Author: mishikamehrotra

Adios, San Sal!

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As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end.

No matter how stressed I got over our data, I’m so glad that I could be a part of this journey with these incredible people, and I have come back with some great moments and memories that I will cherish for life.

I have learned so much from these people – more than what any textbook could teach me and beyond what my syllabus requires. I was fascinated by Team 1’s diligence in the field and spirited presence off the field. Mercy and Agatha inspired me with their hard-work and sincerity. Before this trip, members of Team Finding Nemo were simply my classmates, but now I admire them more than ever. I was amazed by Sarah’s strength and grit, as she swam tirelessly to get data for our project. I was motivated by Hibah’s unflinching determination, as she overcame her fear of water and was swimming like a champion by the end of the trip. And I truly appreciate Ayesha’s ability to remain calm and composed while the other members of our team freaked out in the field.

Over the course of this week, we shared not only some crazy jokes, but also our struggle in the field. Even though Shaishav constantly teased me about my height, he supported me when I had to pop my head out of the water to clean my mask (because I’m too tiny to rest my feet on the reef!). It is amazing how we could go from having an intense debate about which was the best “drank” (purple, orange, or red) to having some “real talks” under the stars. We have eaten together at the real Wendy’s, and also at Wendy’s Snack Bar in San Sal. We have shared our love for 80’s music, but also admitted that High School Musical is our guilty pleasure.  We know each other so well now, that even when Mercy hummed the Mission Impossible theme instead of the James Bond theme, Sarah miraculously got it right. We have been through it all together.

The games that we played were probably my favourite part of the trip. I have never laughed so much during a game of Cards Against Humanity before. Members of Team Forams put their analytical skills to use even when they were not in the field, while trying to figure out each person’s sense of humour. I clearly don’t have a type because almost everything made me laugh. And might I add, Thomas’ reaction to the cards was better than the joke itself! Agatha, Jonathan and I formed the Cranium dream-team, as we gracefully won the game, jumping from one purple brain to the next. The 7-hour wait at the Nassau airport seemed like the shortest layover ever, as we played charades and a card game called Market. I am very proud of myself for successfully acting out “purple drank”.

We concluded our field trip with a game of volleyball, which was my first volleyball game ever (and which I clearly sucked at). Ayesha braided my hair and we also laughed one last time about Hibah’s “hi” video. Mercy, Agatha and I had a Taylor Swift jam session, and hopped on to our blue truck as we bid farewell to the Gerace Research Centre.

This trip will definitely be one of the most memorable and enriching experiences of my university life.

-Mishika

p.s. can’t wait for our bimonthly karaoke nights

FORAMS! PURPLE! CORAL! POLLUTION!

Hi everyone,

Here are some midweek updates –

We’ve all been working hard on our respective projects, while also helping each other out in the field. As members of Team 1 “drown” each other to collect their data, our team swims out to the reefs with our underwater slates (which I find extremely cool for some reason) and quadrats. After struggling to swim against the intense waves for two days, I finally admitted to myself that I needed to use fins – and boy, they were a blessing! After lunch, we usually head out to some polluted (and smelly) lakes to collect water and sediment samples for Team 2.

Now, some non-work updates: “FORAMS” is our war cry, everyone has become fluent in Sarah’s lingo, and we are all addicted to a game called Mafia.

You know you’re having a good time when your sandy clothes don’t bother you anymore, when the food that supposedly only “keeps your heart pumping” starts tasting delicious, and when the sugary PURPLE DRANK becomes your favourite beverage! 🙂

-Baeshika (the name given to me by Baegatha)

We Found Nemo!

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I can’t believe that I’m in the Bahamas! The scenery is pretty as a postcard and it is amazing to have the entire beach to yourself!

The experience of staying at the Gerace Research Centre is very unique in itself. I never thought I would enjoy sharing a single shower with all the girls on my floor. On our first day in San Salvador we headed out to Graham’s Harbour to snorkel and test out our methods design. After being out in the field for a couple of days and modifying our methods, we managed to get some footage of the fish and coral reefs for our project. We tried working with fish ID cards, but identifying Nemo and Dory was the best that we could do!

I’m not used to being driven in the back of a truck, eating bread and cheese for lunch everyday, and always being covered in sand, but I have made some great friends and I’m having the time of my life.

-Mishika