Friday, June 19, 2009

A whale of a time

I thought I knew alot about whales but I found out a lot more when I assisted the Executive Director of DYEO, Mr. Terry Raymond with a presentation at the St. John's Primary School in Portsmouth. I didn't only find out new things about whales but I can now truly appreciate the joy of being in primary school now that I see it through adult eyes.
I yearn for those childhood days more and more. That's also because we never had anything like that when I went to school. The only lectures or visits we had to look forward to was from health officials looking to give vaccinations and the annual school walk-a-thon to raise funds for school improvement.

Now the children have so much to look forward to, besides the presentation about whales, they are will also be taking a whale watching trip as part of the floating classroom experience. I only had the opportunity to visit one school but a total of five schools will benefit from the International Fund for Animal Welfare project. The project is also being supported locally by CaribWhale, the Dominica Youth Environment Organization (DYEO) and the Youth Development Division. Plans are to expand the program, after the initial pilot phase, to encompass more schools and more environmental topics like waste management, climate change, biodiversity etc.

The most memorable experience had to be the blindfolded kids making the sounds of whales and trying to find each other among a crowd to explain the difficulty whales have in identifying other whales with all the marine traffic these days. The kids also enjoyed the whale measurement excercise that saw them using string to measure the average length of some whales. Most of the kids though enjoyed the question and answer period where they recieved pens, pencils, tshirts, etc for attempting to and answering questions.

I had a whale of a time, for sure.


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