After a week’s worth of hauling, digging, planting and watering it was time for a little R&R. The students of School of Public Health needed Saturday to decompress so our guides shipped us off to Saona Island, a tropical paradise on the south-east tip of the country.
Saona Island is the kind of island you imagine in your dreams. Lush tropical palm fronds blowing in the breeze. Waves crashing onto long white sandy beaches. A flock of seagulls dotting the horizon. A cacophony of birds chirping mating calls from morning till night.
We arrived via fleets of catamarans and small motorboats. During the one-hour excursion to the island the students swung their stuff to the sounds of merengue and the Macarana.
The sun, surf and sand rejuvenated our energy and spirits. A quick dip in a shallow ocean sandbar was the perfect opportunity for snorkeling. The water was waist deep and aqua clear.
Some of the swimmers stumbled onto this giant “gag” starfish. The label on the back says it was “Made in China.” Fortunately, Alanna’s coconut drink was not. She slurped it dry and then clipped away at the sides for the fleshy white interior.