Birds of Paradise

Week Six, now down. Wow, counting them down really does reaffirm their passing.  I’ve found (thus far) that I’ve come to terms with the time passing. Time passes, it’s part of life, it’s not changing anytime soon, so there’s no reason that it should make me upset when it does.  I’ve decided that as long as I’m truly appreciating each day and moment, than I am okay with their leaving. While I can’t say I’m looking forward to the return of “normal life,” this semester will have passed no matter what, so I’m happy with every way that it is presenting itself and spending my time being thankful rather than ignoring the fact that we’re over halfway through and it will, indeed, come to an end before we’re ready. That’s inescapable, so I’m just facing that head on and being okay with it. Ah, and I finally prioritized a sunrise :]

Aside from my consistant contentment in the islands, we’ve had a new class.  Jerry and Bill, our professors, have been nothing but amazing.  Early morning walks consist of bird watching, though plants, history, and foods are commonly included.  We have class throughout the day, and bird-based movies in the evenings.  Jerry is the man in charge. He has been behind the Punta Cana program for nearly every year that it’s been occurring, which I’d approximate is just under ten. Like a second home, Jerry loves it here and all of the people here are like old friends. ARE old friends.  Introducing us to trails, paths, and foods that we have failed to discover on our own throughout the previous month, he’s kept us engaged and enthusiastic as we trudge- i mean glide- past our half-way point.

Naturally, that’s me up there. Ah! And the bees! Las abebas! So almost accidentally, I ended up talking to Ben, our coordinator about meeting “Rubio” the Bee Guy. He is in charge of all the hives (around 12 he said) and has a passion for both bees and honey.  One introduction led to another and next thing I knew my roomie and I are set up to shadow him the next day as he did one of his last harvests for a few months.  And it was so cool. With limited communication abilities, we made do and got to watch him collect the honey from the box- hives. He taught us all about how to tell when to harvest, which bees do what tasks, and how different types of honey are created.  Jaws agape (okay maybe metaphorically, there were bees around and we were not about to invite them into our mouths), we watched as he grabbed handfuls of buzzing insects and transported them wherever he saw fit.  His two assistants would spray smoke (bee tranquilizer) into the box, and he’d just do his business. When they got a little rowdier, he put a netted hat on, though never rolling his sleeves or even thinking about gloves. With our trust in Rubio’s hands, it was a meditative-like state, surrounded by buzzing and knowing that stingers were everywhere. But so cool. so cool.Also of note, we’re finally scuba certified (see for proof!) and will thus begin the coral restoration project shortly. Excited for that, in addition to finally visiting the schools to work with the kids.  While this may be starting with sex-ed, we’re not entirely sure where it will end so I’ll follow up on that front.  While we have mostly finished sociology, there’s a lot that is still going on and a lot that is about to go on. Excitement consistently building down here, I’d expect nothing less from this place :]

Peace, love, waves and palms



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