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Journals from HHPA/HESC 398 Island Health Care: Type 2 Diabetes in the Bahamas January Term 2012

2012-01-17 Into the schools we go

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Central Eleuthera High School

Today we visited Central Eleuthera High School to deliver our first talk to the students in the community. Half our group got up at the crack of dawn; literally the sun was rising over the ocean, as we got ready for our day and ate our breakfast. We then left for our hour drive as the other 6 students did their morning workouts and got ready for their days in the clinics and to assist with service projects for the island school. On the way to the school we had to ask for directions and it just so happens to be we asked students who went there. They said they’d show us the way so they hopped in the van and we were on our way to the school.

Our first presentation was directed towards an 11th and 12th grade math class of 30 or so students. Erika, Christian, and Nick started the presentations off. They did an amazing job getting the students engaged by introducing themselves on a personal level so the students felt comfortable enough to respond. The first part of the presentation was on our college and if the students were interested in going to college and if so what for. The answers were quite surprising because of the ambitiousness of the students and what they want to do in life. Some wanted to be doctors or surgeons, some neuropsychologists, and others aeronautical engineers. They asked great questions about tuition and majors and they seemed very interested in pursuing further education, which was amazing to hear. The discussion progress more towards what diabetes or the sugar is and how we can help prevent it. The students seemed very receptive to the information and the open ended questions that they were asked.

The second presentation was totally different situation. This group consisted of 10 boys, in 9th and 10th grade in a health class. This group was extremely hard to get involved into conversation and quiet. Allison, Kelsey, and Don were in charge of this presentation. We introduced ourselves and told them a little about what we there to talk about. They listened and were polite but didn’t answer questions when they were asked. As we went on into the in depth information about type II diabetes it was hard to tell if the students grasped the information as well as the other class but they seemed to understand. Towards the end, when we talked about prevention and how eating a healthy diet and exercising is important they finally began to open up and talk to us. We learned foods that they enjoyed to eat, which were all mostly cracked (or fried) and they loved fries! They also talked about how they enjoy playing basketball, baseball and even swimming, such as free diving. Once they started to open up it was very interesting to hear the activities they do and what they do on the island.

After the presentations we went and visited Tarpum Bay, which has a gorgeous bay we ate by enjoying more Bahamian food! We also got to see a local shelling conch shells, which was a really cool experience. Later, we experienced a shark feed at the marina with at least 15 sharks no more than 10 feet below us! Once in a life time experience!

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