At the end of January, I was putting the little girl I babysit to bed. She helped me turn off the lights and turn on her radio, which plays the sound of crashing ocean waves. It was her favorite noise to fall asleep to. Little did I know that I would get the same experience (sans radio) as I fell asleep at CMRS just one week later.

While only a week has passed, I can easily call myself at home. This experience has been exactly what I expected, if not better. I have had chances to go snorkeling, diving, sharking, hiking, and to work with the community on their swimming skills and education. Again after a week here, I want to share my favorite rule at the center. While it is more strict here about curfews and sign-outs when going to town, there are other aspects which are much more relaxed. My favorite is all about shoes. Shoes are optional at all times at the center, we don’t have to wear shoes to class or to meals. In fact the only time you have to wear shoes is if you are on kitchen duty, which only happens about once a week. I would estimate that I have been barefoot for 80% of the program so far, and every single day I’ve thought about how nice it would be to bring the barefoot tradition back to my college!

In only a week we have all changed to being more sustainable; people spend less time on the computers and more time either sunbathing, playing frisbee or volleyball, and walking around town. Everyone here is ready to go explore in their free time, rather than watch movies. We have learned to take less food during meals so there is less to compost and throw away. Probably the biggest sustainable thing we do is turning off the lights and air conditioning. It may be hot, but it is better to go sit in the shade then it is to keep the air conditioner running for endless hours. Wherever you are reading this post, I challenge you (in the next week) to change something in your lives, whether it be wearing an extra sweater and turning down the heat, or turning off the television and playing a board game instead. I may not have been the most sustainable person at home this winter, but I’m trying my best to be now.

I’m lucky that my session here is filled with wonderful and interesting people and I’m so excited that I have two and a half more months to enjoy what South Caicos has to offer.