University Life for a Part-time Student

I have fought a good fight, I am about to finished the race, and I have kept the faith.  Ambition, motivation and determination, are all words that can be used to describe my journey and experiences as a part-time college student.  At times it makes me feel burdened and stressful because I am also a parent and working professional with enormous responsibilities and obligations.

Hard at work
Hard at work

This journey that I have started to further my education at the University of the West Indies (CHTM), Nassau, Bahamas is not an easy road.  I have found the strength to unshackle the rusty handcuffs of small thinking and take up the challenge to enrol in University because I aspire to achieve great things, to attain an excellent education to make me more marketable and a better ambassador for The Bahamas and my community.

Attending college at the university level requires my undivided attention and focus; it takes a lot of perseverance, endurance and momentum in pursuing my Bachelor’s degree along with mastering the art of time management.  Many times I wanted to throw in the towel and give up, but I couldn’t because I also want to be an inspiration and role model to my children, to help motivate and encourage them to excel in their education and future endeavours.

Family time at the beach
Family time at the beach

When I feel tired, down and out and discouraged, I hold on to these words –  “Winners never quit and quitters never win.” ~ Vince Lombardi

I then became bold, confident and fearless.  Being one of the oldest individuals in my classes is also a challenge; however, what is life without challenges.  Some of my encounters and experiences were good and some not so good, but I have used this to my advantage and have learnt a lot from my intelligent, knowledgeable and vibrant classmates.  They became my inspiration and measuring tool for my success and accomplishments as a part-time student, parent and working professional. 

Class work and studies really and truly start after 11pm most evenings, when the children are asleep and the house is quiet.  Success comes with a price tag called ‘Sacrifice’ and I have had to sacrifice to go back to school.

Historic walking tour of Downtown Nassau
Historic walking tour of Downtown Nassau

I have grown immensely and enjoyed the experience; especially after trying new activities, attending the various events and classes.  These have  allowed me to try new activities and find new passions.  CHTM creates a true sense of community amongst its students by providing us with the academic support and encouragement needed to succeed.

I would like to say thank you to the faculty and staff for their professionalism, wisdom, patience, time and words of encouragement that helped to strengthen and motivate me on numerous occasions.  They have made my experience a unique and enriching one.

Despite the challenges it has been a wonderful and beautiful experience that I will cherish forever.  I made lifelong friends with fellow students from all over the Caribbean and met some awesome and wonderful people from all walks of life and cultures that motivated and encourage me in ways they could never imagine.  The journey is almost done and the wealth of knowledge I have gain is priceless, words cannot express my gratitude.  It is never too late to start something different or new in your life, life is what you make it.

by Elnora Burrows (BSc. Tourism Management, 2015)

Fete Till I Falling Down 2015

It had finally arrived, the most anticipated and largest event of the semester, CARNIVAL! Themed Tribes of Utopia: The Soca Revolution, it had students and sponsors, which included Enigma, Kalik and the Caribbean Bottling Company in a whirlwind as they frantically prepped for the event the night before.

We have a truck on di road
We have a truck on di road

The march took place on the 21st of March starting at Arawak Cay with the final destination being our institution’s parking lot. There was an aura of excitement present as the crowd was tumultuous from the onset. Nothing mattered besides the rhythmic beats of soca music emanating from the powerful speakers. Individuals were adorned in colourful enchanting costumes, which ranged from fashionably styled t-shirts and shorts to monokinis and feathered headwear. When all participating parties had arrived including members of the Royal Bahamian Police Force and representatives from the HOT 91.7 radio station, we were ‘Ready for the road’!

Enigma girls
Enigma girls

Following closely behind the truck embellished with junkanoo inspired decorations and the banners of our various sponsors, individuals could be seen with Kalik cups in their hands laughing, dancing, waving their Kalik rags and having a grand time. The energy only increased as the journey progressed and participants were seen ‘palancing’, ‘ducking’ and engaging the onlookers. As we marched along Bay Street, tourists could be found in our midst, clearly intrigued as they tried to imitate our dance moves. They weren’t the only ones interested as locals, both adults and children were seen dancing along the sides of the streets and taking a multitude of pictures.

UWI Carnival 2015 - 140
Ben’ up

The day ended in the UWI house restaurant where complimentary lunch was served to all participants. Lunch had been prepared by our very own upcoming stars of the kitchen and was a delectable meal of baked chicken, fried fish, coleslaw and rice with pigeon peas. It had the crowd raving as some person even wanted seconds! As the after effects of a hefty meal and a long walk in the sun started to kick in for some people, they could be seen strewn across the floor trying to salvage the little energy they had left. Other persons on the other hand, clearly had not gotten enough as they continued to dance on the lawns and in the dining room. At this point it was safe to say that Tribes of Utopia: The Soca Revolution was an epic event and a huge success. Special thanks goes out to all those who played a role in it’s execution, whether big or small as teamwork made the dream work.

By Donneil McNab (BSc. Tourism Management, 2015)

Photography by Elizabeth Mackay © 2015

 

Exceptional Exuma 2015

Like any normal day, I woke up to the sound of my alarm ‘Whining Queen’ by Denise Belfon. Except it was not a normal day. The weeks of anxiety were over and the countdown had finally come to an end. It was March 17th, the scheduled date for our trip to the Exuma cays. Most persons were at school by 8am ready and waiting as good mornings along with ear to ear smiles were exchanged.

We were transported by a bus to the dock where our boat and its captain awaited us. The 1 hour and 20 minutes boat ride was definitely one to talk about as everyone laid back while the wind played in our hair and the sea sprayed us with its saltiness. A little before arriving at our destination, we took a short detour to Allen’s Cay which is inhabited by iguanas. Persons were seen either taking pictures of the iguanas, feeding the iguanas or running from the iguanas. Could the trip get any better than this? But wait, it did!

Iguana feeding fun
Iguana feeding fun

We had finally arrived at our destination, Saddleback Cay. Pictures were inevitable as we observed the scenery and the lemon sharks below us as we made our way off the boat. We all grabbed a quick snack and in no time we were summoned back to the boat to prepare ourselves for snorkelling. The boat took us closer to the reef and away from the sharks where everyone plunged into the sea without hesitation to observe the marine life below.

About to dive in
About to dive in

We also stopped at a sandbar, which is a landform made up of sand in the middle of the sea, where we relaxed and did some exploring combined with a little learning. Expressions of excitement were displayed as we gained knowledge on the uniqueness of the starfish and sanddollars that were found.

Starfish sensation
Starfish sensation

Soon we heard the ‘lunch time’ call and faces lit up as everyone realized that the moment we were awaiting had finally arrived. We then found ourselves back on the island, stuffing our faces and then feeding the sharks with our leftovers, which was not much.

It then hit us that the trip was near its end and in no time we were back on the bus and on our way home. Definitely a trip to remember! Feel free to check out the video and pictures of this memorable experience.

by Shauna-Lee Thompson (BSc.  Hotel Management 2015)

Photography by Elizabeth Mackay © 2015

CHTM Then and Now

Once upon a time on the beautiful island of Nassau, New Providence, one of the best schools in the Caribbean was established. They called it: The University of the West Indies Centre for Hotel and Tourism Management. We shall crown it CHTM for short.

This school was blessed with a plethora of students who were once scattered across the Caribbean but shared one common goal: to improve the Tourism and Hospitality Industry.

I’m certain many of us thought to ourselves when we first came: “So many personalities! So many attitudes! Will they survive around each other? Will each person make it out alive?”

Many of you might also think that the generation gap will produce many differences. Ehhh! Wrong!

Yes, we are from different backgrounds but when you really take the time to analyze CHTM throughout the years, you’d realize that we’re all one big ball of similarities. The difference is we were chosen to spread our awesomeness at different periods in time!

Here’s a fabulous gallery of special moments we’ve shared here at CHTM.

By Shaniece Holder (BSc Tourism Management, 2015)

A big thank you to all present and past students for their lovely photos.

Krazy Olympics 2015

It began like any other school day, just a regular Thursday. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, what a lovely day….but wait…IT WAS SPORTS DAY!!! The warriors arose from their slumber and nourished themselves with the feast of champions (aka breakfast), dressed themselves in armor (aka house tshirts) and prepared themselves for battle. We boarded the chariots equipped with nourishment and sustenance for the day and headed down to the battle field of Goodman’s Bay. This was sure to be a battle to be remembered for years to come.

And so the first segment of the day began with races such as the piggy back race, the hula hoop challenge, four legged race and the shave the balloon contest. At this point all teams proved that they were bringing their “A-game” with Red Devils and Magic at the head of the pack, with Blue Supreme and Ivy League trailing close behind, but the day was far from over. We took a lunch break for the warriors to rest, and when we needed sustenance, our hard working captains and vice captains ensured we were taken care of. Once we were rested up, it was back to the battlefield, and so the second half of the day commenced.

The second segment included races such as the needle and thread race, the 50 meter dash, the soda chug and the ‘bring it on’ segment, which some may say was the highlight of the day. At this point, tempers began to flare as the teams were beginning to get antsy, with Magic and Ivy League in the lead, and Blue Supreme and Red Devils trying to make an approach. However, the true test of endurance, skill and teamwork was now upon us, it was time for the relay. The houses prepared their best warriors for the last battle, giving it one last push, all with the hope to secure the overall victory. Red Devils successfully won the relay, with Ivy League close behind, but this was not the final decision.

The moment was finally upon us, where the judgement of the victors was to be announced, and at the end of this epic day of battle, it was Magic- the Yellow house that worked their magic and reigned supreme.

Great job to everyone that participated in Krazy Olympics 2015, it was truly a memorable one and congratulations to our winners again, Magic- the Yellow team!

By: Krystle Mahabir (BSc in Tourism Management, 2015)

Photography by Krystle Mahabir © 2015

 

Dorm Life in The Bahamas

Dorm life can be viewed as one of the most essential aspects of college life especially in our little cultural melting pot here at CHTM. Even though we all are many miles away from comfort, living in a completely different country on our own, dorm life at CHTM seemed like the perfect idea. Immediately, we were focused on thoughts of complete freedom and being away from our parents. We were dreaming of paradise but soon brought to reality as we settled into our different houses and realized that it was not as it seemed.

With this freedom came responsibilities and changes that we would have to accept. Calling out for the water truck to stop to purchase our bottles of water, monthly internet bills, grocery shopping and let us not forget living with complete strangers. That was the ultimate challenge of this whole experience as we were forced to interact with people from different cultures. It all came with the “paradise package”. However, as we began to form strong bonds with our housemates and create a lifetime of memories the process became easier.

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Fun times

For some of us dorm life meant it was time for some cooking 101 classes from our roommates as we learned to either cook for the first time or cook different dishes we had never tried before. While others showed up the rest by displaying their expertise skills in the kitchen. Not only did we bond in the kitchen, but we also found ourselves enjoying walks together in groups from the Reef or Faith Manor which are the closest houses to school or from Farrington which as the name suggests is quite the journey to and from classes.

Never mind if you missed a class or two, that’s what your roommate was for as together we shared lecture notes, studied for pop quizzes and Major exams. We soon got accustomed to our roommates and embraced the norming stage of this whole experience. All work and no play would make us dull students, so of course we worked hard but played even harder as we almost always enjoyed our times together having epic Celebrations. Warren always accommodated those daily and nightly antics especially when we had surprise birthday parties or our exclusive CHTM parties.

Ultimately, dorm life gave us our own little Suites and Cottages, as we transformed them into our homes away from home whether from the Upper Hawthorne end or the Lower Hawthorne end. It’s what we’ve grown accustomed to and have made our comfort zone while studying abroad. The truth is we will never forget this experience that brought us closer together and the memories of our dorm life here at CHTM will be a trademark in our lives.

by Shanique Hylton (BSc. Tourism Management, 2015)