Life here is amazing. It has its downsides (i.e. no showers, hot as heck, and the mosquitos are downright evil) but the beauty and spirit of the island definitely make it all worth it. I will fill you in on a typical day in the life of me. I wake up somewhere around 7:00 and throw on shorts and a teeshirt. Today was Friday, aka tie dye Friday, so I wore a beautiful (ok maybe a little dirty and sunscreen-smelling) tie dye tank. I next walk about 25 yards to the dining hall room. The center is a little hard to explain but basically it is a big room that opens up next to the kitchen, which is also open with the outside environment. This makes meals and doing work here more pleasant because we get a nice sea breeze occasionally. OK so for breakfast I had some cheerios and an apple and peanut butter, nomm. Then at 7:40 every day we have morning meeting. This is when an intern tells us our schedule for the day, any updates we need to know, we do an activity, and then quote of the day. At 8 we had resource management, where we learned a little about stock assessments, at 9 we had marine ecology where we learned about life stages of marine organisms, at 10 we had a break. This is when we can do some work and we get a snack. Today we had fruit and goldfish. The next class was environmental policy, which is surprisingly my favorite class. Ed, the teacher, is super awesome and has an amazing accent which I appreciate. And then we had another marine resource class where we had a guest lecture from DEMA (department of environmental maritime somethingorother). I love having guest speakers so I enjoyed hearing about the techniques that the TCI government are using to ensure healthy marine ecosystems. After this lecturer we had lunch…. I enjoyed some mac and cheese and a salad. (the food here is not half bad). I then decided to go to the library in town to hit up the wifi, because we don’t exactly have wifi on campus. So after that I got back and worked on our taxonomy identification project for ecology that’s due Monday. SO basically last week we snorkeled everyday and took pictures of marine organisms, and this week we have been identifying them, its actually pretty cool). At around 4:00 my sixth grader friends Gregory, Johnathon, Dione, and Jovenson came to the center for homework help. I help Gregory almost every day and I have come to love his sass. He has a hilarious personality and he definitely appreciates the time I spend to help him with his school work, even if he does get distracted super easy. After a while of working on some grammar with him, I got super hot and decided to go snorkeling in the swim zone. It was so refreshing and I had tons of fun and saw some awesome creatures. I potted a huge King Conch, a green moray eel, a flounder, a mantis shrimp, tons of fish (duh) and right before I got out a sting ray swam right underneath me. It was super cool and made my day! I tried to get a photo, who knows how that came out… Anyways, after I salt water showered and then it was time for dinner. For dinner was avocado salad, some steak, and potatoes. The sunset tonight was unreal, it was super orange and pink. I feel like every night here there is a new, dramatic sunset and I absolutely love to watch it. After dinner, I found out that a lot of kids were going to go out for a night snorkel, and opportunity I didn’t want to put down. So I grabbed my gear and headed to the dock with my scuba flash light and my go pro. What a spectacular snorkel, we saw so many sea creatures. We saw two squid, both of which got super confused about our flash lights and decided to ink, We also saw quite a few octopus, which was probably the highlight. They are so beautiful and entertaining to watch. We saw tons of eel that were just chillin outside their holes, so it was cool to see their entire bodies. We also saw a lot of lobster. We also had a minor near death experience. Now I hate barracuda a lot.. I always have. They are just so lurky and stare me town like every time I am in the water. They definitely always eye my belly button ring cause it’s super shiny, so I wear a rashguard to avoid that. Anyways..the boys were shining a light at a three foot long one, and the barracuda was def not a fan of the lights, sooo it charged at us. I died inside and screamed out loud. It was kinda horrifying but its okay, no one got bit. It was just a little frightening with its giant teeth.
Now that I am done with my night snorkel I am in bed under the comfort of my mosquito net. The evening is actually pretty cool and I am a perfect temperature which is a rarity. I have so much to look forward to this weekend I am super stoked. Tomorrow I am diving in the morning, and before that I plan on going to the beach to find some sea shells. I have a pretty killer collection coming alone but I always have room for more. I think we are going to a plane wreck for our scuba dive site which should be epic. Last Wednesday we dove at the location next to this and we saw a shark, so fingers crossed we will get to see one again! After diving we have community outreach and instead of swim lessons, I decided to do something different and sign up for water quality monitoring. I will be going out on a boat and visiting four different locations and doing water tests. I am quite excited to get to see new spots, and I hear that there’s a high chance we will see some sharks! Tomorrow night is Saturday, and most of the students are going into town. I have so much fun on these nights dancing with my friends and getting to know the locals. It is such a unique experience. Sunday is going to be a chill day and I basically have the whole day free. My biggest commitment is to go sharking at night, like now coo is that. A few of us signed up to help a professor with his research so we catch sharks and tag them. I am unbelievably stoked for this. Sunday for lunch we are also getting locals to come into SFS and help us prepare a traditional Turks and Caicos dish, which should be delicious. The local food is actually tasty, I highly recommend cracked conch…YUM. Okay I am off to bed to get ready for a busy weekend (maybe I will even do some homework too!?) Goodnight!