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Well Ding Dang Doodle!!

January 9, 2013

Today started off with presentations on water supply, waste management, introduced species and energy on St. John. Sarah and Molly began to talk about the water supply on St. John and we learned the main source of water is from rainfall. For most buildings the rainfall is collected into cisterns that are located in the ground. So when we arrive at VIERS are daily showers are limited to 3 minutes! But you can pick a favorite song and sing to enjoy your outdoor shower! We continued to learn about the energy and waste issues that are a constant topic that must be addressed due to the changing conditions of the environment.

Before the final presentation we took part in a team building activity called Helium Pole, provided by John Guy. Helium Pole is when everyone stands shoulder to shoulder and holds their fingers out in an alternating pattern in which everyone’s two fingers MUST be touching (and remain touching) the bottom of the pole. The objective of this activity was to work as a unit to get the pole from standing level to fist-level from the ground. At this time the pole was placed on the top of our fingers, John Guy released the pole and it was immediately lifted like a helium balloon. Thirty minutes later following communication, listening to one another, strategizing, patience, and overall positive attitude the pole reached fist-level from the floor. HOORAH!!! Helium Pole 1
Helium Pole 3
Helium Pole 4

The last presentation was about the introduced species of the island which included aquatic species, land animals and plants. Did you know: The Ginger Thomas is the official flower of the U.S. Virgin Islands but is an introduced species that was originally native to Central and South America and the only native mammals on St. John are bats!


Returning from lunch, we gathered gear to be packed (sitting pads, binoculars, underwater flashlights, glow sticks and other miscellaneous items) and attached pencils to our under water journal. We also had a discussion on items that must be taken down for each person and items that should and should not be placed in our carry-on bags. Pocketknives are not a very wise choice (was left in carry-on last year) oops. Renee also reminded us to not forget our ids and to check the expiration date. Hannah went pale face when she thought the date of issue was the date of expiration. Smart child. To end our last full day at Hollins, everyone met with the schoolmasters to discuss projects and any last materials that were needed. It was a very productive day in dana 209 like always.

Continue to follow our blog! The fun is just getting started…

PITA1 & PITA2 out. (Kristie and Hannah)


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  1. Mary Barone permalink

    Have a fantastic trip. I am looking forward to hearing all about it!!!

  2. Liz Valvano permalink

    Have fun you guys! We’ll be watching from over here!

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