's also a great way to sneak in candid shots of folks from the local community. I have to be careful though, because if the local kids notice me taking pictures of them, they'll forget about whatever it was they were doing and come running for my camera! Diana (below) got a hold of it for a few minutes last week and took this shot:

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