by
on May 11, 2012 on 5/11/12 from ,

Best Course Hands Down

Hey,

I just finished the Culture and Ecology of the Andaman Marine, Reefs, and Mangroves (aka Oceans). I am also done with my Thai final! Summer vacation has officially started.

What did we do during Oceans???? SOOOOOOO Much! We got to snorkle in the Adang Archipelago in the National Park and get really close to coral reefs. It was amazing. We spent the first week camping their after two overnight trains and a 5 hour ferry ride! It rained a lot! We also got to sea kyak to different snorkle and campsites. It was great.

We spent the last week in a Muslim village called Ban Jaio Mai. We all got to stay with our own host familes this time which was nice. My host family was great. We also go to go into the cave which we had to swim to and on the other side of the cave was a lime-stone formation that enclosed a beach! It was during high tide when we went and we almost weren’t allowed to go because the cave entrance was going to be under water soon!

We learned so much about coral reef ecology and what impacts climate change and human activities such as fishing are having on their health and why it is important. We learned about how the community of Ban Jiao Mai is conserving their mangrove forests and how they brought them back after they had already been very degraded. We got to really see the difference in community based versus national or state based resource management. It was an incredible course.

I also realized that I have learned more this semester than in the last two and a half years of college!

I have to eat dinner now, but I’ll write more about how I am feeling with only 3 days left later!

-Love

The group at the Farwell party

Campsite #1

Lipe

Kayaking in the Mangroves

Night train.

Campsite #2

Lipe

My host family

Campsite #1

Laura

Campsite #1

Lipe

On the subway in Bangkok.

Checking out how we look because we don't have mirrors

My host family

Campsite #1

Hannah and I

Campsite #1

Kayaking in the Mangroves

Ferry

Sea Kayaking!

On the subway in Bangkok.

Dancing at the party

Campsite #1

Jean and her host mom

Campsite #1

My host mom dressed me up for a farewell party.

Sea Kayaking!

Kayaking in the Mangroves

On the subway in Bangkok.

Campsite #1

The instructors

Campsite #1

My host mom dressed me up for a farewell party.

Campsite #1

Lipe

Kayaking in the Mangroves

On the subway in Bangkok.

Campsite #1

Dancing at the party

Campsite #1