The link between Bermuda and the Azores — separated by more than 2,000 miles of Atlantic Ocean — goes back hundreds of years, to the mid-1800s when Azoreans first settled in Bermuda. Through living and working together for hundreds of years, the citizens of these two countries have developed a special connection — one that will be explored by 40 members of the Lifelong Learning Centre (LLC) in Bermuda. The members are heading to the Azores next month with Road Scholar — the not-for-profit educational travel organization that offers 5,500 programs in 150 countries, including the Azores.
Housed on the campus of Bermuda College, LLC offers daily classes for adults over 55. According to the Centre’s Director, Janet Ferguson, the Centre provides education to over 1,200 active seniors eager to continue learning throughout their lives.
“Our first learning adventure with Road Scholar was to Montreal-Quebec,” Janet said. “It was so popular, that we reached out to our members to see whether there were any other trips they’d be interested in taking together. Bermuda has a strong historic connection to the Azores and there’s a large Azorean population here, as many first and second generation Azoreans have settled here. We knew that Road Scholar would have a program that our members would enjoy.”
Road Scholar participant Deborah Mackenzie, 72, is a native Bermudian who can trace her family history on the island back to the 1600’s. She joined the LLC at 55 and has a special connection to it — her mother was one of the founding members. Once she retired from a career as an Interior Designer at 66, she joined a Friday morning rambling group at the Centre. She visited Cuba with Road Scholar and loved it, and is excited about visiting the Azores for the first time.
“The Centre has been a great source of instruction, entertainment and socializing for me,” Deborah said. “I particularly love that it’s on the college campus. In addition to taking classes on the campus, we get to meet and interact with young people. The more time I spend with young people, the more reassured I am about the future.” She added, “if you’re an inexperienced traveler, Road Scholar is perfect. They offer a lot of guidance, and the local guides they use really know their stuff.”
Richard Ferrett, 67, is also a Centre member looking forward to his trip to the Azores with Road Scholar.
“My first experience with Road Scholar was on the Cuba trip and the whole structure of the trip was excellent from start to finish,” Richard said. “I had a housekeeper for many years who is Azorean and returned home about 15 years ago. We kept in touch throughout the years, exchanging photos and Christmas cards. It’ll be my first time vising the Azores, and I’m thrilled to learn about the region and reconnect with my former housekeeper.”
About Road Scholar
Road Scholar is the nation’s largest educational travel organization for adults – a true university of the world. This not-for-profit educational organization offers 5,500 extraordinary learning adventures in 150 countries and 50 states. Road Scholars are immersed in a variety of educational activities, enlisting renowned faculty and experts who offer insider access not available to most individuals. Dedicated to making educational travel available to everyone, Road Scholar offers financial aid for those who otherwise could not participate in its programs.
Road Scholar educational adventures are created by Elderhostel, the not-for-profit world leader in educational travel for adults since 1975. To learn more, please visit www.roadscholar.org/press or check our blog at blog.roadscholar.org.
About Bermuda College Lifelong Learning Centre
The Bermuda College Lifelong Learning Centre (formerly Senior's Learning Centre), founded in 1990, is a self-supporting, non-profit organization of approximately 800 members, open to anyone who has reached the tender age of 55. Housed in the Bermuda College Brock Hall (formerly South Hall), classes are conducted daily on campus in the spring and fall semesters.
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