Puerto Rico trip expands minds of Trinity studentsPublished 12:04am Wednesday, November 6, 2013
NATCHEZ — Hannah Fitt and the other 17 Trinity Episcopal Day School students who traveled to Puerto Rico in September returned to Natchez with a greater interest in expanding their global mindsets.
The group participated in a variety of activities while on the trip, including snorkeling, kayaking and visiting the rainforest.
But apart from visiting the unincorporated territory of the United States, the students also visited Robinson School, which is an English language, private independent school located in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Latin and history teacher Linda Rodriguez, who was one of 14 adults on the trip, said the voyage was part of the school’s global studies initiative.
The initiative is aimed at broadening the students’ horizons through a variety of interactions with students from across the globe.
Rodriguez said the Robinson School is a perfect model school for where Trinity hopes to be in a few years.
“We’re looking to create a really unique education experience for our children similar to something they could get in bigger cities, but bringing it to Natchez,” Rodriguez said. “The school we visited is very much like Trinity, but much further along on its global studies journey than we are.”
Fitt, who is a freshman at Trinity, said interacting with students at the school in Puerto Rico opened her mind greatly.
“They were kids our age who all spoke English, but could switch to Spanish in the same sentence out of nowhere,” Fitt said. “Meeting and talking to all of the people from the school was my favorite part.”
Fitt and fellow freshman Marty Lewis said they stay in contact with several of the students they met in Puerto Rico during the trip.
“We swapped phone numbers, Snapchats and all that stuff, so we could stay in touch,” Lewis said. “We’re going to try to arrange a trip for them to come visit here.”
The school’s campus, freshman Mila Robb said, was something she wishes Trinity was more like.
“The buildings and whole campus was very pretty,” Robb said. “There was a courtyard in the middle of a square with shade where you could eat lunch.”
Apart from the visit to the school, freshman Evan Sanders said his favorite part of the trip was visiting the waterfalls scattered throughout the lush forests.
“We would walk through to the waterfalls and see all kinds of stuff,” Sanders said. “We saw iguanas, snails, caterpillars and other stuff.”
The kayaking adventure, Lewis said, was another highlight of the trip.
The students kayaked through the bioluminescent bay of Vieques Island, where millions of tiny phosphorescent plankton create a glowing effect in the water.
“When you moved your paddle through the water, everything would light up,” Lewis said. “It was awesome.”
The trip created some lasting memories for the students, Rodriguez said, which were quickly brought back and shared with others at Trinity.
“They came back to school and immediately started sharing their experiences with everyone else,” Rodriguez said. “It was so neat to see these kids’ bubbles of experiences push into a place they never thought they’d get to go.”