Week One: Loving it!
It’s been nearly 2 weeks on base for us new volunteers and what used to be strange and new is becoming common practice. There is a lot to take in when you first arrive, and I’m not even talking about the science aspect of what we are here to do. I’m talking about waking up with the sun, doing your share of chores just to make the camp run, lifting and pushing boats in and out of the water twice a day and learning to shower with a bucket and a cup. On top of that you have diving, science lectures, and practice monitoring. Additionally, there are community projects at the nearby village of Punta Allan, which I was lucky enough to experience on week 1, and weekly beach cleans. I brought some books with me to base, but I think I’ll be lucky if I get the time to read just one because every hour of the day seems jam packed.
But, as I’ve said, these busy days are getting easier to bear, especially due to the amazing staff and seasoned volunteers who have shown us the way. We’ve got a great group that knows exactly when to get down to business and get things done, and when to let loose. Not that I would expect any less from a crew of divers (best people in the world). When everyone works together we make magic happen. Whether it’s filling a giant water tank, cleaning a section of the beach, cooking a killer meal, recycling and composting, changing a motor on one of the boats, or getting crafty for one of the community projects, we get it done. To be honest, it hardly seems like work when everyone is together, cracking jokes and keeping things light.
Of course, there are also those special moments when you get to relax in a hammock, white sand below you, palm trees above, and nothing but clear turquoise waters ahead, when you really get to appreciate how very lucky we are. The chilled out atmosphere here is amazing, and living a simpler lifestyle that we may not be accustomed to is good for the soul.