Comparing My Summer Programs

Right before I made this trip to Gili Air I was in Costa Rica doing another project in an animal care. There were quite a few people in the program there and the living conditions were very basic. So before I arrived to Indonesia I was asking a lot of questions to know the conditions on the island and to get myself prepared. Lauren was really helpful with any information before my arrival and she kept good communication to help me to know what it is like on the island and the project. Surprisingly, Gili Air is actually really lively which lots of activities but you can still have the tranquil island life. What makes this experience different from my previous experience in Costa Rice is that the Gili Shark Conservation project consists of a very small group of researchers and students. All of them are definitely caring and lovely. In Villa Nangka, where we would call home, the owners and the ‘Nangka Boys’ live there with us and they became our family. They were super helpful giving me information on the island and help with anything I needed. The experience made me learn something real and appreciate marine animals more During the project, bedsides getting physically strong everyday because I was responsible for my own SCUBA equipment and tanks, I also learned so much on species identification. I have never really put much focus on this before, and I found some fish are just very cut and have interesting behaviors. Moreover, I became very curious about the different species of fish and would look in books to know their names. The dive crew and the research team would help me discover and learn so much about the ocean! I feel like a completely new diver now than before the project. I start to be able to point out the fish and tell the name to my dive buddy. I have started to look for things on my own rather than just seeing the dive guide’s back. Of course it is also under the condition of having some more dive experience (I did 25 dives in 3 weeks!!!) and better buoyancy, which also has contributed a lot to y enjoyment of diving and ability to help out more with the project. I am very proud of myself that I have done something different and contributed to the world. I gained so much knowledge and experience on something real and was involved in many workshops with the marine biologists and dive instructors and am leaving with so many fun facts about sharks and the ocean. I am more passionate about marine biology now and am considering changing my focus in school and become a marine conservationist for life. Those are the feelings and things that I never experienced from my previous experience in Costa Rica. This is a project that anyone can be apart of as long as they are interested and are willing to learn. I think this is one of the most wonderful experiences for those who want to become researchers in the future, for those who are interested in marine biology, and for those who want to try a new experience. Post by Helen (23) Taiwan