Today is the day. I am sitting here at the airport, 20 years in the making, 1 year planning, and it still doesn’t quite feel real. It still feels like a dream. A year ago, disillusion, defeated, creatively depleted, someone asked if I could do absolutely anything, what would I want to do. It was a difficult question to answer specifically, so in the only terms I knew stated that I would like to ultimately land in some sphere of working with scent and memory and that I would love to do marine conservation for volunteering. A month ago I started working at a neurogenetics lab, developing a scent-based diagnostic tool for Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients, and here I am waiting to board a plane to 2 months of certifications in marine conservation. I thought I would spend a lifetime getting to this point. I got to add more dreams to the plate I suppose. I want to take a moment to just thank my friends and family, I am here because of all of their support and encouragement; this would not be possible without any of them. Hell, I am sure you are the ones reading this. This would not be possible without you. Thank you.
So what exactly am I doing? Over the next two months, I will be living on Utila (Island) in Honduras, and working through the Utila Dive Center. I will start by getting my Advanced Open Ocean diving certification, where I will get basic certification to dive up to 100 feet. Then I move into the GoECO program where I will receive certifications in 5 areas:
PADI Project AWARE (Aquatic World Awareness Responsibility and Education) Certification: this is focused around cleanup and protection efforts in the ocean
Even more exciting is the fact that I will be doing this work during The second annual AWARE Week, 14-22 September 2019, that will mobilize divers all around the world into citizen activism, to remove, record and report marine debris found on the seafloor, including reporting debris-free sites
Coral Conservation, Health, Monitoring, and Nursery
Fish ID: this will teach me how to survey and upload data to global databases, aiding in long term studies.
This will be half education and half practice; a series of lectures and field work. I will then conclude my time with an underwater video program (GoMedia). It is going to be hard work, but I feel so ready for this adventure.
I will be posting photos, writings, information, and more here, so please feel free to check in and snoop on what I am up to. If you want to keep in touch, text or email me for specifics.
El que quiera pescado que se moje el culo.