Thursday, March 24, 2011

Nutrition and Fitness

And now for something completely different lol
Hey guys, I recently decided to get in better shape and eat healthier so I thought I would share my plan with you. I figured that there are a lot of people who want to eat better and workout more but either don’t know what to do or aren’t motivated so I thought that by sharing what I’m doing, maybe you guys would be interested in joining me. I’d be lying if I said I just randomly decided to do this, the main reason is for my school gym class. We have to log 15 hours of exercise for our choice of 3 focuses: cardio, muscular endurance, flexibility. I chose cardio and muscular endurance so I’m to do at least 15 hours of those (together, not each). We were also given a lecture on healthy eating and I realized that I eat horribly so I decided I’d work on that at least a little. I’m not making any huge chances but the changes I make will help in being healthier.
Here’s what I’m doing food wise:
I have never been a breakfast person, I sleep in as late as I can and then rush to class every morning so I don’t have much time for breakfast. I used to eat oatmeal or a bagel but lately I had gotten in the habit of eating a poptart for breakfast every morning (horrible habit, do not do it ). After our little lecture on nutrition I decided I would quit that and find something healthier to eat. I now eat pita bread with peanut butter on it, along with some fruit (nothing specific, just whatever we have in the house at the time). As for snacks, not gonna lie I usually grab some sort of junk food to eat as a snack. Now I’m eating fruits, vegetables, and other healthier snacks.
Now I know that we’re all pretty lazy and would rather grab something quickly out of the cupboard or fridge as a snack. This tends to be junk food though, which is a bad habit to get into. The solution to this is to cut up fruit in advance. Buy some of those glass Tupperware containers, cut up the fruit(s) and put them in the fridge. This way you can grab the container and have fast access to fresh fruit anytime you like. The same goes for many vegetables as well. I also have a habit of eating popcorn when I’m studying or doing homework (which let’s face it, that’s pretty often) so rather than eat the very salty and buttery popcorn, I’ll either pop my own homemade popcorn or if I’m feeling lazy (much more likely) I’ll make the one of the healthier microwavable bags of popcorn.
And now drinks. Again, I got into a horrible habit and I drank soft drinks a lot. What I’m doing now is drinking water or juice (but not the super sugary ones that are no better than soft drinks).
This doesn’t mean you can’t have soft drinks or junk food; they just shouldn’t be a main part of what you eat.

And now onto the fitness section:
I really did not exercise at all before so I’m horribly out of shape when it comes to fitness. With the incentive from my gym class I’m going to work on improving my cardio and muscular endurance.
We recently bought a Wii and fell in love with a dance game called Just Dance 2. It is so much fun to play with family or friends and can be quite a workout if you really get into it. Then for my birthday I was given another dance game, this one a fitness game. It’s called Dance Fitness and it’s by Gold’s Gym. The game is like having a personal trainer (you actually do in the game) and you can organize a workout or just do a quick workout of whatever you want. There’s latin dancing, cardio boxing, and some mini games. I tried out the dancing and mini games and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would, they didn’t feel like that much of a workout. Then I found the cardio boxing section and loved it, it is such a great workout (obviously you actually have to do the moves and get into it, not just move the remotes to get points). Now I mostly use the cardio boxing routines for my cardio workout, and for muscular endurance I add push ups, crunches and lunge jumps between each routine (there’s a pause between each so I use this time). If you use the “my workout” option it also allows you to create your own workout regiment, and halfway through the workout you take your pulse and it tells you if you’re in your target heart rate zone or not.
And now I’ll show you what my current workout is, though I’ll probably be extending it to last longer soon. This workout takes about a half hour of nonstop exercise. With the wii there is a bit of a break between routines but as I said, I take this time to work on push ups and such.

1) warm up (there’s a warm up section on the wii with stretching)
2) one intermediate level 2 dance routine (I use this to warm up and get into the exercising frame of mind)
3) 10 push ups, crunches, lunge jumps
3) one beginner level 1 cardio boxing routine
4) 10 push ups, crunches, lunge jumps
5) one beginner level 3 cardio boxing routine
6) 10 push ups, crunches, lunge jumps
7) one intermediate level 2 cardio boxing routine
8) 10 push ups, crunches, lunge jumps
9) one intermediate level 2 cardio boxing routine
10) 10 push ups, crunches, lunge jumps
11) cool down (there’s a cool down section on the wii with stretching)

And that’s my current fitness and nutrition plan. I hope you didn’t find this too boring and that maybe it encourages you to start a routine that you’ve been thinking about starting as well. I’m also hoping that posting about it here will keep me motivated as lack of motivation is usually what leads to a plan like this failing. We’ll see how it goes. I won’t be updating about it too much, maybe just updating if I change my exercise plan or something.

Here are a few videos of some examples of the cardio boxing routines from the wii game:

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Granby Zoo

As I mentioned in my last blog, it was march break last week and I went on a day trip to Granby Zoo with my mom and sister. I hadn't been to Granby in about 12 years so I was thrilled to get to go again. Especially since they have snow leopards *girlish squeal*. I was so excited to see the snow leopards, you can't even imagine. I had seen snow leopards before but Granby Zoo has snowie cubs and they're much easier to photograph than at other zoos I had been to. We walked around the zoo looking for animals that were still in outdoor enclosures (quite a few are put inside for the winter since it gets too cold for them). We passed zebras, then went into the indoor section where we saw gorillas, a chameleon, monkeys, and then we continued outside in search of the snow leopards. We came across the enclosure that looked to be a snow leopard enclosure, but couldn't find any snow leopards inside. As I was walking around I eventually spotted one way in the back in a dark corner. Needless to say I was rather disappointed that there was only one snow leopard and I wouldn't be able to get any good photos. And so we continued on, seeing all the other animals when we came across another enclosure that looked like the previous snow leopard enclosure. I walked closer and spotted three snow leopards all relaxing on a log and being cute!! I think I may have scared the little boy beside me because I went "EEEEE SNOW LEOPARD!!" and bounced up in the air in excitement....yeah...oops haha. I think we stayed at the snow leopard enclosure for over an hour watching them and photographing them. They were so adorable, I wish they were closer so I could see them more often.

After the snow leopards, we went to an indoor enclosure and saw parrots, monkeys, an ocelot,iguanas, a jaguar,and some other awesome animals. Then we headed back outside where we found the siberian tiger exhibit. The tigers were either wayyy in the back or sleeping so photo opportunities weren't great. I headed into a little indoor section not knowing what to expect, when I realize it's a viewing area from inside the exhibit, and right in front of me are two tigers. I was rather happy to get to be both warm (it got really windy and cold that day) and take photos of animals that are awake and close up. After the tigers we were so cold that we headed back to the entrance and for home. Overall, awesome day at the zoo.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Trip to Ontario

I don't post very much here but I figure I'll use this for trips and such so here is a little summary of my recent trip to Ontario. I'm on march break so my family and I headed to visit family in Ontario for the weekend. We left Saturday morning and headed straight to a zoo called Jungle Cat World where we met up with a friend of mine and got spend a few hours at the zoo. I hadn't been back to JCW in about 7 months so a lot of the animals had been moved around and new animals had been brought in so I got to see all the new animals. Since I hadn't been in so long, a lot of the animals I knew from before had grown so much it was incredible! The little cubs I saw last time are almost full grown now.

My sister and I at JCW:

Sasha, approx. 4 month old male Siberian Tiger:

Dimitri, approx. 1 year old male Siberian Tiger:

Wanda (I think), approx. 10 month old female Arctic Wolf

After we were all completely frozen from being outside for about two hours, we decided it was time to get going. My friend headed home and my family and I headed to my relatives house. We got to my aunt and uncles house and basically just relaxed all weekend; we chatted, went shopping on Sunday, and played Just Dance 2 for hours. Once you get over the fact that you'll be embarrassing yourself and just let go it's a lot of fun lol. On Monday we started on our drive home and stopped in to visit my other relatives on the way. We stopped at their place for a bit, had lunch and chatted, then continued on our drive home. And so concludes my trip to Ontario :)

Here are some videos of Dimitri, he's so big now!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Day 13 - The Trip Home

Our flight was at 7:30am so we woke up at 4am, got all our stuff together and got in the bus/taxi at 430am. We went straight to the airport and got in line to check in. The check in lines were outside and because it was early morning and hot I started to feel sick, which for me is relatively normal but not that pleasant anyway. Once we were checked in we went through customs and security which didn’t take too long. Then we bought some food, wandered around the gifts shops and then headed to the gate. We boarded the plane and I had a window seat beside Alex, one of the girls on the trip with me. We all slept through almost all of the flight. I slept on and off but I did manage to sleep for about 3 hours of the 4 hour flight. For the last hour Alex and I watched an episode of Lie to Me from season 1. Once we landed in Miami (weird airport in my opinion) we had to go through customs (loooooong walk to get there I might add), pick up our baggage, and recheck our baggage. We did that then went to have lunch in a mini food court where I bought a pepperoni pizza. I had lunch with Gaby, Jen, Lauren, and Emily who also had pizza or burger king. After lunch we went through security (again) then headed to the gate where we waited and worked on our labs before boarding the plane home. I switched seats with Gen so she could sit beside Alex, and I ended up sitting between two strangers. One slept through the flight and the other had an adorable 8 month old daughter, she just kept bobbing around and sticking her tongue out. I worked on the labs, then went through photos for Flora and Fauna. The woman and I ended up chatting about the photos, the trip and all that; she was really nice. I then watched an episode and a half of Lie to Me before I had to turn off the laptop for landing. We landed around 4:30pm, went through customs (for the 3rd time that day I might add) which took forever because the line up was huge, then got our bags, and met up with our parents or whoever was picking us up. I saw my mom and sister right away so I met up with them, and we headed home. And here I am, home safe and sound :) It feels like I’ve been gone forever and that I’ve never left at the same time. It feels weird but normal at the same time lol. Barbados was so amazing, I still have lots of photos to go through and upload, as well as some videos to upload and possibly edit into a movie, we’ll see. I hope you’re all doing well and have enjoyed reading about my trip. Take care! :)

Day 12

Last day here! It feels like forever! We woke up around 10, thought we’d leave at 1030 but ended up leaving at 1130. Jess gave me some pita bread and peanut butter for breakfast and I made a lunch for us with it as well. We went out to the East coast to do the sea grass experiment part 2 which didn’t go all that well since none of us could find our patches of grass in order to measure the growth. And I stepped on a crab hole that the crab was in so he pinched my toe. I also stepped on many rocks, pieces of dead coral, and many other uneven, sharp, and painful things. Really made me wish I had brought water shoes for that experiment. And there were chickens on the beach, I’ll never get used to seeing chickens on lawns and beaches. After the experiment we headed to the Welchman Gully where we went on a 45 minute guided walk to learn about the plants and stuff. It was so beautiful, it’s like a tropical rainforest there. We saw bamboo, nutmeg, lots of beautiful flowers, some crazy looking trees, caves. And there are these non-native snails that they’re trying to get rid of so Kyle kept stepping on them. They made this awful crunching sound then a pop and it was rather disgusting. At the end of the trail there was even a lookout point which was breathtaking, you could see all the way to the east coast. I took loads of pictures. We headed back to the hotel and then I met up with Lauren, Gaby, Emily, and Kyle to go to the institute to get internet and work on the labs. We stayed there for an hour or so then took the bus back to the hotel. Once back at the hotel I read and finished a book, made myself some ramen noodles which were surprisingly really good, and then uploaded my pictures and watched a few episodes of Lie to Me from the first season. My roommate headed out to Lexi's with soem fo the other girls but my foot had really started hurting so I went over to the teachers' room. I thought I had seen something there like a splinter but I wasn’t sure so I figured I’d ask them to check it out. I had stepped on many painful things in the morning at the sea grass experiment with all the rocks, coral, etc. Turns out there was a piece of a thorn of some sort in my foot. So JP got tweezers and a needle and proded, poked, scraped, etc until it was out. Wow did it ever hurt. But at least it was out and there was polysporin and a bandaid on it. Then I was just chilling in my room when I heard people at the pool so I went to check and sure enough there were there. They must have seen me because a minute later Jen and Roman were at my door asking me if I wanted to join the others for swimming. I said sure so I headed to the pool where we had chicken fights. Turns out I have a strong grip because Gaby kept commenting on how she couldn’t get a grip on my since I kept holding onto her instead, I couldn’t stop laughing. Then everyone kept picking up Gaby and spitting water in her ears lol. The movie 2012 was starting in Jen’s room so most people went to watch that and I went back to my room to pack. I showered then listened to music and packed until around 1am then did the dishes and Jess (my roommate for the trip) and I headed to bed.

Day 11

I woke up around 7 because the room was so bright, then around 730 I got up and started to get ready for the boat ride at 9. My roommate was going on the second boat so she slept in but I was on the first so I had to get ready. I brought my laptop with me so I could go online and check messages since I can’t do that at the hotel without paying 8 bucks an hour, which is crazy. We walked to the institute (about a half hour) and then put our stuff in the (locked) computer room. Then we met up with Caroline (boat driver) and got on the boat. We went to do the second part of the water sampling lab which didn’t take long. I was taking pictures and then my teacher asked me to do my historical figure oral so I had to do that. I think it went well, he seemed impressed by my choice (Charles Darwin). And for anyone who is wondering what Charles Darwin has to do with marine biology and oceanography, he went on a trip called the Voyage of the Beagle on which he and his crew mapped, surveyed and charted the coasts of southern south africa, and it was also on this trip that he discovered fossils that lead to his theory of evolution and natural selection. He also is behind the accepted theory about the formation of atoll reefs. Anyway, for the lab I was recording the data since I brought my paper and it went by pretty fast. After that we went to go snorkelling on the barge and coral reef again. The fish were still insane, swimming right in front of your face and crowding you so much that you can’t even move anymore. We swam for about 30-40 minutes, and it was amazing. The water was crystal clear, there were tons of fish around. I took so many pictures and some of them are really nice. I even got lots of pictures of the yellow and black striped ones, the parrotfish, and a few others as well. Then we got back on the boat and went back to the institute. We all went on the computers and then some of the others went to the beach while I stayed in the lab and went on my laptop to take advantage of the internet access to check messages and refill my phone card since the star number didn’t work last night. I stayed in the lab for a few hours, then Allison and I went to join Maeva and Eliane at the beach for a bit. We couldn’t go to the wildlife reserve since it would have been too expensive and only Alison and I wanted to go. We swam and tanned on the beach near the institute for a bit then headed to the tiny shops for souvenirs and stuff. We also stopped at the Texaco for some food necessities. I bought some ramen noodles, a banana, some juice and other stuff for the next few days. Jess, Michelle, Drew, Kyle, JP, Chris, and I all headed to Just Grillin’ for supper where I got the grilled mahi mahi with grilled potatoes, Caesar salad and a virgin strawberry daiquiri which was amazing. If you are ever in Barbados, be sure to check out that restaurant! After supper we went to the Super C so they could buy some beer for beer pong. We set up everything in our room (fyi: bad idea, do not use your room for beer pong even if you have the biggest room, makes for a big mess). Some people were in the pool having chicken fights and making 3 people high towers that toppled over. I took a few videos until we were told to keep the noise down. Then everyone piled into our room for beer pong for a few hours. I played with coke and was teamed with Drew but we played so badly XD We lost without getting a single cup of the other teams. Around 11 everyone decided to go out to Lexi’s Piano Bar but I stayed home and read for a while. I was so tired though that I went to bed around 1.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Day 10

Sorry this is late, we moved to a hotel because the institute was booked for the last few days of our trip. The hotel has internet but it's 8 dollars an hour which is insane so I won't be online basically until I get home. I'm back at the institute in the computer lab checking messages and stuff since we were here for snorkeling and going out on the boat today anyway. (day 11 today by the way). So I will be MIA for a few days but I'll post the rest of the blogs and pictures when I get home :)
Also, sorry but this post is rather huge XD
Anyway, back to day 10. We woke up at 8, breakfast at 9 and then brought all our stuff to the lecture room to get it out of the rooms since we were moving to the hotel. Daren (from sea turtle program) came to sell us some tshirts which were really nice. Then we called some cabs and headed to the hotel. It was really expensive though, they charged us 70 bajan dollars for a short cab ride and we were dropped off at the wrong place so we had to walk a block to the reception area. Then once we were checked in we had to walk 3 blocks to get to our actual hotel. Let me just say that it is very hard to walk any distance carrying about 80 pounds worth of luggage in 30+degrees celcius in the direct sun. It was not fun. We were all sweating like crazy and roasting by the time we got there. We unloaded all our stuff into 4 rooms that were available (we got there at 10 and check in is only at 3, so we were given 4 rooms), changed into bathing suits and went for a quick dip in the pool. Some of us then went for lunch at a street vendor which was really good. I went and ate in one of the girls rooms and we studied for our test. We then went back to the pool to keep studying there. I got our room key, and my roommate and I then checked into our room which is sooo nice! I think we got the nicest/newest room actually lol But there's only one bed lol But it’s a massive bed, I could lie across it sideways and I would fit, it's big. After we got our stuff into the room, we had to go to the pool where we were writing our second test (lol I know, really high tech right? At least our first test was written in a class rather than poolside). Some people actually wrote the test from inside the pool lol We got some funny looks. After our test we all went to shower and get ready to go out to the Oistins fish market. We got to the bus around 6 and didn’t get to Oistins until was a very long and hot bus ride. We were completely packed in the bus, swaying everywhere and then sitting on each others laps lol So we got to Oistins fish market at 730, and its basically a bunch of shacks/booths that sell different fish meals. I ended up getting shrimp kebabs with rice, peas, and coleslaw. So much food but it was really good. After supper we went to look at the booths selling stuff, mostly jewellery. I ended up buying myself a pretty surfboard/turtle necklace that I really like. Everyone else was leaving at 930 but we were having fun shopping so a bunch of us stayed until 1030. We also spent some time watching the dancers on stage. The bus ride home was interesting lol One of the girls sat beside this guy who we thought was super shy but turned out to be a not-so-shy dancer who kept hitting on her, singing to her, and even managed to sneak a kiss lol. Oh and we decided that we each had a “rule” for the night, and if we broke our rule we had to take a shot at the bar. Mine was originally to talk all night, but was changed to talk more and have one drink, so it wasn’t a bad rule at all. Emily wasn’t allowed to swear (very hard for her, she swears worse than anyone I've ever heard), Drew wasn’t allowed high fives or props (also very hard for him), Jen wasn’t allowed to talk about sex or hint or any innuendos or anything (not easy, she doesn't realize she's doing it half the time), Gaby had to look ugly every 10 minutes (also not easy as she is gorgeous and it's basically impossible for her to look ugly), Lauren had to speak French every ten minutes (we had a horrible time finding one for her), Roman wasn’t allowed to mention kisses or asking for a kiss (as he does often, and even wanted to kiss a 44 year old), and Lyndon had to have an expression on his face at all times (he usually has no expression so we had him smiling all night). There were a few shots accumulated by the end of the bus ride lol We had planned to meet up with the others at Lexi’s Piano Bar but they weren’t there or at any of the other bars we frequent so we headed back to the hotel since we were all tired. Turns out they were just chilling in the teacher's room, so we hung out there for a bit then Jess (my roommate) and I went to the room, chatted while she made herself some supper, then went to bed.
I hope you're all doing well and enjoying reading the blog entries. I have a few videos as well but I think I left the chord at home so I can't upload them. And as I said before, I won't be online until I get home so I'll post everything then. Just to give a quick idea of what we'll be doing for the rest of the trip: wildlife reserve, snorkeling, finishing up lab experiments, more swimming, and I think that's about it lol. Take care and I'll update when I get home! :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Day 9

I still can't believe I've only been here for 9 days, it feels like forever! Part of me can't wait to be home, and another part of me loves it here and never wants to leave lol The can't wait to get home part is winning though, don't worry ;) Anyway, back to telling you about my day. We woke up at 7:45, and went down for breakfast. After breakfast we had an hour to get ready to go to Payne’s Bay to swim with the turtles. We left at 9:30, took the public bus and got there within a few minutes. We put all our gear into a big pile and got ready to go into the water. One of the guys on the beach came up to us and literally told us that if we paid him 20 bucks he’d guard our stuff, and if we didn’t then he was going to steal it all. We all just stared at him wondering if he was serious, and he was XD So our teacher paid him or some security guard, I can't remember who, and we headed into the ocean. There were quite a few boats and lots of people around so it was difficult getting remotely near the sea turtles. There also weren't very many surprisingly, I only saw 2-3. There were also a few stingrays so we were all more interested in them since we hadn't seem them before. They were so cool, but they’d swim right near you which was a little freaky. One of the teachers dove down at one point and there were 4 around him, including one right over his head and another right under him. Just a little scary lol. We stayed in the water until 11 or so, then headed back to our stuff and headed home. We had the rest of the day off to study and work on the flora and fauna project so half the group went snorkelling for the project and the other half stayed back and studied for the test on Saturday. I stayed back and studied since we had just been snorkelling and I needed to study for the test since it’s coming up soon. I chatted for a bit and got to go on webcam with my mom and sister :D I miss them like crazy. We then had a lecture at 3 on density, salinity, all that stuff. It was a rather boring lecture but it was our last one :D After the lecture some of us went back to studying while others headed to the bar we went to on New Years for happy hour. I studied, and chatted a bit. Around 6:30 I got hungry so I decided to make kraft dinner since it’s all I have left lol I was also stupid and burned my finger XD There’s no blister or anything but it was rather painful and still hurts to type with. I kept studying and ate supper, then went to pack since we’re moving to a hotel tomorrow because the place we're at now was already booked for the last few days of our trip. The hotel we’re going to looks great; it has kitchenettes and a pool! :D Anyhoo, so I packed what I could and continued studying for the test which has now been moved to tomorrow since we realized that we wanted to have free time to do activities this weekend before we leave. I’m still studying and probably will be for another few hours but I thought I’d take a break to post this and say hey. I hope you’re all doing well :) Take care!

Pirate house boat, how awesome is that!?

Group snorkeling shot :)

Day 8

We woke up at 7:45, had breakfast and then went upstairs to get ready for the submarine trip! Oh my gosh was I ever excited! We got ready, got into the buses and off we went. We got there around 9:30 and our trip was at 10am. We didn’t have a lecture this morning because of it so we had one at night instead. We wandered the gift shop and I bought a nice postcard with a map of Barbados and some of the local spots that we’ve checked out written on it. Then at 10 we got onto a boat that took us to the submarine. Once we loaded onto the submarine and climbed down the hatch, we took our seats and waited to start moving. We went down to about 140 feet, we got to see the ocean floor, lots of fish, lots of coral, rocks, sea fans, then we also saw a sunken ship which was really cool. There were lots of fish around there so we stayed there for a bit then went to a coral reef where there were even more fish! It was absolutely incredible; I loved every second of it. Thankfully my camera battery didn’t die until the last minute of the trip. After we got out of the submarine and back onto the boat, we went back to the main building and each got a certificate with our name on it which was pretty cool and a great souvenir. Then we got back in our buses and headed home. Once we were home we had lunch then got ready to head to the beach. Some of the girls and I went to the beach, swam to the dock and tanned, and just hung out for awhile, then some of the guys joined us. They had chicken fights and played colors, I watched because my foot was hurting (I stepped on something in the sand right on where I have a piece of coral so it hurt quite a bit) and I was tired. Man oh man, were they funny; the chicken fights included hair pulling, lots of yelling, it was just too funny. Then we went to the boat so we could go do our water sampling lab. The lab took awhile but it wasn’t hard. After sampling the shallow water we went diving and snorkelling at a sunken barge. There were tons of fish and a reef right by the barge so we swam with them and took lots of pictures. We literally would swim through a school of fish, it was crazy. I got a few pictures of parrotfish, those ones with yellow stripes, and a blow fish. After awhile we got back on the boat and went to do the deeper water sampling. Once that was done we came back and headed to our rooms. I showered then had supper and checked some stuff online. After supper we went to the teacher's place to hear a lecture from one of the researchers here who teaches at the universite de quebec a trois rivieres. He told us about his experiments here and some biology stuff, it was interesting. After the lecture some people went out to the bar at the hotel next door, some went to watch the juniors championship hockey game, other studied, and I just stayed in my room and relaxed, read, and studied a bit. I uploaded the pictures from my camera and posted some of them on facebook. I really like some of them. I spent most of the night reading my book, chatting a bit, replying to a few messages, studying a bit, and just taking it easy. We’re all so bruised and cut up XD The dead pieces of coral that keep washing up with the waves keep hitting and cutting our feet and shins. Plus I have blisters, scrapes, cuts, coral pieces embedded (I got most out) and bruises, especially since I accidentally banged me arm on the boat. And we’re all so tired since we don’t get that much sleep and we’re busy being active and in the sun all day.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Day 7

Sorry this entry is a bit late, the internet went out last night so I couldn't post one.
We woke up around 8:30 since I thought breakfast was at 8:30, but apparently it was at 8. Thankfully there was food left, but I didn’t like it anyway (cooked tomatoes with cheese and pumpkin fritters) so I ate poptarts instead. We had a guest speaker from the sea turtle protecting organization come in to teach us all about turtles. It was really interesting, I loved it. Then everyone went upstairs to register for next semester and I went for lunch at 12 or so. On the way I found out that because I was registering at 2, I would be on the first boat leaving in about 15 minutes. So I ran to get lunch, ate as fast as I could, and ran back to the room to change and get to the boat. We got on the pontoon boat and headed to Payne’s Bay to do the water sampling lab and snorkel, and hopefully see some sea turtles. The boat ride was awesome, so relaxing. Once we got to Payne’s Bay we jumped into the water and swam around. We saw a few fish so we were diving and taking a few pictures while trying to figure out how to equalize properly. As we were swimming back to the boat we spotted a sea turtle!!! And then more sea turtles came! We swam around with them, taking pictures, diving with them. It was sooo awesome!!!! They’ll come right up to you since they’re looking for food. One swam right beside me and a school of Ballyhoo fish swam right under me. I took lots of pictures and most of them came out pretty nicely too! Then we had to get back in the boat to go back to our place because the rest of us still needed to register. We got back around 2, so I went right back to my room, got on my computer and went to register. I also chatted with Lauren for a bit  Unfortunately some of the teachers and classes I wanted weren’t available, and it screwed up my whole schedule so I had to move things around. After about a half hour to an hour I managed to get a schedule that’s relatively good. Then one of the girls and I headed to the beach to go snorkelling and work on our flora and fauna project (photograph as many types of flora and fauna as possible). We saw lots of fish, and visibility wasn’t the greatest but it was better than yesterday. We also saw some sea snakes which creeped me out so I avoided those. I took lots of pictures, got some good ones of fish too! After about 30-45 minutes or snorkelling we got out and headed to the beach to join some of the others who were tanning. After awhile we went swimming for a bit then headed back to our rooms to shower and have supper. I showered and rinsed all my snorkelling gear, then went online to check messages and chat for a bit. I then made supper, and while I was eating I uploaded some of the new photos to facebook and chatted with Marcie for a bit. We headed over to JPs to watch Finding Nemo, and once that was done around 10:30 some of the girls and I went back to the rooms. They went out to the piano bar again but I decided not to go, I was tired so I’m was just going to stay home and relax. I read my book, snacked on candy, a twix bar and some popcorn then I finally went to bed around 3.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Day 6

Is it really only day 6? It feels like I've been here forever XD
Anyhoo, today we woke up at 8:40 and had breakfast at 9, and a lecture at 10. After the lecture we headed out to go swimming for a bit and start the plankton tow lab. One person would go out in a kayak and tow the collector net behind them. I think I stepped on some coral and rocks because there seem to be two pieces of coral in my foot, which is just a tad painful. My teacher said to leave one and it’ll go away on it’s own and to try to remove the other, which I think I did. I guess we’ll find out. My feet are both already scratched and bruised from the coral and rocks, the waves like to chuck them at us when we go in the water >< Anyway, we went in for lunch around 12:30 and had hamburgers, salad, and fries. Yum yum yum. We then went to analyze the plankton samples and identify the different types of plankton. My group and I finished the daytime part of the lab and then some people were going grocery shopping and others were at the beach so I joined some of the other girls at the beach for a bit. I wore a tshirt to cover my sunburn since it’s still rather painful and red. We swam for a bit then chatted on the beach. After awhile we all went out to buy some more groceries. After we came home we had supper and then I came online for a bit. Got to chat with my mom, dad and sister which was awesome. I miss them like crazy! Then I had to go to do part 2 of the lab, the night version. We did that lab and got it finished them went over to JPs to watch Breaking Bad episodes for an hour or so. We headed back at around 11:30 and my roommate went to bed while I went online for a bit. Lauren (my sister) uploaded some awesome photos from the Ecomuseum with her new camera, I'm so proud :) And I think that’s about it. Tomorrow we’re having the turtle lecture and then we all have our registration for next semester and then we’re doing the oceanography lab. See ya! :)

Day 5

We woke up around 8:40am, I ate some breakfast and then we headed to the lecture at 9am. We watched the BBC documentary then had a lecture on fish anatomy and reef fishes. A fisherman came with his boat so we were able to do the fish anatomy lab today. So around 11:30 we headed to the water, went snorkelling and started our flora and fauna photography project. It’s so much harder than I expected. Plus visibility was down so it was more difficult. I saw tons of fish though, including two parrot fish! But they hid under the reef anytime I got within a few feet so I couldn’t get any photos. It was really fun though, a little scary at first because I didn’t know what to expect but it was lots of fun. And I only had a wave go into my snorkel once lol. Hopefully visibility is up tomorrow and we can see even more.I can’t wait to go out snorkelling again. The first two groups went out of the boats and around 1:30 my group went out to look for our fishing trap. He showed us two crabs he had caught that were pretty big and he just let one of them sit on the bottom of the boat, the crab didn’t even move which surprised me. We were out there for so long though, and my god was it ever hot! Visibility was still down a bit so it was harder to see, and we think the trap got flipped because of the rougher waves so the indicator couldn’t be seen. We decided that we weren’t going to find it and we’d just use one of the fish that the other groups brought back. So we finally just headed back but not before most of us weren’t feeling well from the heat, sun and boat. And most of us got sunburns too. By the time we got back to the beach it was around 3 and we were all starving and feeling a bit faint. We came in for lunch then found out that a lady who is also here researching fish parasites was in the lab and willing to help us and talk to us so our group (last ones to do the lab) headed down to the wet lab to dissect our fish. My lab partner did all the cutting and stuff which was fine by me. It was cool but pretty gross actually. We got lots of advice and information from the lady, who is also very very nice. And I’m now very wary about eating fish that are from home after hearing about her research there, yuck. Anyway, once we were done the lab we came back to the apartment, I finished my lunch (I hadn’t finished it before we left for the lab), and we finished up the written parts of the lab report. Then we just sat around and chilled, and everyone was coming back from the beach by then. I read for a bit, then noticed the sun was setting so I walked to the beach to take some more sunset photos. Oh and I saw two little green lizards, I got a few photos of them but they moved so fast. Once I got back to the room everyone was starting supper so I went to have a quick shower, then made supper. After my shower I changed into a strapless top and everyone started commenting on how red my back was, apparently I got a rather bad sunburn all over the top of my back, funnily enough there’s a space where my hair was though so it looks odd. Some people were studying or on laptops so I finished my book and chatted with some pf the other girls while we ate. After supper some of the girls played Kings (drinking game) for a bit and then we all decided to head over to the piano bar nearby for a few drinks and some music for one of the girls' birthday. We stayed for a few hours, sang loudly, danced, and everyone (but me) I got too much sun so I sometimes felt a little out of it but nothing major. Anyway, we sang lots of older songs, the classics, some newer ones too (sweet caroline, me and bobby mcgee, sex on fire, use somebody, shout, etc). Was lots of fun. A bunch of us came home around 1:30am, and I was feeling so worn out by the time I got home that I just went online and finished the popcorn I had made earlier. Then I just waited for my roommate to get home from the bar (in case she didn't have her key) and went to bed.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Day 4

This is going to be a bit shorter since I'm tired but want to catch up on blogs. So New Years day! Thankfully we got the day off today so my roommate and I slept in until around 12. Another one of the girls had slipped a note under our door saying they went to the beach so once we were up we went to join them. We didn't stay all that long though, maybe an hour or so. We went back to the rooms, had lunch, relaxed, then went downtown to look around. All the shops were closed but we walked around, took pictures, and just hung out for a few hours. We also took the public bus there and back which is rather fun, they have music playing the whole time. But the buzzer for the bus was a doorbell with an awful sound. Once we were back at our place we relaxed for an hour or so then went out to a restaurant for supper. And I must say, it was an amazing restaurant. Very different from anything we have back home decor-wise but really nice. And the food was amazing! After supper a bunch of us headed back to the apartments to finish up a lab report due tomorrow, and once that was done we went over to the teacher's apartment to watch some tv until 12 or so. After that we just relaxed in our rooms, and headed to bed. Pretty uneventful day but it was nice and relaxing. Hope you all had a great new years eve and day. Take care! :)

Day 3

This is the blog entry for New Years Eve, I'm a bit late but I didn't get back until around 3:30am so I was too tired to write up a blog entry. I'll try to post another tonight to catch up on todays events. So yes, New Years Eve! We woke up around 8, had breakfast then we had a lecture. We were all very tired and kept falling asleep during the lecture though. After the lecture we went to do our lab on waves and the sand. We had to sift through sand and we put too much, so it took forever. We finally got a system figured out and it worked pretty well. We got most of the labs done but we couldn’t get some of them to work properly. We had to head back for lunch around 12:30 and after lunch we studied for our test at 3:30, then took the test and I think almost everyone failed, it was pretty bad. Sucks too because we had all been studying a lot. After the test we all walked to the supermarket and bank to get some money (thankfully my bank card works at the bank here so I can get money) and buy some more groceries and booze. I bought groceries, mostly microwaveable meals and juice. The others bought lots of beer and other alcohol but I wasn’t planning on drinking so I didn’t buy any. Once we got back, the sun was setting so a few of us went down to the beach to get some photos, and oh my gosh was it ever gorgeous! It’s just unbelievably beautiful here, I can’t even explain it. We also saw a big red crab that I took a few (not so great) photos of. We went back to our rooms, got dressed for new years, got our stuff together and headed to the teacher’s place. They barbecued for us for supper and we all just hung out and drank (everyone except me and one other girl that is). Everyone (minus me) played beer pong and flip cup (drinking games) for most of the evening. Around 11:30 we headed to a street where there was a party and to see the fireworks. By the time we got there we had missed the fireworks but it was 50 dollars (Canadian) just to get onto the street and we weren’t willing to pay that anyway. The clock struck 12 when we were there so we all hugged and said happy new year, then we headed to the beach where they have campfires, saw some fireworks, they released lanterns (bags with candles) into the sky, there was a bar on the beach with music and dancing. It was lots of fun. We all danced and had a good time. We stayed there until around 3am and then we headed back to our place. Unfortunately it had been raining off and on and it poured on our way home so by the time we got back we were all soaking wet. We got home and headed to bed around 3:30am and that’s about it. Happy New Year everyone! :)
And here are some photos :)