Today was a perfect day
I find myself thinking this every day, and I def don’t hate it. This week was pretty awesome, and it is probably because I had minimal class. Thursday was filled with conch assessments, where we went out in the boats and snorkeled for conch all day. We compared the number of live and dead conch in a 150 m squared area, and had three transects on each site, and went to four sites. Then, we took the live conch onto the boat and did syphonal length and lip thickness measurements. All of this field work has taught me that I am super into field work in comparison to work in the lab. Just a day on the water free diving for conch, definitely not a horrible school day. Not to mention the crystal clear waters that average out to 85 degrees, even 100 ft deep. Literally perfection. Thursday my only “class” was advanced open water (to get my advanced scuba certification) and this only lasted like fifteen minutes. After class some of the students and I went out into town. Now I have been pretty ill so I went out with the mentality that I was not going to drink. (haha). Now mom and dad, I know you don’t like me to mention drinking, but a. it is part of the culture on the island (this is the fishing capital of turks and caicos after all) and b. I am over 18 so it is 100% legal. Anyways, we went to darrells and originally I was sippin my gingerale and dancing my booty off with the other gals. Than my boy Mickey came, and he is awesome. He is the island cop (despite my disbelief) and he bought me and Luda some drinks. How could I say no?? (Just kidding I said no to the 4 other offers for locals to buy me drinks) Keep in mind that locals love me here, most likely due to the fact that I am basically their color. Kids and men here are just super intrigued with me because I am “exotic looking”. My race is def a convo starter, and it is not rare for me to hear “HawaiI” being shouted when I walk through town. Ok sorry anyways,Thursday night was chill, me Luda and Mickey chatted/drank on the fishing dock, and then he walked us home. His life is super cool, according to him he is currently producing a song for Rhianna right now, which Is obvs pretty sick.
Friday was an epic day. Maybe one of my favorite days on this island thus far. The day started with environmental policy, where we practiced interviewing techniques. This is super useful and also low key, so we just interviewed the interns here about their future aspirations and basically why they are so into the ocean. Next we had a guest speaker. David Anthony Bowan, who might be the most interesting person I have ever talked to. He is the director of culture for the Turks and Caicos Islands, and taught us about the importance of culture for tourism. He spoke to our class about music, food, and basket weaving. The music was definitely the most interesting. David brought a ton a musical instruments that locals here use in bands. The coolest of which was ripsaw. He was really good at playing all of the instruments which just was super sweet. So ya the ripsaw was a saw and a knife and “rake and scraped”. It made an incredible number of sounds and notes which was cool. He also showed us harmonica, frame drums, shakers, washboards, the conch, and other low-cost instruments (keep in mind this is a pretty poor island). David is a super good dancer and musician, and he has a band in Provo. Relating to his dancing/acting career, during his travels to Japan he played in a few broadway musicals (including Cats). Now how cool is that, acting in a whole other culture/ language. David sat down with me and was telling me all about his travels the New York, India, Japan, and other sweet places. He is also super into reichi and yoga, he is just chill AF. And he also had the world’s most adorable son. If I have a son, I want him to have dreads (if he is not super white). UGH I love the dreads on children here, it’s the cutest (I will try to post pics). After lunch some friends and I went out to the docks where the island was celebrating Youth Day. We stopped at ice cream at Marvas ebfore this. It was delish and a super good pick me up on a 90 degree day. Just a note, I heard David tell his son Eshawn (no idea how to spell that) to “eat to capacity”. I just thought that was such good advice that I have never heard a parent tell their child. But he stressed the importance to only eat until his son was full, I felt that was cool parenting move… Anywho.. youth day..
This is a holiday across all the islands that gives these children a day off of school to have fun. I had a blast jumping into the water with the kids, and teaching a few of the little guys how to swim in the shallows. They all were super intrigued with my Gopro and took some adorable videos playing around in the ocean. I played with David’s little son who was super impressive at jumping off the dock (and did a back flip!). After a while I went up to check out the festivities where there were tons of kids dancing, hula hooping, getting their face painted, and overall just having a blast. I could not wipe the grin off my face, and spent the whole afternoon dancing and playing with the kids. They are all so happy and super good at dancing. They also all love me, I really do think I have a deep connection with some of them, and everytime I go into town I find to have a group of kids following behind me, giggling. Ugh they are precious. No worries, I took tons of pics. Friday night, was an epic basketball game. The local high school team versus the School for Field Studies. Naturally, we got dominated, but it was sooo much fun. Everyone was so spirted and there was just so much dancing, cheering, and excitement. Not to mention all the kids who were playing with us throughout the game. Little Freddy was so intrigued with us, and was giggling/causing trouble all night. Ugh so adorable.
Saturday is dive day. And today I went on such an incredible dive. I am pretty sure each new dive site I experience, I deem my favorite, but this one was significantly awesome. The site is known as “the Grotto” and is on the wall. This dive was part of my Advanced Open Water course, and was our deep dive. I got down to 102 feet with an incredible location of the wall! It was breathtaking with some seriously huge sponges and huge schools of fish. The wall sloped into darkness and I really felt like I was soaring. Diving is such an incredible experience, and I am so excited I have the opportunity to do it so often here. It really calms me down, takes away any stresses, and overall it is just so healing. I have found that sometimes I just lose myself and feel like I want to cry because it is so beautiful down there. Especially on the wall, watching fish swim vertically as if the wall was the ocean floor. There is just so much beauty I don’t even know how to put it into words. My dive group is questionable, and I am seriously missing my group I had in the beginning of the semester. There are a few newer divers who kinda screw around while we are diving, and pay no attention to what they are supposed to be doing. The dive only lasted 30 minutes, as one of the boys surfaced with 500 psi left in his tank, where I had like 1700 left, so if I could have gone longer. But that is life I guess, so patience is necessary. I look forward to teaching swim lessons later on today, and I am sure there will be some more adventures to come tonight, until then….
“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever”
Quotes from the book I am reading that are absolutely relevant: I highly suggest reading Blue Mind to any “water-babies”
“We are beginning to learn that our brains are hardwired to react positively to water and that being near it can calm and connect us, increase innovation and insight, and even heal who’s broken”