Name(s): Rachel Hawes & Erika Dahl-Stamnes
School(s): University of Georgia and Trinity University
Program: Marine Protected Areas: Management Techniques & Policies
From exams, to secret beaches, to showering in the rain, we are finally wrapping up our last few days here. Sunday, a group went to East Bay beach which is within walking distance from the Center. An abandoned ship was the highlight of this beach trip, where we explored the rusty history inside and happened to find an old American flag. There was also the opportunity to go get handmade conch fritters at a local woman’s house. The rest of Sunday was spent relaxing and preparing for the upcoming work-filled week as well as catching up on some Z’s.
Monday was consumed by academics, but our hard efforts were rewarded with chocolate chip cookies, a rare treat here. After our final on Tuesday, we burned off some steam at the north end of the island, where we went to a picture-perfect beach with cliffs hanging over the ocean. Once the sun set, the divers went on a night dive, experiencing the magical bioluminescence post-super moon. Wednesday morning, the divers were rewarded another dive trip before heading back to work on our final research paper about the local Queen Conch population. Thursday, some students went to a kindergarten church school graduation and got to experience the local culture.
Today we handed in our final paper and presentation, and now we are lounging by the pool eating snack mix and apples excited for our celebratory bonfire and sharking trip! This weekend contains a few local activities such as our weekly community outreach and rugby practice. We get to spend our final day on a nearby island called Long Cay, which is uninhabited except for an iguana population. We will completely close the program with a slide show to commemorate our treasured month long experience here. See you soon!