Location: West End, Tortola

Today was a long day; we woke up extremely early to hike up Spy Glass again. The walk up was not as long as we had expected and surprisingly it was a lot easier than the second day here. At the top of the mountain, the view was breathtaking, but it also reminded us that it was the last day in the British Virgin Islands and that the islands were not just paradise, but it felt like home. We all knew that it was going to be hard to say goodbye to not just this amazing place but every single one of the shipmates. The staff told us to think about the few weeks that we had just spent and thought of your favorite times. Honestly, there was not one thing that I liked more than another. Everything on this trip was amazing, and I am so thankful that I was able to be a part of this trip. After the hike down, it was go-time. We had to pack everything and clean the whole boat. We rocked out to music to make the time pass but in no time we were done and had shore time in West End. Tonight we have a final BBQ with ActionQuest. After the BBQ everyone on the boat is planning to sleep on the bow as a final time together. I think I can not only speak for myself but for everyone else on this boat that Lifeworks was an incredible experience.

Staff Blog: It’s coming to a close on session two and I have to say it’s been a really phenomenal three weeks. I’ve been really impressed with how quickly our group has bonded and the way that bond has impacted our service projects and life aboard Catalinaville. There seems to be a certain type of lightness aboard, where even though we may be worn down, physically from dredging a channel, emotionally from a lifeworks forum, or mentally from the new knowledge gained in and around the boat, there is always laughter about. This group has been special. Joe leads the pack with his antics and wide-eyed enthusiasm, but what really stands out is how much effort he puts into our activities on and off the boat. Danielle has come ready from day 1 to lead as well as motivate the rest of us and he work with kids has been phenomenal. Ross has gone from one of our shyest shipmates to someone the entire boat has bonded with. Shannon is always ready to go above and beyond what needs to be done. There is a leader in Matt that has been great to see develop each time at the helm. Jenna claims to be shy, but to be fran,k we haven’t seen it this trip as she constantly jumps headfirst into new opportunities. Jack’s calming presence, natural leadership, and helping hands on board have been assests the whole staff appreciates and has missed. Marijke’s confidence has soared and she is a natural working with kids. Michael demonstrated his unique ability to absorb information and recount our projects and experiences. Key seemed to have about ten buddies during one of our days with kids when we were all paired with just one. Sarah’s contributions to our squeezes and our discussions have been thought provoking and tone setting. Matt, or Shippee as he’s fondly known, has inspired us with his insights and his attitude. After such an intense three weeks there is bound to be somewhat of an emotional letdown as we go our separate ways and settle back into our routines. No longer is each moment so new, each friend so close at hand, each day so full and each night so reflective. But, we take comfort in the fact that we’ve cherished what has been and know that we are better prepared for what is to come how we choose to react to it. Patrick