Friday, January 16, 2009


I can't believe what I saw last night. It had to be the coolest thing ever. Every Thursday night, at Treasure Cay, Bahamas the locals host a pizza night. But this time during the pizza night, they hosted a Junkanoo. A Junkanoo is a group that travels and preforms in local places. They were raising money to travel to Nassau for the annual festival. It was the most amazing sound I've ever heard. But you know what? They didn't use expensive instruments like drums. And personally, I believe it sounded better! The first people came out with something like cowbells and it sounded amazing. The next people came with really big drums but they weren't drums! It was big barrels! Last night had to be the greatest experience of my life. Here is some history about the Junkanoo!

History: There has been a lot of different explanations on the origin of Junkanoo. The most accepted is that the word “Junkanoo” comes from the name John Canoe, who was a 17th century African prince and slave trader from the Gold Coast. They say that he outwitted the English and took control of Fort Brandenbury. The slaves viewed him as a hero and the Dutch and English are said to have feared him. Those slaves who were brought here to the Bahamas, thought of him as a hero.
In the pre-Emancipation era, the slaves were allowed 3 days off during the year: 1st January, 25th December and 26th December. On the 1st January and the 26th December, they were allowed to perform their Junkanoo festival. The 26th December was the day for exchanging gifts and visiting friends. The festival still goes on today. I hope to see the main festival sometime.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Crisis in our Ocean

A cold front came in last night so we are doing a lot of school work today. We are going to visit a local school here also so we can see what a regular day is like. I hope I don't have to wear the uniform.
My dad is meeting with people today about the lion fish problem here. Lion Fish. Some people think of the lion fish as very beautiful fish. That may be but they are one of the most dangerous creatures I've ever seen. Here's how it started. Some people that work for aquariums and people who had aquariums, didn't want the lion fish anymore in their aquariums so they put the lion fish on a boat and dumped them in our water! They are native to the South Pacific, not our waters. Also, the hurricanes pushed them in our water. But that's not even the bad part. These fish don't have any predators. The fish have some very poisonous spines on their dorsal fins so that if they hurt you with it you will either get really sick or possibly die. The lion fish are eating all the eggs of all our good fish that the fishermen are relying on. The Bahamian government is working with reef relief organizations and my dad is meeting with them to try to come up with solutions quickly, but its going to get worse before its going to get better. The are multiplying rapidly. The reef relief organizations say that "The lionfish provide a classic example of the risks of introducing a non-native aquarium fish into the wild environment." It is just so hard to believe that one species of fish can just come in our water and kill all of our fish. Lets just hope it will get better soon.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Columbus and Me

Today we began our first trip. We will be in the Bahamas for 2 weeks followed by a week in the Dominican Republic. I did some research on Columbus before we left since we are beginning where Columbus ended up in his search for the "New World" and we will end up in Spain where he left from. He actually landing in the Bahamas before the Dominican Republic but didn't stay because he was looking for land with a lot of fresh water. The Bahamian Islands are flat and don't have a lot of fresh water. The Dominican Republic was good because it has a lot of mountains and fresh water. A lot of people think that he settled in the southern part of the Dominican Republic but he didn't. The men from his boats that stayed on the Island ended up on the Northern end- near Puerto Plata where we are going.
More to come....

Monday, January 5, 2009

We are finalizing our plans now so here are a couple of photos for the time being.