This is the final update of the 2023 trip! What an incredible trip this has been! We are currently on the long trek back home. This is how the last few days unfolded…
In this post:
Day 8: The big push!
Today is the last full day before the exam. Those who show up early for breakfast are reviewing for the exam already. The Reefers unfortunately lost their first-place breakfast seat to Rocky Coast. The orange juice finally turned out after 8 days of trying. The students get to dissect tree oysters during the morning lecture. Each oyster contains a bright and colorful pearl. This year we had pink, yellow, blue, and black pearls.
The rest of the morning after lecture is focused on exam prep and studying. In the afternoon the students get in their groups to prepare their oral presentations (typically skits to show what they have learned). Coral Reef tells us the story of two pirates on a quest for the ultimate treasure (a case of Mucho Mango drinks). Along the way they encounter several sea creatures which all share an interesting fact about themselves with the audience. The Rocky Coast group presents a murder mystery with chitons, an urchin, a nerite, and a hermit crab (it was the crab, it is always the crab, they have a voracious appetite).
In the evening the students had an opportunity for a Q&A with Michael about questions on faith, salvation, and the Bible. Many stayed up after preparing for the final exam.
Day 9: Evaluation Day
Early risers are reviewing at the breakfast table again. The evaluation started at 10:30 AM and the first students finished at 11:15 AM. Lunch rolls around 12:30 and confidence is mixed. The afternoon is free and the pool is the place to be. Today is the hottest day we have had all week! The whole crew gathers at 4:15 PM for a group photo and then we are off to a seafood dinner at the Cracked Conch Café. Some try a fried seafood platter; others stick with a classic burger.
We return to base to debrief, reminisce, and cry together as the adventure comes to an end. There are many encouragements, stories of growth, and appreciation shared around. Michael closes out the night by acknowledging the hard work and growth of every student and staff member on the trip. Curfew is extended until midnight for one last night of fellowship and fun. Students receive their final grades before bed: everyone has passed!
Day 10: On the way Home
It’s all hands on deck at 6:30 AM to pack-up an clean-up. We pull out some time later for breakfast and shopping. The students get about an hour to shop before we hit the road for the airport. Students say their final goodbyes in the Terminals, rental vans are returned, and the rest of the E4F team continue their long journey up to Wisconsin with the trailer.
See you next year!
And that’s a wrap on the 2023 Marine Biology Adventure! You can sign up for the 2024 class right now and save $100 on your program fees if you complete your application by June 30th. We hope to see you there!