Saturday, September 18, 2010

Surfing Magazine

The swells are enormous! I mean, they're nothing compared to a heavy day in California, but for here, where every body of water is flat, flat, flat, they're gigantic. Swells come rolling in from just offshore and crash up against the rocks with full force, sending the spray 50 ft up in the air, past the roof of our dive shed that sits on the cliff.

This morning my room was scheduled to attend to the vehicles for our weekly site cleanup. We washed the cars (thankfully before the heat really hit for the day), vacuumed and washed them. Our dive was cancelled due to the waves so we had some time before our next activity. Several of the guys and myself went down to the docks to swim, but the swell was so large that we were "strongly advised" to not swim. Or at least not without fins. However, for me, it was very clear to see that it was not as big of a problem as they told us. It makes sense that not everyone here is used to waves or current, but bodysurfing in 10 foot waves in Laguna Beach with massive rip-tides has more than prepared me for the itty bitty "surge" that we had. I jumped in with fins and had no problem swimming around, and went back later without fins. It was overcautioned in my opinion. I almost wanted that hard-core Laguna back again, at least it was a workout!

Shortly after that the Center split off into our activities for the Saturday community outreach. My group headed off to an uninhabited bay beach to do 2 hours of beach cleanup. We got to this beautiful outlook above our beach and gazed upon white sand beaches for miles and brilliant blue waters. Down actually on the beach however it was a different story. Just like my beach excursion last weekend, the beach was littered with global trash. It was all sort of piled in a corner where the wave current had just left it, and we all tried to tackle the seemingly infinite number of colored pieces of plastic. Among my bag were buoys, lighters, baby shoes, flip flops of every shape and size, soles of shoes, netting, syringe plungers, cologne sample tubes and a variety of other random colored slabs. However, the waves were absolutely PUMPING. There were actual surfable waves breaking about 1/4 mile out and the irratic waves came in as tiny breakers at the shore. It looked like something out of a surfing magazine. Blue as blue can get with perfect faces. It actually made me miss California's waves. Our small group + professor went body surfing for the next 20 minutes before we made our way back home to the dump and then the Center. Our groups played games for the next few hours until the groups split off again. A trip was organized to the East Bay beach, but I passed, seeing as I had enough sun and sand for one day from beach cleanup. Instead, Mikenna, Savannah, our intern Lizzie and myself went roaming around a small "fashion" store in town. Mikenna grabbed some new jewlery for her new haircut and we considered it a successful trip. Our posse headed back for dinner after grabbing a mountain dew and some candy at Wilson's Variety Store. After dinner, almost all of the students made plans to go out for the evening, as we were not diving on Sunday.

We all decided to get drinks at Roosters and Chicken Bar because it was cheaper than the Hotel that we were eventually headed to. I had a few glasses of wine and we made our way over to the Cox Hotel for some dancing and live music. We made our trek to the hotel past a creepy old mayor's wife's house and through some underbrush but we made it there in one piece. The music was cranking already and we spent the next few hours dancing and swimming in the hotel pool, mingling with the locals occasionally. The group has gotten considerably closer in the last week and its really nice to rely on everyone like family. Its so much more fun to go out and dance or just hang out when everyone is really close. The boys actually dance and the girls had a great time relaxing for the night, before a big day of studying. On the way home before curfew, I stubbed my toe and didn't think anything of it. My shoes were still wet from the pool so when Ben and I got too far ahead of the group, we stopped and I checked out my toe. Apparently my shoe wasn't still wet but covered in blood. I was bleeding all over the place so Ben and I booked it home to take care of it. Once I rinsed it off, the cut was not even bigger than a papercut. Thanks toe, I really appreciate it. A bandaid fixed the problem and I joined the rest of the students who were straggling in for the night. We talked for a few more hours and it was time for bed. I can't wait to sleep in tomorrow!

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