Yesterday I wrote about the first part of orientation week; you can find that post here.
The rest of the week was more eventful and I took a lot more photos, so be prepared for a photo overload!
Thursday was the day my last bag FINALLY made it to Saint Kitts; I have to give a huge thank you to my OL Ryan for going to the airport every day and checking for my bags. Since we had classes all day, there was no chance for me to get them.
We had presentations from most departments on campus including student success, health services, IT, and the registrar’s office. Plus we had a lecture about living on campus. Afterward, we headed downtown so people could deposit cheques at the bank, and stopped at Port to check out the stores.
Oh, Friday how you were an interesting day! It started with a morning of lectures on security, communications, and the student handbook.
In the afternoon, a few groups went on a hike to the bat cave. This hike was supposed to take about 2 hours, but some complications, at no fault of anyone, caused it to take about twice as long. The hike started off easy enough; we headed towards bloody point which has historical significance to St. Kitts. It was here that thousands of Carib Indians were killed by the British and French, eradicating the natives of the island. Apparently the river ran red for three days.
The bat cave hike is a hike through a dried up riverbed, with gorgeous views and lots of rocks and tree roots. About 20 minutes into the hike we got the Boulder, a gigantic rock which you must climb to continue to the bat cave. It is about 15-20 feet high, and there was a handmade wood ladder and a rope ladder to use to climb. Apparently the ladder we had to use was better than what used to be there. About 95% of our large group made it to the top before the ladder decided it had had enough. Luckily there was no one on the ladder when it broke, so no one was hurt! A handful of people were left at the bottom of the Boulder and the majority on top. My OL was the only OL on top, so he took those that wanted to continue, to the bat cave. The remaining people were left to figure out how we were going to get back down.
The journey to the bat cave was slick since it decided to rain on us as well. But it was a lot of fun! There was a decent amount of slipping and sliding, but this just led to more teamwork from everyone to make sure all participants made it to the cave safely. Once at the cave, which we did not fully enter, most people went to the edge of the cave and took a video of the bats flying around. We then made the journey back to the Boulder to see if we had a way back down yet.
It turned out that the remaining OL’s called campus security, who brought a ladder all the way to to the Boulder. Thanks to one of our group members the journey down was much easier than I thought it would be! Not everyone would agree, some people were still terrified, but in the end, we all got down safely.
I have to say it was fascinating to see everyone’s reactions when the ladder broke, and how they dealt with it. It turned out to be a fantastic team building exercise, even if it wasn’t planned. We probably did more team building in that one afternoon than the entire two and a half days of R.U.L.E.
Needless to say, everyone was sweaty and exhausted after our adventure. Our group decided to forego Brimstone Hill Fort for the day, instead, half of us went to Seaglass Beach and the other half went back to campus to relax.
Seaglass Beach was a short drive from campus and was thankfully free of people when the six of us got there. I think we had all had enough socialization for the day. This beach was covered in beautiful sea glass and picturesque views of the setting sun. Being the chicken that I am, I ventured into the water, freaked out because something moved under my foot and fell into the water ever so gracefully haha! At least it got me in the water. I spent most of the time on the beach with my friends enjoying the waves and setting sun. And of course collecting sea glass!
The last day of orientation we got to go out on catamarans which took us to shipwreck beach. Here we could either go scuba diving or just go for a swim. The views were breathtaking on the way there, and the shipwreck was pretty cool too! I took tons of photos on the way there. I was fighting seasickness for a good portion of the trip, but it hit me hard on the way home. Even so I had a blast with my classmates, and we all got a sunburn to show for it.
After a morning out in the sun I went back to my room for a quick nap before heading to Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park. It took us all week, but we finally made it! It was definitely worth the wait, the views were amazing and the buildings were so old and full of history.
Our one and only day off before classes, I vegged out for most of the day, went for a run, and got my room more or less organized. But mostly I just relaxed after a very busy week!
By the way, did I mention there are two beaches on campus? They aren’t really swimming beaches but they are great for relaxing, watching the waves, and checking out the stars!