Location: Ladder Bay, Saba

Explore Day! I woke up at 6:40 and changed, and got ready to wake people up. I gathered everyone for a breakfast of matza, then did clean up. Our plan for the day was to explore Saba! I was in the first shuttle, and it was a very wet entry. A “wet entry” is when we have to (most often times) swim ashore from the dinghy. This means we have to pack accordingly, whether that means swimming with a dry bag if you have one or swimming with a plastic ziplock bag over your head like a Navy Seal like me. Once on shore, we climbed up the rocky beach and headed towards “The Ladder.” We walked up The Ladder, which is this huge, steep stairway carved into the rocky mountain. The steps were so steep and high; it was easy to get out of breath. Then we made it to the old abandoned port post, where imports would go in and out. I changed into clothes, even though I was still soaking wet and sweaty, and continued up the steep terrain for another 10 minutes. At the top, the road weaved around, and we made our way to the church, which was our meeting point. Once we were all there, Sam gave us more information on Saba, and we were free to go.

Apparently, one of the easiest ways to get around in Saba is hitchhiking, so that’s what we ended up doing. As soon as our group started breaking off into smaller groups, Eva, Doran, and I headed down the street to catch a ride. We made our way to an intersection where the embassy was, which was so beautiful, and about 20 minutes later, a guy in a Hyundai picked us up. It was about a 10-minute ride up to “The Top,” On the way, our driver pointed out various points on the island, like the schools and hotels. Once we got dropped off, we decided to go to a small snack shack, and we all got ice cream; I got chocolate. It was so delicious! Then we shopped around at the few shops on the street. I got a new hat and a pin. Then we stopped to use the bathrooms near this plaza. However, after leaving the nice, clean restrooms, we saw a sign that said it was for employees only… oh well.

Next, we hiked 15 minutes up the hill to “Jobeans Glass Art.” The inside of the shop was beautiful. It was filled with homemade glass jewelry, glass marine fish, small sculptures, and a working glass kiln area. Jobean, the lady who owns the shop, taught us how to make glass beads which were so awesome. Basically, you had to hold this stick-like item after we picked out the glass shard color. Then, you had to heat the glass, then roll it over the stick multiple times until it started forming a bead shape. After a while, we could add these sprinkle-like dots to it, where you rolled them in a circle and put them back under the flame. It was so cool; I would totally do it again. As we paid, we were given string to put our beads on, which was nice, as well as some glass pocket harts that were on the house, which was so kind of her. Once we paid, we left the studio and headed back down the hill.

We stopped at a restaurant on the main drag, and Eva, Doran, and I dispersed for a bit so we could call our families since service had been pretty poor on the boat. I called both my parents, who were so nice and comforting. I also ordered a mozzarella, turkey, and pesto panini from the restaurant, which tasted so good. After we came back together around 1:50ish, we headed up the road to find a ride back to “The Bottom.” We ended up finding an intersection and waiting about 20 minutes for another ride. Hitchhiking is crazy. I’ve never done it before, but it is so fun, especially when the drivers are really nice. While we were waiting, Casey and Grace met up with us on the road, but then they decided to keep walking to find a ride. Someone finally decided to stop for us, and we ended up finding some of our other peers in the vehicle, which was funny. We hopped in and got back on the road. Then, we pulled over to pick up Grace and Casey, who was still walking. The ride back was beautiful. There are lots of hairpin turns, and it’s very high up, but it’s so pretty because of all the vegetation and the ocean view.

Then, once we were dropped off, we met back up with Ash and Sam, who were at the church meeting spot. After everyone arrived, we started our descent back down The Ladder. At the old port, we all changed back into our wet bathing suits, and climbed the rest of the way down to the beach. Eva and I went on a quick swim before Nick came to pick us up in the dinghy. After getting on board, I immediately showered because I was so hot and sweaty. I did get stung a couple of times while jumping in, though, which sucks. After changing, I journaled for a bit before I corralled people for dinner. Dinner was pad thai and Ash’s birthday surprise cake. We sang happy birthday and had delicious brownies and some cake. What an end to a great day!

Quick shoutout to my family at home- I miss you all so much and I can’t wait to see you soon. Avery, I know picking between colleges is difficult. But you are strong and smart, and anywhere would be lucky to have you. I believe in you : ) Love you guys, goodnight.