Life is continuing to get better and better as the island continues to get warmer and sunnier. I also heard back officially from Azusa Pacific Un. and I got the graduate assistantship I wanted! I'll be working as a mentor for college students coming up with ideas and projects to better our community and to encourage higher education in middle schools and high schools. It's in the Research and Learning Center, which means that I'll have opportunities to present and possibly publish!
But enough about that! Santa Catalina Island is beyond beautiful, even when cold. And I am greedily cherishing each and every moment of my time here as I know it will end all too soon.
So, some of what I've done so far:
I finally was able to achieve diving in a wetsuit! If you are unaware, wetsuits are incredibly buoyant. They pretty much make you into a full-bodied flotation device. When practicing, I couldn't get myself any further than my rear, and then back to the surface I would come. This made diving for cool invertebrates at the bottom of the ocean to show my kids while snorkeling was rather difficult. However, a couple days ago I was able to dive successfully for the first time! I was snorkeling around and suddenly spotted a sea hair! They are a mollusk that is pretty much like a slug in the shape of a bunny (sort of). I was so excited that without thinking, I just dove for it and had it in my hands about ten feet underwater before I even realized I was under! It's also rather good that I don't mind touching slimy things, because the ocean is rather full of those kinds of things. :)
They're now making me the lead for different schools, which means that I've been getting to know the chaperons and teachers that come along with the campers better. This has been quite the positive experience on the whole. They have been so supportive and helpful. I find that I love doing this more and more.
This weekend will hopefully be one of the first lazy full weekends that we've had as a staff to just hang out together. Jules and I want to have a two hour ballet class, which hopefully will be joined by Debs, Melodie, and possibly Juan. Marcus and I are also trying to put together a group to go out snorkeling around Indian Rock, which is just outside our bay and looks like a wonderful place to see more marine life. I absolutely love everyone that I work with here and am so incredibly blessed. This is what continually pops into my head at random moments throughout the day... well, when the song from The Sound of Music isn't playing through my head as I gaze at the beautiful green hills all around me.
Here's some more pictures from the island. Enjoy :)
This is a Garibaldi fish, which happens to be the Cal. State Marine Fish and has the coolest Genis species name ever: Hypsipops rubicundus!