We recently had a group of students rock up at the shop from the Carpe Diem Gap Year travel group.
Carpe Diem - Latin - "Seize the Day"
These young people, on their Gap-year break between high school and college earn university credit through Portland State University while on a three month road trip. This group was at the culmination their three months together traveling through Central America. Having spent time in Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica they landed here on Roatan to learn to Scuba dive.
12 young people, plus two group leaders had spent the last 10 weeks together on the road studying, networking, and performing community service projects in rural Central America. Part of their program philosophy is not to spend more than two weeks on any given location, avoiding routine. Those who choose further adventure continue on as solo travelers for another 3 months in a new location, and culture. Those of us doomed to two week vacations can appreciate the intensity of all this. Not exactly for your typical cruise type traveler.
A drug, alcohol and digital free group..... OK this is the most astounding part for me. Yeah yeah, drug and alcohol free, but they really mean it! Now get this; we had over a dozen young people around 20 years old in the shop, and not one smart phone, tablet, or computer! I challenge you to go out now, wherever you may be, and find a dozen people anywhere, and I mean ANYWHERE, with less than 30% of the crowd not connected to the Webernet.
It was refreshing! People, actual fellow people(!) sitting around looking each other in the eye, and having conversations. (Yes, exactly what you are not doing right now). It is just possible that you remember a time long ago when people would vocalize, or talk as they would call it ( a communication system involving the exchange of ideas using throat generated wave like vibrations in the atmosphere), and use this collaboration to solve problems, and express wonder at unknowns. Even though this is all now quaint and obsolete, what with the Webernet ready in an instant to give the definitive explanation on any imaginable subject, with this group we found ourselves communicating in the old analog style. Conversations, arguments, and even a time of some impromptu music with guitar and improvised bucket drumming.
It will have to be admitted that when it was discovered that we provide a big ol' PC as a convenience to our guests, emails were quickly checked with many furtive over the shoulder glances.
All eleven Open Water students and on Advanced Open Water student completed their course with 100% of the students passing with flying colors.
Forever engraved in the monolithic granite monument to those attaining scuba certifications are the names:
Casey, Tyler, Hayley, Madeline, Suzannah, Gregory, Mariah, Hannah, Grayson, Matt, Carson, Ezra, Alex and Maggie