A Sense of Connection

Posted: November 19, 2012

Name: Kimbrough Mauney
Position: Student Affairs Manager (SAM)
Program: Marine Resource Studies, Turks & Caicos
SFS Alum: Turks & Caicos Summer ’00 (Alumni Profile)

“Recognizing our shared humanity and our biological nature as beings whose happiness is dependent on others, we learn to open our hearts, and in so doing we gain a sense of purpose and a sense of connection with those around us.”

The Dalai Lama captures my sense of the group here at the Center for Marine Resource Studies. So far, we have enjoyed much laughter, learning, and genuine interacting. Soon after arriving on this island of 8.5 square miles, students were celebrating birthdays together, participating in South Caicos’ Health Week through a volleyball match, and helping school children with their reef dioramas.  We shared music with the Soroptomists and performed at an outdoor concert put on by local schools. Check if there is a Soroptomist chapter in your region!

October flew by and South was busier than ever with political rallies that included fireworks —  a first as far as I know! On top of rigorous academics  and preparation for 3 busy days in Providenciales, students spent a combined total of 334 hours working with local K-12 students. We hosted visiting scientists and fitted 2 large sea turtles with satellite tracking devices. Follow these turtles’ water journeys here!! Field trip highlights include visiting a Co-op on Middle Caicos full of locally-crafted items, the TCI government farm, and the Conch Farm.

Superstorm Sandy left her mark in the form of our own sea of Sargassum. Our water polo team relocated as the algae had filled our docking and swimming zones. In a massive group effort, we sent it back to open seas. After Halloween fun, students dove into Directed Research projects, interviewing fishermen, photographing rays, catching and taggin turtles, and surveying residents for ideas about South’s future.

Busy, worthwhile time spent — as happens at all the SFS Centers. This morning Chester, our student of the day, shared a fitting quote from Lao Tzu, in the Dao de Jing: “Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time’ is like saying, ‘I don’t want to’.” Our students want it all.

Check out Kimbrough’s photos below: