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  • Writer's pictureOlivia Patterson-Maura

Diving In: Tales from the First Week as an Environmental Education Officer

Meet Lorenz Carter, Friends of the Environment's new Interim Education Officer. Lorenz joined the team to assist us with a busy season of environmental education including school programs, after-school clubs, and summer camps. Lorenz will be working with FRIENDS until he returns to University of The Bahamas in August. Lorenz is also a former student of FRIENDS and we are happy to have him join our team!

Hear directly from Lorenz about his experiences on his first week on the job as we hosted a visiting group from Christ School in North Carolina.

Hello FRIENDS,  I'm excited to share with you the story of my first week at Friends of The Environment! It's been an action-packed, fun-filled adventure, and I couldn't have asked for a better introduction to this incredible position.

Throughout the week, I found myself fully immersed in the vibrant atmosphere of Friends of The Environment. For the week, the Education Team was focussed on leading field trips and educational experiences for a visiting group from Christ School in North Carolina. From the moment I met the Christ School students, I knew I was in for an unforgettable experience.

On Saturday, we started by planting

mangroves in the morning with Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, followed by a delicious lunch at Pete's Pub where the students soaked in the breathtaking ocean view and savored local delicacies like conch snacks. The day continued with a snorkeling adventure at Long Dock in Cherokee Sound where we marveled at the underwater wonders, including "scary" urchins and graceful stingrays. On Sunday, we had an epic kayaking expedition in Treasure Cay, followed by a picnic lunch at the world renowned Treasure Cay Beach. Our day ended with a snorkeling session at Mermaid Reef, where the students were mesmerized by the colorful marine life. Having had my first time experience with FRIENDS at Mermaid's Reef many years ago as a camper, I was thrilled to be a part of offering this experience for someone else.

As a young adult male, fitting in seamlessly with the student group happened naturally for me. On Monday and Tuesday, we delved deeper into our environmental education journey. With the theme of the day being "provisioning services", Ms. Lyndeisha gave a

presentation on important commercial species -lobster & conch-  at the Kenyon Centre, where we learned about the importance of these iconic marine species. Following the presentation, we indulged in yummy conch salad and discovered the art of making this Bahamian delicacy. Our exploration continued with visits to Abaco Neem Farm, Poinciana Driftwood Farms, and Big Bird Farm, where we gained insights into sustainable farming practices. Tuesday was equally enriching as we ventured north to snorkel with Brendal's Dive Shop, indulging in a sumptuous lunch on Manjack Cay prepared by none other than Brendal and his team. We explored man-made and natural coral reefs before and after lunch, marveling at the diverse marine ecosystem.

Midweek brought a mix of adventure and leisure for Christ School’s group. On Wednesday, we visited the Coppice Blue Hole in the Abaco National Park, which is a bit off the beaten path, so it was a new experience for them and me! The day's activities were followed by an afternoon of friendly basketball games much to my delight seeing as this is one of my favorite pastimes. Thursday was spent exploring the charming Hope Town, where the group roamed freely while we soaked in the island's rich history and culture. We capped off the week with a delightful dinner together on Thursday night at Firefly Resort where we reminisced about our shared experiences.

As Friday arrived, it was time to bid farewell to this incredible group. Reflecting on my first week at Friends of The Environment, I'm filled with gratitude for the friendships formed, the knowledge gained, and the unforgettable experiences shared. Here's to many more adventures ahead!

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