LCA Making News
Students relieved families in Bahamas safe (Ottawa Sun)
August 29, 2011



Bahamian students relieved families safeMembers of the Blazers Basketball Club from the Bahamas are in Ottawa attending school at the Life Christian Academy. The boys arrived in Ottawa before Hurricane Irene hit and they feared for the wellbeing of family and friends back home. (L-R) Donald "Pro" Gibson,16, Bijan Duncombe,17, coach Ray Evans, Nathaniel Newbold,16, and Linroy Russell,18. Monday August 29,2011. (ERROL MCGIHON/OTTAWA SUN)

Bahamian transfer students who have been in Ottawa for just a week are breathing a little easier after learning that their families and friends survived Hurricane Irene.

The teens and a coach spent anxious days worrying about loved ones on what is their first trip to this country.

Happily, everyone seems to have weathered the storm in one piece.

The students are here to study at Orleans school Life Christian Academy International for the next year.

The opportunity to live in Ottawa came about after school principal Michael Karpishka and Bahamian athletics coach Silbert Ray Evans met by chance.

“About six months ago, (Evans) contacted me asking if we were in the position to accept some international students,” Karpishka said. “I guess he was surfing on the web and came across our school.”

Evans said the pairing was entirely unintentional.

“It’s kind of a funny story in that I was looking on the Internet for a Life Christian Academy in North Carolina. I saw Life Christian Academy pop up and I called the number. The prinicipal answered the phone and we started talking and it was about 15 minutes before we both realized that I called the wrong school.”

All’s well that ends well, though.

The school has accepted four boys and a girl and plan to bring more in the future.

In fact, the conversation went so smoothly that once they agreed to bring the kids, Evans was offered the position of athletic director at the school.

Donald Gibson, 16, said he spoke to his mom a day before the storm hit. He had to wait a long two days before they connected.

Gibson said his expectations of this country were not high.

“I imagined Canada to be just a place with no malls and then I got here I saw all the malls. It’s just like the United States.”

Twitter: @ottawasuntaylor