So we've been here 5 days and we all have 5 dives under our belts; on Wednesday we did 3 dives alone. For our class we have a list of about 40 fish we need to be able to identify. We all got a laminated sheets that we can bring underwater with us. I started learning the fish on Monday and by Wednesday's first dive I was able to recognize almost every fish I saw! The interns that live with us, who are also teaching assistants for our classes, help us come up with fun ways to remember the fish names. For example, a juvenile Princess Parrot fish is brown with white stripes, it looks exactly like a juvenile Stripped Parrotfish but 'Princesses don't have snotty noses', the striped ones have a little bit of yellow on its nose. Or, there is a fish called a Rock Hind, it is yellow with 'a black rock on its hiney!'. During the last dive yesterday we had an underwater quiz. Our instructor pointed to a fish and we had to write down what kind it was. We use "underwater slates" which is a piece of white plastic and we write with special pencils. I think that was the best quiz I've ever taken!
Throughout the week we are slowly being introduced to all of our classes and going over sylubus' and expectations. I will be taking:
-Marine Ecology Field Research Methods
-Coral Reef Ecology
-Tropical Marine Ecology Conservation
-Culture and History of Bonaire
Its kind of overwhelming to hear about all the classes but they all sound very interesting so far so hopefully that will be motivation enough to keep me excited! Also, each one has field trips involved almost every week, new dive sites, trips to different locations around the island and interesting labs involved. In our culture class we are learning Papiamento, that is the main language here along with Dutch and English. Its a lot like Spanish.
I haven't taken too many picturesyet because its been rainy. Hopefully that will be ending this week and I'll get some up here soon!
Here is one from the CIEE Bonaire Facebook page of me after a dive this week!