It’s Been a Crazy Week!

8 Feb

Hello all,

It’s been awhile since my last post, but that’s because I’ve been busy trying to weather the storm down here. After arriving late Monday night, me and the rest of my fellow students down here began classes on Tuesday, starting with Environmental Policy, then Resource Management, and finally Marine Ecology. Already I have to memorize more than 40 scientific names by next Thursday for a quiz; including different mangrove, algae, fish, and coral species. On top of that I have a presentation due Tuesday and readings from every class that are due the next day. It is all a bit overwhelming at first, but it is a necessity because the latter half of the semester in an SFS program is strictly devoted to a Directed Research project, so a semester worth of curriculum has to be crammed into about a month and a half. Learning the scientific names has been pretty enjoyable though because every couple of days the professors take us out into the field and actually show us what we will be identifying on the test, definately an experience you could not get out of a course at Purdue! Just the other day when we were snorkeling through some shallow water we took a five minute detour to swim towards a barracuda one of the instructors had spotted. And Aubrey, one of my friends down here, spotted a Hammerhead the other day while snorkeling and managed to get a picture!  There are also optional snorkels/dives every Wednesday, and four of us saw a huge southern sting ray out by the coral reefs, at least 12 feet across!

When I’m able to tear myself away from the academic work here me and a lot of the other students have been going to a couple of the local bars. Some of the  residents here, or belongers as they like to be called, play dominos every night at Darrell’s, one of the more popular bars on the island. The people here have been really friendly so far, and have even invited us to play a few rounds with them. If you want to hang with the belongers, though, you have to play like one. Whenever it is your turn to play a domino, you have to slam it down as hard as you can on the table without messing up the board, which is pretty tricky. A few of us were trying to do it the other night and pieces were flying everywhere. It’s more of an attitude thing than anything, but if you just lay the piece down nice and gently, you better be prepared for a verbal onslaught from the belongers. It’s all in good humour though, and everyone has a pretty great time with it.

Well that’s all for now. I haven’t been able to get any pictures uploaded yet because the internet connection here won’t connect to our personal laptops, but as soon as we get that figured out I will start uploading some pictures of the center and town!

Until next time,

Joe

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One Response to “It’s Been a Crazy Week!”

  1. Dawn February 9, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    As I sit in the windowless study abroad office, I am super jealous of your snorkeling adventures!!!!

    Good luck with your school work and learning how to properly slam down domino pieces.

    Best wishes,
    Dawn
    (the person in the office who probably went to get LeeAnn for you when you had appointments with her…)

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