FRENCH POLYNESIA 2012
The heart and soul of this trip revolved around natural history and cultural anthropology. French Polynesia offers a unique juxtaposition between spectacular tropical plant and wildlife and ancient human civilizations. Some of the earliest maritime traditions were birthed and perfected by island nations in the south Pacific and Moorea was recently named a world biodiversity hotspot. Our itinerary carefully interweaves the rich cultural history of Polynesia with marine biology. We will also explore the islands on foot, fins, oars and wheels. By taking students to a completely new environment with a culture, and language that is different from their own, we hoped to expand their horizons, encourage them to try new things and challenge themselves physically and intellectually.
“We have gone to so many cool places and learned so much about the history and geography of the islands. I will forever be able to identify ancient shrines of the god Oro! Family, friends, I would now like to be called, “Genny the sting-ray whisperer.” Yes, we swam with sting-rays. The rays were so friendly, and swam right up and hugged us.”
Genny Thomas, Student
“I have to say, when I was looking forward to the Tahiti trip, I didn’t expect to enjoy the island of Moorea even more. The landscape is absolutely gorgeous with tall mountain ridges surrounding the bay where we are staying in a little family style motel called Motel Albert.”
Cameron Wood, Student
“Swimming with sting-rays was such an amazing experience. I was scared to death at first, and freaking out! I was so scared, that I wouldn’t leave a teacher’s side. Then a sting ray finally came up to me and in a way hugged me- as in jumping on my back with its slimy body. I then realized that this is a once in a lifetime experience, and I need to live it up.”
Carly Berger, Student