Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Week 4

It is the start of week 4. I can hardly believe it! Finally it has been sunny for the 2nd straight day in a row! It has been much welcomed and now we can successfully bike down the road without either walking our bikes down the sidewalk or slowly pedaling through the foot or two deep sewage mixed mud puddles. The ceiling in my room has been fixed and the water is slowly drying out of the walls. Good stuff.
We just rapped up our section on reptiles with a test. Our big research projects were due last night. And several other smaller projects have been turned in. For our research project Megan and I were going to research the amount of body lengths that a marine iguana could travel before resting. Since they cannot breathe while they are moving, they must stop and rest periodically. We were wondering if the amount of body lengths that they could travel before resting had something to do with their body size. Unfortunately the rain made them be stationary and hide. We rode our bikes down to Casa Rosada on Saturday and it started pouring as soon as they go there. Needless to say the iguanas were not feeling like running across the beach to forage- they were asleep. Sunday we tried again and found more sleeping iguanas. After talking to Kathryn, our professor, we changed our project to incorporate the crappy weather. We studied the amount that an iguana could raise its body temperature above that of the substrate it is on on a cloudy day. Thank you weather. Through many trips to get ice cream and to the pasteleria, we finished that scientific paper.
The next topic up is birds, which I am very excited for. Lynn is teaching this one and I am really starting to like her as a professor. I am also looking forward to our fieldtrip to Seymour Norte on Friday. We are taking the 6AM boat to Santa Cruz, doing a day tour, snorkeling, and staying overnight at Verde Azul (the hotel that we stayed at for the 4 days we were on Santa Cruz with Sarah). The next day we have the option of going scuba diving! Woohoo! Scuba here is so expensive ($150 per dive), but it may be my only chance to dive while I am in the Galapagos since the others are going during spring break while I am with my family. We are hoping to have Rene(our guide in Santa Cruz while we were with Sarah) take us on his boat to Gordon's Rocks where we are hoping to see hammerheads. That is the goal.
Right now I am actually kind of skyping with my dad. No video, crackly audio, but this is a big improvement from the past couple of days with the clouds and rain. Since I know you will read this- Dad- the internet died and I have to go to class. We will try again later.
I hope to get some pictures up soon- I have some from snorkeling on Friday and yesterday morning when I biked down to Playa Del Amor with Ryan and Amy. They had to do some project research and since I was done, I decided to just enjoy the Galapagos. Not bad for a Monday morning.
In other news, there is a stomach bug going around. All 13 of us have had some form of diarrhea while we were adjusting to the food, but every once in a while someone will get sick and start throwing up. I am really trying to avoid it and using mass amounts of hand sanitizer. Dear immune system- please please please! I want to go diving on Saturday. Sincerely, Hannah.
So, not much Galapagos exploring has happened in the past couple days because of the rain and the massive amount of work, studying, and projects that we have been doing, but it is still a lot of fun. I am learning a lot and gaining an appreciation not only for the Galapagos, but for the people here. This is technically a third world country, but the people here are the same as they are in the U.S. For example, one on my host family's cousins just left to go live in Quito with her mother since her parents are divorced. Lorena is worried about her making friends, going to school, and starting a new life. She keeps asking me if my parents ask about how I am liking it here. A few days ago she says that if her own daughter went to go live with a different family that she would be worried sick. It was funny. She told me that my parents didn't know if she was a good person or a bad person, yet they trust her to take care of their daughter. Which to let you know, she is a very good person and she takes care of me very well. I am never hungry and she understands that I need time to study and sleep and understands that I go out with my friends some nights. "No hay un problema" Things with the family are going great. This place is definitely starting to feel like home. I was worried about not eating while I was here and losing weight and just the opposite is happening. The food is so amazing and everyday I either go and get an ice cream bar from one of the local stores or chocolate croissants, pineapple bread, or amazing donals from the bakery. Donals are the most amazing things ever. They are kind of like donuts, but they have more bread and in the middle is a creme like filling and there is powdered sugar on top. So amazing.
So now I am rambling and making myself hungry so I am going to go downstairs and socialize before class. Hopefully I will try to get pictures up soon and maybe some from our bird field trip this afternoon which I am more than excited for. Yippee!

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