LCA Making News
August 29, 2011

4 Bahamian Boys, 1 Bahamian Girl, one Coach and a Hurricane called Irene makes for an interesting star tot he school year. See below for more details.

Hollywood could not have scripted it better. It has been a gut wrenching week for four Bahamian boys, one Bahamian girl and “Coach”. At least that’s the name everyone calls Silbert Ray Evans at an Ottawa East End (Orleans) Private School. Minor hiccups with paperwork at Canada Immigration upon landing in Ottawa has been the least of their worries. Obviously, the weather has been on their mind. Hurricane Irene slammed into the Bahamas last week, and some of the students still have not confirmed that all their relatives and loved ones are okay. Reports are coming in that Mr. Evans aunts roof is half missing. Needless to say, it has been a real nail biter.

The tensions of renting a new apartment in Orleans, and literally having brought nothing along with you (except for your clothes), to furnish a new three bedroom apartment has been the least of their worries. Principal Mike Karpishka, of Life Christian Academy, has been busy getting them settled in, but has also ensured that they had access to the technology to connect with home. While driving around the city, looking to furnish the apartment Coach was on the iPad trying to reach the families of the boys who have come to Ottawa for an opportunity to learn abroad.

Life Christian Academy is a private Christian School offering individualized learning programs starting at K3 (Pre-Kindergarten) right through grade 12.

Several months ago, “Coach” Evans contacted Mr. Karpishka to determine the feasibility of having a few kids from the Bahamas attend the school. After a brief conversation, it was suggested that Mr. Evans join the staff as the new Athletic Director.

Over the past six months, Coach has been busy informing parents about the opportunity. At times there were up to fifteen kids ready to experience Ottawa. However, with the delays in getting proper visas and passports we managed to only get five initial students. The high school students that have come to Ottawa are; Donald "Pro" Gibson, Lynroy Russell, Nathaniel Newbold Jr., Bejan Duncombe, Justin Smith, and the only female in the group, Paige Munroe, all from the Bahamas.

This is just the start. We are anticipating another 4-5 students to join us before January, says Karpishka. Coach is even confident that next September will bring along a total of 20 students from the Bahamas.

While Coach Evans has experienced a Toronto winter (nothing like what we get here) most of these kids have never seen snow. It will be quite the experience.

What is most exciting for these kids is that they have come here to play basketball – should be interesting considering the school does not have an indoor gym!