Friday, June 5, 2009

Hey, this is Heidi-guestblogging for Monday June 1

Today, we met as a whole to begin discussing our group field projects. Chase and Tim are continuing their I.S. topics- Chase with Whitney and Aaron and Tim with Alex B. Ben, Emily and Trip are observing the call of the Bloody Bay Poison Frog on different rivers. Larken, Alex V. and I are bird watching on Flagstaff Hill and noting the different bird species at varying altitudes along the hill. Half way during class, the Doubles guy showed up! If you haven't already heard, the Doubles guy is an Indian who drives around in his car selling the most delicious Indian food snack out of his trunk. It's a doughy fried pita with a chick pea mixture and mango chutney or even hotter sauce. We waited outside in heavy rain just for the Doubles. That is dedication.
A few of us went into town to use the internet at a dive shop/laundry shop/internet cafe for 10 T&T dollars for half an hour. Right next door is a small homemade icecream shop owned by the internet cafe owner's wife. There was banana, coconut and chocolate-not like American chocolate, but still delicious. Not to mention the woman's cute daughter who wanted to go home with Chase, Whitney, Larken, Ben and I. On a sidenote, Monday was the day that I found out Nadal lost in the 4th round of the French Open...devastating.
For the rest of the day until dinner time, the groups prepared for their field work or went to their various sites and started data collection. Typical lounging around activities include eating watermelon and pineapple, playing cards-spit, war, spoons, etc-reading our text books or other books-Angels and Demons, The Shadow of the Wind, Lamb, Catch-22, Harry Potter 5, In the House of Spirits, and more-swimming in the sea, laying on the beach, walking to Pirate's Bay, walking around town, or napping. Most of us try to be outside as much as possible.
In cottage #5 (Whitney, Larken, Emily, Alex V. and me), we made a decadent dinner full of local flavors and fresh produce...mac n' cheese, canned baked beans and canned corn. Don't worry, we ate fresh fish a few nights. After gourging ourselves on very American food, we became very nostalgic for American ice cream, chocolate, and volcano cake; mostly ice cream. So we walked into town in search of ice cream, found none, but did find our British neighbors from the Coral Cay Observatory right in between cottages 5 and 2. They are a group of about 16 divers from England (and 1 from NYC) who have been in Charlotteville for times ranging from 10 weeks to 2 weeks and have been charting the reefs in the sea around the town.
Then, all of us, except Dr. Lehtinen, played the game 500 in the yard by our cottages, a few watched. It's a game involving a football, lots of scurrying to catch it, points awarded to who does, and violent tackling when the words 'dead or alive' are called out. I chose to watch rather than be elbowed in the nose. 3 of our good British friends-Naiome, Charlie and Josh-came to play and watch. After most people went to bed, Ben, Trip and I stayed and chatted with our British friends about school, movies, varrying accents across England, random things, and mostly ghost stories and scary movies. At one point, "manky dog" ran towards our group during one of Ben's ghost stories, scaring Charlie out of his whits. Hilarious.

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