Barbados Pointers NEEDED!

Old Feb 16th 2011, 4:08 am
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Default Barbados Pointers NEEDED!

Hi! We've just landed in Barbados and I'm DYING over the phones right now. The cell phones aren't good enough for my work and the hotel phones are restricted to calling cards. Does anyone know if you can get a SEVENTY MINUTE or more calling card? I have to do a bit over an hour at one time and need stellar lines to use. Any other suggestions as to a decent phone in a quiet locale (I lead teleseminars)?

Additionally, would anyone care to recommend a good beach to stay longer-term? We will get a rental if we can find a good one, and I do ocean swims daily. A condo or villa near or on a beach that is appropriate for small kids (not too rough) would be best.

And finally, schools. I think there may be a Montessori but we are looking for something like that for our kids, ages 4 & 8. They have grown up more in child-led schools than formal schooling so probably the regular schools wouldn't work. In reading some of the posts, it seems as though admission to the main schools is crowded & rigid, and this isn't what we are looking for.

I hope to meet some of you as we stay longer! Thanks for any and all advice!
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Old Feb 16th 2011, 11:02 am
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Default Re: Barbados Pointers NEEDED!

Welcome to Barbados KAlice and to the boards

Re the phones.. Not sure I can help. You need to check with Lime or Digicel or Blue Connect re phone cards. Are you planning on staying in the hotel while you live here?? or moving into an apartment or home?? of course that would help, to get out of the hotel, but I guess that's your decision.

Re the schools. I'm not sure what Child-Led school means (except that I have looked it up on the internet). and not sure you will find what you are looking for in Barbados. Maybe Providence (which still follows the ministry of education required curriculum) or Codrington School (which follows the IB programme). "home-schooling" is technically not done in Barbados as the teacher must be qualified and the curriculum that is being taught has to be approved by the ministry of education. All Children from 4-16 must be in a school (by law). You may want to check with Learning for Life to see what they might be able to offer to you. They are "home-schooling" school, but you go there, instead of them coming to you. I don't know what type of Daytime programs they have for your child's age group however.

my preference (as my children went there) is St. Gabriel's School, where they do, in the early years, following many of the Montessori principles of education. It is a private school but there is a possibility that the years for your child to go into, will already be full.

I'm not sure what your definition of crowded is (more than 2, more than 10, more than 30?? in a class). St. Gabriel's class sizes are average of about 25 per class with a teacher and an assistant in each class up to top infants with is age 7yrs). Junior will then be 1 teacher per class size of again about 25, but there are also at least 2 additional teachers on staff for the junior department that do extra assistance with things like maths, english, reading etc.

The Ursuline Convent School - St. Angela's is another option as well.

There are several threads on the boards that address schools in Barbados.. Have a read through to see if any can assist.

The only thing will be .. for any school, the children will need to have a student visa, so you will need to check with the Ministry of Education on this one. These are usually done through the parents Work Permit, which you may or may not have. Not sure what they will get if you don't have a work permit.
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Old Feb 16th 2011, 1:22 pm
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Default Re: Barbados Pointers NEEDED!

Sunniebgi,

Thanks so much for your kind reply. The technical term for child-led learning is "Reggio," an Italian invented term and philosophy of education. Our children are often home-schooled so I will check out the school you mentioned, which sounds heavenly for us, so that is a big help.

So many schools seem to be going in that direction, and with boys, we are delighted with it, since sitting at a desk all day with a book often is pretty hard on boys.

We don't have work permits, wouldn't need them, since we are self-employed & won't be working for anyone on the island, so I hope that won't be a hindrance. I'm wondering if these laws apply to private or international schools? Sounds pretty heavy-duty.

I will look around more on the boards about schools, as well, do some digging.

We have checked with Digicel, and it's abysmal. In Jamaica, they are already up to 4G (same company there!) but I understand they are new here and therefore, just at 2G. I had a phone call last night break up, like you can't imagine and have to re-record the whole thing. Lime, by Cable & Wireless, is even worse (my husband used to work for them).

Yes, thank goodness, we are searching for a rental and at that point, will have an unrestricted, hard line phone, badly needed. We won't be at a hotel the whole time.

Again, thanks for your kindness in reply to my questions! I may poke my head in and ask further at a later time, and am very grateful for this resource and sharing!
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Old Feb 16th 2011, 4:05 pm
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Default Re: Barbados Pointers NEEDED!

All children, regardless of what school, as long as they are non-nationals, require a student visa regardless of the school they attend. I would strongly suggest that you check with the ministry of education to find out the particulars of your specific case.

My husband also used to work for Lime (23years) and was one of the original engineers who "built" the cellular network in Barbados many years ago. While the networks are good, they aren't great.. and likely, obviously, don't meet your needs. You may want to try TeleBarbados, but I'm not certain what they actually offer these days.. I know they do internet, but not sure if they have finally gotten into cell and landline access.

keep us posted.
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Old Feb 17th 2011, 1:26 pm
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Default Re: Barbados Pointers NEEDED!

Sheesh! It sounds fairly complicated and our dilemma is that we're looking at longer term housing & wouldn't want to commit until we know it's near the school we will attend. I'll make some calls today.

Thanks so much for the info. Didn't mean to diss C & W, as my hubby enjoyed working there, too. It's just not been easy to figure out the phones. And Digicel has a connection internationally that is not up to snuff.

If anyone knows of a calling card that is 70 minutes or more to use on a land line calling internationally from Barbados, let me know. That's the current problem.

I'm sure we'll figure it out and really appreciate the input!
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Old Feb 17th 2011, 9:15 pm
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Default Re: Barbados Pointers NEEDED!

unlike many places, don't think that you need to live near the school your child attends. The only reason for that is if you plan to send your child to a government school. (or you plan to use Codrington which is on the east coast or Providence which is in St. George). I drive about 30 min a day to get my children to school, but 30min in Barbados is not that far, it's just the roads and traffic. (you get used to it). Soo. choose the school based on where you want your child to go, not on where you live).

No worries on the dissing of Lime..
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Old Feb 17th 2011, 11:21 pm
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Default Re: Barbados Pointers NEEDED!

Regarding the phone issue- can't you use the Internet phone Skype or the american "MagicJack" to call overseas? just a suggestion....
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Old Feb 18th 2011, 2:33 am
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Default Re: Barbados Pointers NEEDED!

while I don't have Magic Jack, people do use it.. And I do you skype as well, but.. using the internet (especially right now - there is an undersea cable break just off NYC sooo.. making simple browsing an issue at the moment ) for skype is also somewhat dodgy.. Although, my husband uses for business almost exclusively.
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Old Mar 5th 2011, 4:20 pm
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Default Re: Barbados Pointers NEEDED!

Originally Posted by Sunniebgi View Post
while I don't have Magic Jack, people do use it.. And I do you skype as well, but.. using the internet (especially right now - there is an undersea cable break just off NYC sooo.. making simple browsing an issue at the moment ) for skype is also somewhat dodgy.. Although, my husband uses for business almost exclusively.
I was in Barbados recently and brought my magic jack from the US and it worked flawlessly.

Anthony
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Old Apr 8th 2011, 12:15 pm
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Default Re: Barbados Pointers NEEDED!

Originally Posted by AnthonyNYC View Post
I was in Barbados recently and brought my magic jack from the US and it worked flawlessly.

Anthony
You can buy the Magic jack locally too, if anybody wants the info let me know and ill pass on the details of the shop..i dont have magic jack but i went in the store to sort out my blackberry and saw them onsale
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