Exchange programme gives taste of Cayman

Five Arizona professionals on a Rotary Central exchange programme recently got a full taste of the Cayman experience.

Rotary exchange students

Rotary exchange students Mishay Tribble, left, Wendy Horner, Mark Carpenter, Katie Carmack and Cynthia Weaver. Photo: Jewel Levy

Mark Carpenter, Wendy Horner, Cynthia Weaver, Katie Carmack and Mishay Tribble all said visiting Cayman was truly a remarkable experience.

Rotarian Mark Carpenter and leader of the group said he always had in his head that the islands were just a tourist attraction, but to get the opportunity to eat, sleep, play and live like Caymanians gave him a better understanding of its culture and people instead of reading about it in a book.

For 10 days the group observed Cayman’s culture and techniques, compared notes with the way things are done back home, gathered a wealth of information from locals and shared some of their own perspectives.

Not wasting time to become familiarise with the island, the group visited the blow holes in East End the first day they arrived.

The next day the group got their assignments and went to work just like any Caymanian.

After work the group visited Miss Vivine’s Kitchen in East End and ate cassava cake and drank coconut water for the first time.

At work, Mr. Carpenter a police lieutenant with the Glendale Police Department went on patrol with officers from the Royal Cayman Islands Police. ‘I got a good understanding on the structure of the Cayman police force and how it works.’ Mr. Carpenter also joined the Police Marine Patrol and got an idea about how the various service departments synthesize in the islands protection sections.

Cynthia Weaver went to Government Information Services and took up a post as public information officer and immediately started working with others on the planning of Hurricane Preparedness. She also visited the Legislative Assembly took notes and compared them to the way the programme is run in Arizona. What she found was the structure was very similar to that of her hometown.

The group also went on Radio Cayman Talk today and Youth Flex. For the day Cynthia Weaver got to lead a segment of the show on Talk Today.

The two primary school teachers, Wendy Horner and Principal Mishay Tribble went to various Government primary schools and met with teachers and school inspectors.

The two also attended the inter-primary school sports at the Truman Bodden Complex.

Katie Carmack a medical social worker who works with patients in last stages of life, brought a whole new prospective of how she does her work.

Ms Carmack also visited Children and Family Services, Mental Health, George Town Hospital and attended an International Hospice Care conference at the Marriot Beach Resort.

Unfortunately the group did not get to visit the Brac, but a wealth of information about the Sister Islands was provided.

Two of the group staying with Ms Sybil McLaughlin, National Hero and former Speaker of the House gained a lot of history and culture from this remarkable lady.

They also found the weather changes remarkable and took lots of pictures of frogs.

The Rotary group study exchange programme is designed for world peace and understanding through education with people of other countries.

One Rotarian selected by the outgoing district and four non-Rotarians from varied backgrounds who are fairly young in their careers between 25-40 are chosen

Five exchange professionals from the Bahamas are on exchange in Arizona.

Chief Nursing officer Hazel Brown carried out the ground work for the exchange programme.