Sunday, June 16, 2013

CRAB FEST 2013!!!

It was Crab Fest again here on Andros, Bahamas! Our staff and guests took full advantage too by heading down to the park on Friday and Saturday for some live music, freshly cooked crab and lots of fun!

Land Crab

Stuffed crab

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Operation Go Green

We have a very exciting summer starting here at Small Hope Bay Lodge. This summer we are hosting 4 students from Duke University. They will be here working as interns for almost three months. Unlike many of our other interns, they will not be filling tanks on the dock or helping to tend bar in the evenings. These guys are here to help Small Hope become more eco-friendly and energy efficient and we are very excited! Here is their own description of their project as well as who exactly comprises the Green Team: 

Project Description: (I call it Operation Go Green!)

This summer, we will be designing and building a solar thermal system (solar hot water) and exploring the feasibility of solar photovoltaic to help offset the 192,000 kwh energy use of the resort. The majority of the resort’s energy use is spent on heating water. Given Small Hope's location in the Bahamas and its environmentally oriented culture, Small Hope has tremendous solar potential. We get around 250 days of sun out of the year and receive about 3.5-5 kw per square meter at a latitude of 24° 42' 0" N. In addition to installing solar hot water, we will also be helping Small Hope create a sustainable environmental management plan, along with energy, waste and water monitoring programs. 

The Team:

Esi Waters- Duke University Masters of Environmental Management 2013 Environmental Economics and Policy Focus
Jake Vestal- Duke University Masters of Engineering Management 2013 Energy Systems & Big Data Analytics Focus
Kevin Kurkul- Duke University Masters of Environmental Management 2014 Energy and the Environment Focus
Michelle Yuan- Duke University Masters of Environmental Management 2014 Energy and the Environment Focus

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Monday, June 3, 2013

Coming home . . .

I have been a Divemaster at Small Hope for nearly two years now. I have enjoyed waking with the sun and the sound of the sea just feet from my door. I have enjoyed Bahamian summer, autumn, winter and spring. I have loved meeting people from all over the world who choose to come to an off-the-beaten-track resort like Small Hope Bay Lodge

In the past two years, I have gotten to travel a little, both for work and for play. But I hadn't been back to the states to visit my family in nearly five years. My parents had both come to see me in the Bahamas as well as when I lived in Mexico and Brazil, so I had seen my family a little. But my mom kept asking me to come visit her in Arizona and I decided it was finally time.
Mmmmm, chile relleno!

I took a little time off and flew out to Tucson, Arizona. While there I did the two things I miss the most while living on Andros - movie theaters and Mexican food! And then more movies, and then more Mexican food . . . and so on. It was great. I reconnected with my family, of which there are thousands (OK, I may be exaggerating, but only slightly). I cleaned out a bunch of stuff I had in the Mom-Stores-It storage facility. And got to hang with my mama, which I love!

But there were some things that weren't so great too. Things I never deal with while living on a remote, tropical island. Like Traffic - I saw a hit and run car accident while coming back from dinner with my mom; Consumerism - On Andros, there is minimal shopping, just Androsia, and as I don't have cable tv, I am not constantly bombarded with ads for new cars, fast food, electric diet belts (really?), anti-depressants, diet pills, gym memberships, pharmaceuticals, an so on - it's overwhelming; Dry heat - they always say Arizona is a dry heat, but there is dry and then there is AZ where it feels like every once of moisture is being sucked out of my body, my lips are chapped in 10 minutes, my hair is filled with static when I brush it and my skin feels like the skin on a lizard. 

While it was great to see family (especially my mom), and I definitely won't wait so long before another visit, I can't express how wonderful it was to to come back to Small Hope. I realized that this is truly my home now.   This is where I am happiest and most comfortable. My little cabin right on the turquoise sea; where my shoes consist of two varieties - regular flip flops and fancy flip flops; Sassy, the potcake, gets so excited to see me that she bounces up and down and rolls in circles; my choices for recreation are diving, snorkeling, paddleboarding, kayaking, hot tubbing, or just kickin' back with an ice-cold Kalik; where every day I get to interact with really great people and have really interesting conversations; and no matter what may be on tv that night, there is nothing as good as watching the sun rise over the sea or set behind the pines.

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