So now is a better time than any to take a moment to procrastinate studying and assignments to update you all on my life. I leave the islands in 18 days, and I can already tell it is going to be a hard and sorrowful departure. I have fell in love with the people and spirit of the island (ok, so not all the people), and it is going to be hard to leave. I think the hardest is leaving the amazing friends I have met here. I have definitely made some lifetime friends, and I am already stoked to meet up with them in the states. The adjustment to life and culture in the United States is going to be interesting. I got so excited walking into a grocery store in Provo that had air conditioning, and gasp, real aisles of food. I am so excited for laundry, and clean smelling clothes and bedding. I am also soooo excited for showers, and of course baths. I am going to take so many bubble baths, and it will be amazing. I am also pumped to have alone time, and can’t wait to sleep in my own bed without the company of others (no offense to my roommates, I love you all, but I also like being alone). I also am excited for the freedom. No curfews or rules, I will be on my own (to some extent, sorry Dad). It is also going to be strange to be indoors. Everything I do here is outside or in open-air rooms. I study, eat, and hangout outside, I hope I don’t feel to claustrophobic inside my house.
So this weekend was pretty amazing. After a long week of tons of lectures, it was nice to have some down time. Saturday morning I woke up at seven (as usual), enjoyed my breakfast, and then had a dive at 8:00. We went to a sight called Troy’s Dream. It got its name because there is an area that is a sandy patch, surrounded by a wall of coral, looking like a stadium sort of. It is gorgeous. We also swam along the wall, which was a little anti-climatic, but it was still beautiful, I can’t complain. There was one massive, fat barracuda that was lurking, and I got a little paranoid that he was attracted to the metal on my tank and regulator. When I swam on the wall I went down to 98 feet, where I def got a little narced. (nitrogen narcosis) it is such a weird feeling. I felt a little tipsy, and was just a little slow in my thoughts. It was so weird. We also passed a massive barrel sponge that had some cleaner fish inside, so I got to put my hands inside and have the shrimp give me a manicure and clean up the dead skin. It was ticklish. The most evenful part of my dive was during our three-minute safety stop. We have to wait three minutes at a depth of 15 feet every time we dive to prevent decompression sickness. Anyways, during this, a reef shark swam right towards us, circling around us. As you may guess, this is abcnormal behavior of sharks, and usually stay near the seabed. He was about 6 feet, which isn’t too huge, but it was big enough to have our intern tell us to surface and get in the boat ASAP. Let me tell you, I was the first one out of the water. The shark was probably curious, but I don’t wanna mess with a creature like that. Two students were so enthralled and were staring at the shark and taking videos, that they didn’t even realize the rest of us had surfaced. They were fine and managed to not be shark food, which is always a plus. After my dive, I decided I hadn’t gotten enough of the ocean, so Katie, Luda, and I snorkeled. WE left from the dock at the regatta, and headed towards the hotel. We stayed close to shore to ensure we avoided any boat traffic. The water wasn’t super clear, but I was able to take some cool go pro footage and collect some pretty shells. The highlight of this adventure was a baby turtle I spotted. He was about 10 inches, and sooo cute. I was thrilled, and it made my day. I just love turtles so much. I also saw a box jellyfish which can sting pretty bad, but it was beautiful. EEK. After lunch, we have community outreach. I signed up for snorkel club, where we took the kids to East Bay. Only four kids came, and there were four SFS students, so we each got a kid. Mine was awesome and had an amazing sight, so he pointed out some cool creature to me. We were followed by a huge barracuda (per usual), and he freaked out a tad and asked me to hold my go pro out of the water because it is shiny. We saw tons of fish, the reef we visited was super lively. We saw a baby lionfish, an eel, three octopuses, some Christmas tree worms, and other cool creatures. I even found some more beautiful shells. After outreach we had clean up, where I was on waterfront so I just snorkeled around the boats and cleaned off the ropes, it was chill. After dinner, we went out into town and I had a pretty funny night. Nothing too excited happened, but I biked around for a while (where did I even get this bike, I couldn’t tell ya). Sunday is a free day, so I woke up at seven and started studying for marine ecology until brunch time (11 am). After my share of chocolate chip pancakes, I tanned out by the pool. Then a bunch of girls and I headed to East Bay. We were the only ones on the beach (as usual) so we did some topless tanning and swimming. It was a fun low key day. When I got back to the center I decided to clean out all the shells I have collected this semester. My collection is looking good, I will try to post some photos of them! Tonight I have to work on my resource management zoning project, and hopefully finish my study guide. Lots of work to get to, goodnight goodnight!