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The e-newsletter of the Open Campus, UWI - page 4 / 4

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Lennox Honychuch raises a point at the lecture delivered in Barbados

Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Cave Hill Principal, graciously welcomed visitors to the Campus and the group heard from noted scholar on Calypso, Elizabeth Watson, and the inimitable Calypso Legend, (the Mighty) Gabby. Professor Sean Carrington, expert on Caribbean flora and fauna, also made a presentation on Caribbean Plants for Caribbean Landscapes. The Barbadian experience ended with a guided bus tour, during which time, Dr. Karl Watson, noted historian,

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The UWI Open Campus thanks all of the organizers and presenters and is particularly grateful to its main private sector Sponsor, for Barbados, Divi South Winds Hotel, for helping us to realize this dream: the inaugural “Cruise and Learn” experience.

Historic Open Campus Cruise Sails Into Port Castries

The historic maiden voyage of the University of the West Indies Open Campus Scholar Ship which began in Puerto Rico on April 17, included Castries as the final port of call before returning to base.

Principal, Professor Hazel Simmons-McDonald, Chancellor, Sir George Alleyne and Ms. Karen Ford-Warner escorted by Open Campus St. Lucia UWI STAT Ambassador, Mr. Walter Berkeley and Head, Mrs. Veronica Simon

The exciting Cruise and Learn programme was dedicated to the flora and fauna of the Caribbean, a region which has proudly given birth to the UWI itself. Designed to showcase the region in a unique and fun way, while promoting continuing education, the cruise also aimed to strengthen the relationship between UWI alumni, friends and family while complementing the work of the UWI Open Campus which operates virtually and physically across seventeen countries of the region. After stopping in Open Campus countries, BVI, Antigua and Barbuda and Barbados, the ship sailed into Port Castries on Good Friday, April 22, with its group of Scholar Ship cruisers. As the group disembarked at the Pointe Seraphine dock to the sweet sound of steel pan music provided by Mr. Bevin Charles of North Stars Steel Orchestra, it was warmly welcomed by staff of UWI Open Campus St. Lucia, members of the local Open Campus Student Guild and representatives of the UWI Alumni Association St. Lucia Chapter.

The exuberant group was then taken on a tour of the Morne Fortune Historic Area, interpreted by renowned local Historian, Dr. Gregor Williams and then to the “Lushan Country Life” where they were transported back in time during the “A Temps Long Temps ” tour led by Mr. Donald Anthony, foremost expert on St Lucia’s flora and fauna and owner of the attraction. As part of the country life experience, participants were able to view the preparation of and

sample local cuisine at the Creole Kitchen, including hot bakes and cocoa tea, saltfish accra, Lushan squash and traditional Good Friday pennépis.

Scholar Ship Cruisers enjoying traditional “lushan” cuisine and the peaceful Forest Trail

They were also treated to a fruit sampling stop and introduced to several varieties of mango exclusive to St Lucia. Other attractions included a Forest Trail, Garden Trail, Medicinal Gardens, Bird Watching, Love Pond, Kai Pye (Traditional Amerindian Hut) and Copra Making House . The tour was followed by a lesson on how to make local coconut oil taught by Mr. Laurent Jn. Pierre of the St. Lucia Folk Research Centre and a display of the art of local broom- making by Ms. Leah, whose deft fingers made light work of the intricate task.

Ms. Leah teaching the art of broom-making

The day ended with local folk dancing by the Silver Shadow Dancers to the exquisite sounds of the Eastern Folk Band. By the end of the morning’s activities a number of the cruisers had mastered the intricate dance steps of the Lakonmèt, Norwegian Polka and Moulala among others. The session climaxed with the ‘Gwan Won’ which allowed all present to dance in unison as One UWI, One Alumni Family.

Memories

“This was my first cruise, so I have no benchmarks. But I believe that it will be difficult for future ones to be better. If I were to make one "complaint", it would be that you made me gain weight, but my exercises now to shed it will give me another reason to remember the cruise and the participants fondly”.

Sir George Alleyne

“Greetings! Thank you for the wonderful experience of the inaugural voyage of the UWI Open Campus Scholar Ship that we all enjoyed so much

Lady Sylvan Alleyne

“I so much enjoyed meeting all the participants and sharing our views of life in the Caribbean”.

Gerthie Owtram

More photographs are available on the Photo Galley Section on the Scholar Ship website: www.open.uwi.edu/adventures.

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