Nipissing University's iLEAD program is proud to have the opportunity to send a team of 11 advanced business students and faculty members for the 5th consecutive year on a special international project to Jamaica. The The trip departs on Sunday, February 14 and returns on Sunday, February 21, 2016. This year, they will be offering consulting work to an Eco-tourism resort called Fern Forest Eco-Village. For more information on iLEAD program, please visit our website.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Day Six

The day started with a late breakfast, where I grabbed a plate and headed to the conference room to meet with the group. We then began delving into our research and breaking down our final report. The initial stage consisted of breaking apart the short and long-term goals. The core topics discussed for The Fern Forest Eco- Village consisted of: The non-profit children’s camp containing an ‘eco-tented’ idea; as well as a donkey ride up the mountainside for a sightseeing tour combined with the third and final topic being the organic farming and gardening attraction.

The donkey tours up the mountainside are to bring in a revenue stream for The Fern Forest as a whole, due to the uniqueness of the donkey rides as a tourist attraction. Donkeys also provide a means to transport tourists in a fun way through The Fern Forest and an ‘eco’ based approach with regards to compost the donkey’s waste products. The organic farming and garden add to the attraction and further the educational and ‘eco’ ideals. The non-profit children’s camp will continue to be improved upon as an attraction and provides a learning outlet for underprivileged children.

The conference meeting continued after a brief lunch and a surprising twist of Linda Piper and Natalya Brown bringing in a fellow traveller to present our work to. Later that night, we had the chance to visit with Natalya’s cousin the vet, in order to further our research with donkeys and to verify our proposal. The night finished off with an authentic Jamaican dinner.

Dessert consisted of a choice between a chocolate coffee cake and Lychee cake.

Robert Smaill

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