Day of the Dead, Diving, and Dawn Arisings!

Trip Start Oct 09, 2007
Trip End Dec 20, 2007

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Flag of Mexico  ,
Sunday, November 4, 2007

Week 3 has come and gone! Just 7 more to go! :-)

From Lisa:

Two weeks ago with sore muscles, sand flea bites, and covered in beach sand, I would have been happy there were only 7 more weeks to go, but now I´m getting rather fond of our base and the people we live so closely with every day! There is so much laughter and learning new things, it makes the time pass so quickly. This week was one of celebrations -- the Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead (Dia De Los Muertos) was held on November 1st and 2nd, so we were able to participate in this tradition of honoring the dead with their favorite things as well as paying homage to the "spookier" traditions of saints and skulls. This is also the week of our 3-day weekend from the more primitive aspects of base life and an all-out party in Playa del Carmen for the weekend -- woo hoo! Friday was spent at the park Xcaret for more Day of the Dead ceremonies. Here at Playa we´re getting caught up on real showers without a bucket, flushing toilets and enjoying air-conditioning again! ;-)

The clocks turned back last Sunday in Mexico, so every morning we´re up with the sun -- literally!! 5:30AM wake up to be at our duties by 6am, because now it´s getting dark by 5pm and we have to get the dive boats in before we can´t see the beach anymore. But the sunrises are gorgeous! On my dives this week I saw a huge lobster, trumpetfish and so many French Angel fish I´ve lost count!

We´re also working on lesson plans for teaching English to the schoolchildren in a small fishing village called Punta Allen (The pirate Blackbeard´s old stomping grounds!) Next week we´ll start classes for Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) pre-certification. Lots and lots to learn and we´re having a blast doing it! Of course, the weekend cheeseburger and cervesa(s) is ALWAYS a welcome treat! :-)

Hope everyone is doing well -- Miss you!!

From Cheryl:

Adaptation here was slow, but I feel very much at home now.  I will miss this place in 7 weeks without a doubt. 

We are learning so much here I feel like I am back in school!  It is so great to be diving and actually know the names of all those beautiful fish I am seeing.  We will start monitoring the fish species and their numbers soon, which will be exciting.  This is what we are here for after all!   

In the next 7 weeks I will be completing my Rescue Diver and Dive Master certifications.  I might as well take advantage of the time here and the fact that the instructors are here and this close.. Who knows, a possible future job might await me in the diving/research field!

The community work is so fulfilling.  It is really great to participate in the teaching and other activities we do with the local community.  That is one of the best parts of this whole adventure.

Take care everyone!  It is so great to hear from you - keep in touch!

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