I don't have a lot of time yet to make many posts. I hope to have more time soon. I'm in Belize at Blackbird Caye on Turneffe Atoll and the mosquitoes, apparently, are much worse than any of the locals can remember. Fortunately, I'm spending my days taking Elder Hostel volunteers out to the reef to learn how to identify reef fish rather than spending the day in the mosquito infested mangroves. A group from Portland State University at the station is spending most of the day in the mangroves getting eaten alive, however. I'm not sure that these PSU students are ever going to want to do field work again.
Small world stuff......While sitting in a rocking chair in the Sea-Tac airport, I decided to do something out of character. I decided to talk to the stranger next to me. It was late. I was bored. I was sitting in a wooden rocking chair....for hours. It seemed like a good thing to try to do. So, I commented on how it felt like I was sitting on my front porch. The nice woman, Andy, responded politely. Sat quiet for a long while and then started talking. It turns out that she works with community colleges. We had a nice visit about issues that many CC students face. I'm glad that I didn't follow my standard procedure and avoid random-stranger conversation. Perhaps more random. I've run into a number of people from Washington state here. It's odd. One woman in my Elder Hostel group that I'm training to ID reef fish to conduct fish surveys actually worked at YVCC and lived in Selah. Two students are from Spokane. Plus, a professor from San Jose State actually grew up in Ephrata, WA.
Other encounters. We ran into pods of dolphins this morning and afternoon on our way to our sites. I spent a long time with one foot of air and a few inches of water between my eye and that of a coastal Bottlenose Dolphin. Unfortunately, I didn't bring my camera on the first encounter and my batteries were dead on the second. I think that some of my Elder Hostel folks got pictures, however. Here's a picture of Mary, Tammy, Kathy, and Alice (Kathy isn't an Elder Hostel volunteer, but the others are). They are hard-core-fish-IDing snorkelers. I have to run.