New teachers experience Cayman culture

A group of foreign teachers spent a day recently learning about Cayman’s cultural history.

Organized by the Department of Tourism and the Education Department, the event was designed to familiarize newly appointed teachers with the local culture.

The group visited the Cayman Turtle Farm, Cayman Islands Museum, Pedro St. James Castle, the Bodden Town Mission House and the former Nurse Josie’s Senior Centre, which is now a heritage house.

The teachers are from Australia, England, Jamaica, Guyana and the United States.

“We were giving the teachers a history culture tour to let them see and hear from others what Cayman has to offer and make them feel at home with our Caymanian hospitality,” said Janet Holiness from the Department of Tourism.

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At the former Nurse Josie’s Senior Centre in Bodden Town, teachers were invited to tour the grounds and given a lesson on the artifacts by the Bodden Town Heritage Committee.

The group also dined on local fried fish and breadfruit, stew beef, heavy cakes and buns washed down with swanky.

Joining teachers on the tour of the premises, Cayman Historian Mary Lawrence explained the history of the two heritage houses.

She said the house was salvaged and restored after being bought by the Cayman Islands government from a family by the name of O’Connor. The group was very pleasantly surprised by the hospitality they received, she said.

“The teachers did not expect us to go to all the trouble of making their visit so pleasant. They were very taken up with the beautiful plates and tablecloth display during lunch and they were grateful. That is what we do and it is a part of the Caymanian culture,” said Florence Wood, a heritage group member.

Taking up a new post in Cayman primary school, Jodey-Ann Simpson from Jamaica said the tour was excellent and she was learning a lot about the culture.

“We were taken to Hell, the Cayman Islands Museum and the Cayman Turtle Farm and the Nurse Josie’s home. I am looking forward to visiting Pedro Castle,” she said.

Maylene Ganaway, a Guyanese native taking up a post at Bodden Town Primary School, said the tour was very interesting.

“I am happy I joined the tour. I was able to learn quite a bit about Cayman culture, and it was really enlightening.”

Tanya Tomlinson from Jamaica said she was looking forward to teaching at John Gray High School and being a part of the Cayman community.

“The experience organized by the Department of Tourism is excellent,” said Villence Buchanan, a teacher at Clifton Hunter High School. “The hospitality is great and it made me feel that there is something amazing about Cayman.”

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