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.