Saturday, May 23, 2009

My classroom for the next few weeks: The deep, blue, mysterious OCEAN!

Wow. Tomorrow I leave for the last and final expedition course. I know I have said this in past blogs, but I can’t even grasp how fast this semester has gone. I will be away for about two weeks and then when I return to Chiang Mai the semester will be over. So this next course is one that really drew me to this semester abroad program at ISDSI. I have expressed my excitement about this course to some of you already and I don’t know exactly how to put what I will be doing into words besides saying…Sea Kayaking, Skin Diving, Snorkeling, Fish, Coral Reefs, Beaches, and the OCEAN! Since this doesn’t really give you a detailed idea of what I am going to do, I decided I would copy my course overview from my syllabus:

“Mangroves and the zone between land and sea are a key component of global biodiversity and sustainability. This course will examine the ecology of coastal zones, as well as the human communities that live and depend on the rich biological resources of coastal areas. The majority of this course occurs off campus. Students will be required to be flexible and motivated learners, working to study and understand the material at hand, while traveling through the coastal landscape. Both the physical and cultural environments will be changing—over a week of travel will be by sea kayak, and the final portion of this course will be in a small southern Thai fishing village.

By the end of the course, students will have an understanding of the major issues surrounding coastal ecology and resource management, with experience in and understanding of mangrove and near coastal ecosystems, including sea grasses and reefs; as well as an understanding of the unique challenges and struggles of the human communities that live in the coastal zone.”

So that pretty much sums it up… or I think it does! I have been waiting to be on the ocean for so long! It will be wonderful to run down the beach and splash into the water. The water is supposed to be really warm, so we won’t need any wet suits, and we won’t have to worry about hypothermia… which is always a plus. Yep, I am excited! Tomorrow we board a bus, which looks like a “pimp my ride” bus because it is a double-decker tour bus with crazy lights and colors and in addition, it has a karaoke system on the bottom floor! We will be riding it for 24+ hours to Southern Thailand. Then we will be kayaking for a week… what a life.

I will be home really soon. It is a bittersweet feeling right now, but I know I will be ready to come home on June 13th. I am looking forward to sharing stories and pictures with you all. Thank you for your support and please pray for safe travel and for focus during these last few weeks in Thailand. See you soon!

ally j

1 comment:

  1. Ally, I am absolutely praying for you for travel, health, opportunities and safety. I was just sharing this post with Dave and Em. They are excited for you as well. We really like the 'pimp my ride' bus. Sounds like a rough 24+ hours. (Actually 24+ hours on anything like that isn't all that much fun) God bless you and stay safe! Can't wait to see you and hear the stories and see the pictures.