AirBnb SS20 Sabbatical : Bahamas 2020
Production by Owen Katz. Photo Direction by Giselle Morgenstern. Creative by Mariel Cruz & Christian Rongavilla.
Eight weeks. Three islands. One life-changing sabbatical. While The Bahamas is best known for its capital, Nassau, the country is made up of over 700 islands. Bahamians refer to these outer islands — each unique, but all interconnected — as the “family islands.” Participants will live with local hosts in Andros, Exuma, and Eleuthera, becoming part of communities devoted to supporting important natural industries and preserving a rapidly changing ecosystem. Promote traditional agriculture in Eleuthera. The preparation and use of bush teas and natural remedies are rooted in Bahamians’ proud African ancestry, but sadly, the bush tea practice is quickly disappearing. Omar McKlewhite*, a Master Gardener at the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve, has devoted his life to the study of endemic plants. With Omar, volunteers will immerse themselves in this rich natural world, build a bush tea pop-up, and help conduct workshops to preserve this important part of Bahamian culture. Support ethical fishing in Exuma. The red lionfish is widely recognized as a threat to the rich and diverse Bahamian waters, but in a strange twist of fate, it’s also a delicacy that has the potential to boost the local fishing industry. At the Exuma Cays Land & Sea Park, volunteers will join a team of lifelong divers and fishermen led by Andre Musgrove*. With Andre, they’ll learn about ethical fishing practices, and help create culinary experiences that pair lionfish with locally-grown produce. Help restore coal reefs in Andros. The Andros Barrier Reef is the third-largest living organism on the planet — but it continues to be vulnerable to the changing climate. At the North and South Marine Parks in Andros, volunteers will learn from passionate conservationist and master scuba instructor Katie Storr*, then dive into the work at hand: collecting existing coral, building and caring for coral nurseries, and transplanting new growth back into the reef.