Senior Trip 2013-14

November 5th – Justine Nolt

After a lovely breakfast of pancakes at 8, we started the day off with pouring more concrete and cleaning up an apartment. The Dosters have a house behind theirs that is used to house pastors who teach at the Training Center; but since no one is there now, they are planning to rent it out to a lady. Logan, Bethany, Justine, and Rachel spent the morning sweeping, cleaning the bathroom, and moving the bed in in preparation for her arrival.Even though it was more of the same moving materials, mixing, and pouring, we finished the pad under the boys’ clothes line by the end of the morning, and Rachel carved the Shalom Flame into it for the finishing touch. Tomorrow, we will be starting a pad under another clothes line.

After a delicious lunch of sandwiches and chips (and popcorn!), Justine, Konnor, Kelsey, Kristine, Jon, Mrs. Eshbaugh, and Mrs. Petersheim went to help the special needs school prepare for a relay they will be running on Friday. It was fun to see some of the same kids that we’ve been seeing during the trip, and it’s even better when they remember you. One of the little boys at the school, whose name I can’t recall, had experienced some amazing improvement since his enrollment in the school. According to his teacher, he had only started speaking last year; it brought his mother to tears when she heard him say his first words.

The rest of the group went to “the cliffs” to see the raging Atlantic. It was approximately 50 ft. above the ocean. No further information can be gathered at this time; just ask your kid.

Due to the heavy winds on the Atlantic side of the island, we couldn’t go to the beach we were scheduled to go to. Instead, we went back to Cocodimama beach. Mrs. Petersheim finally got her starfish and I (Justine) found some sea sponges and drift wood. The best/most disgusting part was the dead eel we found chillin’ out by the rocks. I picked it up with a stick and terrorized those with weak stomachs. Then…*this next part is really gross*….Konnor and Alan found it within themselves to rip it in half. Alan chased Konnor around with one half of it, and it was quite stinky.

After our shenanigans, we came back to the center for a nice dinner of chicken, rice, and salad.


November 4th – Logan Benton and Quentin Clapper

We woke up today bright and early to have breakfast at 7:30. We had a lot of work to do and not a lot of daylight to do it in. We left the center around 8:30 in two separate groups. One group went north to Hatchet Bay and the other group went south to Governor’s Harbor. We were both going to the elementary schools in the respective cities. When we arrived we were to lead an all school assembly. We had about 20 minutes to do this in. Each group picked out a few fun songs with motions and a Bible skit.

Upon completing the assemblies we returned to the center to do some construction and upkeep. This included pouring a concrete slab, pulling weeds, making a fire pit on the beach, and raking up rocks to use in future tasks. We did this for about 2 hours.

After the work we ate lunch and got cleaned up to head to Young Life (basically a youth group) at Eleuthera Central High School. We departed for Young Life around 2. When we arrived, we went to the classroom where they meet. The message was about sin and how we all have our downfalls but God still loves you and there are people who want to help.

When we got home from younglife we had a little free time until dinner. Billy brought meatloaf, broccoli, cheesy potatoes, and pumpkin pie for dessert. After this we had more free time and our nightly worship.


November 3rd – Konnor Eshbaugh and Alan Gift

Today we woke up and had breakfast at 8:30.  We were all very happy since we got an extra hour of sleep because of daylight savings time. After breakfast we went to Wesley Methodist Church which is in Governor’s Harbor. It was very different than the services that we each attend back home.  The worship services were very active and enthusiastic.  Towards the end of the sermon all of us had the chance to take communion.
After the church service we ate lunch outside of a library in Governor’s Harbor and then headed to a place called Ocean Hole which is in the southern part of Eleuthera. It was about an hour from the Bible Training Center. it was pretty much a 600 foot hole that was filled to the brim with water. There were a lot of good places to jump into the water. The highest was about 10-15 feet high!

After that we drove back to the center and waited for Billy (our caterer) to arrive. When Billy finally arrived he brought Grouper fingers,Fried Plantains,boiled vegetables and banana cream pie. The rest of the night we relaxed and prepared for teaching the children tomorrow in school.


November 2nd – Konnor Eshbaugh and Alan Gift

Today was a relax/replenish day. We got to sleep in until 8:30 and then we headed into Gregory Town where we stopped for a half an hour to buy souvenirs and ice cream. After we left Gregory Town we went to a place called Glass Window. On the way to Glass Window, we passed Lenny Kravitz’s vacation house. A couple of us thought it was really cool, the rest just didn’t know who he was. what a shame…  anyway, while we were at the Glass Window, we found some pretty interesting stuff–for one, this is the smallest distance between 2 oceans. We found an awesome little pool carved in the side of the cliff by the waves.

After the little visit to the Glass Window, we went to another place called “Queens Bath”, and it had about 10 of those wave carved pools that were full of sea urchins and rocks. We ate lunch in one of the caves. Lastly, we went to the Goulding Cay. Logan, Alan, Konnor and Ryan all swam to a little island 20 miles off shore. (jk, lol not really that far.) The island was cool. We found some starfish. When we got back we cleaned the center, and waited for dinner. Billy came at dinnertime and brought us  bbq chicken, mac and cheese, bread, and salad. After dinner, we had a youth game night at the center. We played basketball,” Just Dance”, spoons, and other games.  We  are having ourselves a “good ole’ time”.  Here’s a good hearty YEE YEE! from the Bahamas.


November 1st – From Jon Sweetser and Taylor Hardin

Today we split up into two groups. One group (Jon, Taylor, Alan, Logan, Justine, Konnor) went with Keith and Mr. Fretz to collect sand and rocks. They will be used for pouring sidewalks near the clotheslines to make things easier for future teams. We went to a sand pit first around 10 o’clock in the van with a trailer attached. We shoveled a lot of sand onto the trailer and got eaten alive by sand flies. After dumping it at the center we had lunch. Then we went to get rocks. We took them out of the cliff wall, put them in buckets, and dumped the buckets on the trailer. To dislodge the rocks we would throw rocks at the wall and see how many fell into buckets. We went back, dumped the rocks, and went to get more sand. On the way back with the second load of sand we stopped at a local store. They have food just like America.


The second group went to the Hatchet Bay and worked at a carnival for the primary school kids’ fun day. Kids paid for tickets and we Shalomites did face painting, nail painting, coloring books, games with prizes, basketball, soccer, and general fun like dancing to Taylor Swift music. Lunch was at the beach.

Everybody went to the Atlantic beach at the old American Navy base at 3 o’clock. Justine was far into the water before anyone else even got wet. Everybody jumped in the waves. Keith and Lori’s dog Zoe fought with a crab.

Tomorrow we will start our relaxing weekend.


October 31st – from Kristen Blank and Kelsey Group

Today we had to wake up WAY too early….7:00…:0. At 8:30 team 2, which was Justine, Xiaoli, Duyen, Mariah, Konnor, Alan, Jon, Mr. Fretz, Mrs. Petersheim, and Sarah and Lori Doster, went to Governor’s Harbour to work with special needs kids and to work at a primary school helping teachers teach the lessons. The part of the team that worked with the special needs kids helped them make Halloween masks. Later they escorted those students to an assembly at a local Baptist church for students in upper primary grades, middle and high school.  This included a policeman talking to the students about good behavior and a pastor who preached a sermon. Those who stayed at the school worked as teachers’ aides in K-4, 1st and 2nd grade.  After lunch at picnic tables along the harbor, all of team 2 helped a PE class practice for a 1/2 mile relay race that will happen next week.  This class included about 45 – 50 students from grades 4 to 6.  We walked about 3 blocks to the park along a busy street.  Once there, we hung out with the students.  Several team members were posted along the race route to direct traffic and the students along the way.

Team 1, which included Bethany, Kelsey, Rachel, Kristen, Quentin, Logan, Ryan, Taylor, Mrs. Eshbaugh, and Keith and Emory Doster, left around 9 to go to Hatchet Bay to teach PE at the primary school. We started off by clearing the brush around the fence at the back of the school. It was so hot! After a while it was time to teach the kids gym class. The ages ranged from first grade to sixth grade. The first thing we did was take the sixth graders to the park. We played basketball with them and had a relay race for them. We played knockout, 21, and half court. They had a great time and it was really fun for us also. Then we, team 1, ate lunch out on the beach behind the school and then took a walk out to a cliff like area that jutted out into the water. After lunch we went back to the school and then had gym for the first graders. We started out by playing with the parachute, which the kids LOVED! Then ended the hour with duck duck goose, and a relay race on the playground.

After the last gym class, team two headed back to the center to change our clothes and get ready for the beach. We loaded up on the bus, and met team one at Levy Beach. The waters were rough today, so we all had fun jumping waves and hanging out in the water. We got back to the center around 5:00, got cleaned up, and then Billy brought spaghetti, vegetables, garlic bread, and strawberry cheesecake for dinner. We had devotions at 8 and then we were dismissed to free time which in this time we are now writing this blog. :)


October 30th – from Bethany Hey and Mariah Kiefer

Wednesday started with breakfast at 8:00 at the center. At 9:00 we departed and went to Hatchet Bay where we did a sports camp. Some seniors were dropped off at the park to set up for the camp, and the rest of us stayed on the bus and got dropped off on various roads to round up kids to come to the camp. We had about 30 kids come to the camp, and the ages ranged from around 2 to 16. We split the kids in 3 age groups and played different games with each age group. The games we played consisted of basketball, whiffle ball, duck duck goose, hot potato, doing nails, and freeze dance at the end of the camp. The kids proved to be very competitive especially in baseball/ whiffle ball which is one of their favorite sports.After dropping off many of the kids, we returned to the center to have lunch. Lunch consisted of sandwiches, chips, and a fruit. We left the center at 2:15 to go to Cocodimama Beach where we spent the next 2 hours collecting sea shells, swimming, playing football, and observing jelly fish, sting rays, and star fish. We also found out an interesting fact after a scary event. Ryan brushed up against a clear jelly fish with a blue dot and was alarmed because he didn’t want to be stung. It turns out that only the pink jelly fish sting and the clear jelly fish with a blue dot don’t sting. Konnor also had fun burying Alan in the sand. We observed that the water on the Caribbean side of the island is extremely clear.  The class departed from the beach at 4:00 to return to the center for showers and dinner later in the evening. Billy, our amazing cook, prepared a dinner of BBQ ribs, potato salad, tossed salad, and homemade bread. In the evening the advisers divided the class into groups for tomorrow’s visits to the local primary schools. We also had planned time to write in our journals, worship together in singing along with guitars, and just hang out as a class.

The second day has passed very well.


October 29th – from Justine Nolt and Rachel Holderman

For most of us, waking up (or staying up) at 2 am was a bit of a challenge. We left the school around 4:00 and made our way to Reagan International Airport. From there we flew into Nassau and then in to one of the two airports in Eleuthra. Our second flight was cramped…to say the least. All of us were lucky enough to have a window AND an aisle seat. Except for Justine who sat in the very back middle seat squished between Ryan and Quentin. Our flight was supposed to be roughly 20 minutes, but ended up being a bit longer since we landed in the wrong airport first. Once in the correct airport Keith and Lori Doster and their two daughters Sarah and Emory, our host missionaries, picked us up. Mariah, Bethany, and Mrs. Eshbaugh went with Lori to do the week’s grocery shopping while the rest of us went with Keith to set up camp at the Eleuthra Bible Training Center. We had an hour to unpack our stuff and choose our beds before heading straight to Rainbow Beach! We had the opportunity to snorkel or just hang out. It was incredible to have a Caribbean Beach all to ourselves. On the way to the beach, Emory educated me (Justine) on how to tell if a sand dollar is living or not: if it’s brown, it’s still alive; but if it’s white or turning white, it’s dying. Those of us who went snorkeling saw everything from sting rays to jellyfish to starfish to “silver sides,” which are small, thin fish that look almost transparent. After the beach we came back to the Training Center for a delicious dinner cooked by Billy, an excellent chef. Dinner consisted of rice, pork and vegetables, and chocolate cake. Keith later told us that everything Billy makes is made from scratch! We then had orientation and made plans for the sports camp we’re having on Wednesday.

So far, Eleuthra has been absolutely wonderful!