31 May – This was our first full day on the island. We were awoken by the sound of roosters, telling us it was time to explore. We checked out the beach by our house, and after marveling at how clear the water was and playing with some tiny jellyfish, we headed back up to lunch. After lunch, we went to swim in Ocean Hole, which the locals say is bottomless. It was beautiful and full of fish. Robyn, who works for Island Journeys (the company we travel through) had arranged for us to get a meal at the festival her church was hosting, so we stopped there and enjoyed talking to the people we met. Our final stop for the day was Lil Prep, the cultural center at Eluthera, where one of the girls at the charter middle school was hosting an event to raise money to bring a mammogram machine to the island. We learned that in the Bahamas, 24% of breast cancer cases are related to a BRCA gene mutation (as opposed to 4-6% in the USA). Right now, islanders have to fly to Nassau for mammograms, which costs them a great deal of time and money. The event featured singing acts by kids from the charter school as well as the Island School (which is a semester abroad program for high school sophomores and juniors focusing on sustainability). At the end of the evening, over 600 dollars had been raised!
1 June – After a long day, we were all happy to sleep in before going to church at the church that is lodging and feeding us. The congregation was small but lively, and the young girls did a choreographed performance to one of the songs, which was adorable. Once church was over, we got ready for our trek to Lighthouse Beach. This area is all the way at the south of the island, and it can only be accessed by 30 minutes on a rocky dirt road. While the van felt a bit like a roller coaster, the views were stunning and completely worth the drive. Apparently the land is owned by a developer, but One Eleuthera is attempting to buy it back and turn it into a nature preserve (a much better use of the land in my opinion). After taking the the views, we spent the evening talking with Shaun about the politics, health care, and general state of the Bahamas.