Thursday, June 21, 2012

Last Day in San Cristóbal

June 19, 2012

Kathy presenting the CDF office
Today started the same as any other day on the islands.  I fought the good fight and lost to my alarm clock before hurrying down to breakfast with my friends (today's battle took longer than normal, so I didn't have time to shower).  Once we arrived for breakfast, we ate the usual: a plate of fruit, two pieces of toast, scrambled eggs, and a glass of juice.  We briefly talked with other members of our group before going to our respective rooms to pack our stuff for today's adventures.  

Our first stop of the day was the Charles Darwin Foundation's office on the island.  It was about a 10 minute walk to the station on this rather hot day, but I was excited to hear about what the organization had to say.  Once we seated ourselves in the tiny wooden building, we started our discussion.  During our brief stay at the station, we talked about how the organization started, what projects it performed, and what its future goals on the island were.  We also targeted some questions to try and give us some more feedback on our final projects (my group is focusing on biodiversity and tourism).

Once we finished our talk at the CDF, we trekked back to Whitman's (our guide's) house where we had a class period.  The first thing we did was break into our groups so as to discuss what we had learned yesterday during our interviews.  After finishing our group discussions, we shared our topics with the rest of the class (my group is looking into tourism's effect on biodiversity on the islands and how it can be improved so as to minimize the negative effects).  After finishing this, we had a discussion about the different theories behind human-environment interactions, and then we broke into our groups to try and branch out the key actors of our topics.  Finally, we ended class by having a brief discussion on energy and climate change.

Sea lions sleeping on the beach

Class being over, the Stephs and I decided that we needed some time to relax after our busy morning and fast-paced interview day.  To reward ourselves, we went back to our rooms, packed up our gear, and headed to La Playaman--an amazing beach.  Once we arrived, we met up with other members from our group and enjoyed ourselves with sun, waves, and soda.

Although we were greatly enjoying ourselves, we had to head back to town to go on an adventure in the highlands that evening.  After cleaning ourselves up and grabbing our travel gear, we headed back to Whitman's house where a bus waited to take us to his land.

Joe standing in front of the
In the highlands, we first stopped by a tree house built to entertain small children.  A bridge connected the main level to the actual tree house which contained a bathroom and two beds.  Within the tree, a small ladder went below ground and brought us to another bedroom.  We concluded that this was a wonderland for children, and then we traveled to Whitman's land.  While there, Whitman showed us various plants--mosses, trees, bushes, grasses, etc.--located on his property.  Finally, we found a nice flat location and watched the sun set.   We ended the evening by travelling to a nearby restaurant where we dined on some delicious food.  Once we finished, we bused back to our hotel where I promptly fell right asleep to prepare myself for tomorrow's journey to Santa Cruz.

Me standing in the sunset 

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