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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Diary extract from Pez Maya...

Here's a short extract from a EM diary extract from last week; enjoy it!

This week has seen our diving develop a greater sense of purpose as we have begun monitoring for real. After chatting to the leaders of Amigos de Sian Ka’an who visited Pez Maya, we were reminded of the importance of the work we do here, and that this is not just a holiday.

Our diving has branched out in more ways than one with a trip to do a cavern dive at Dos Ojos, one of the Yucatan peninsula’s most famous cenotes. Being able to scuba dive meant we could explore this underground world further than by simply snorkelling. It was an amazing experience and a world away from the reef we have come to know. The water is crystal clear, fresh and cold compared to the Caribbean Sea. Following a line you make your way through a number of chambers in the cavern, often squeezing through metre wide gaps. Shafts of light expose the stalagmites and stalactites and the small fish living there. They are one of the regions greatest gems, beautiful and unparalleled by anything. Snorkelling within one was incredible too. Grudgingly after nearly an hour, we had to return back above ground and head back to base, though not before treating ourselves to a meaty lunch in town.

Looking back to when we arrived, all expedition members have changed to some degree. Whether it’s being physically stronger from the twice daily boat pushes, getting a tan and blonde highlights, being scarred from mosquito bites or becoming more creative and independent. For example we have discovered that old beer tops make great poker chips for high stake games. Some of us even claim to have become more intelligent thanks to many games of chess during our free time in the evenings. We have learnt so much about the reef, Mexican culture and the local lingo. Above all we have become more of a team, a family even.

As our time in Pez Maya draws to a close we have had time to reflect upon this incredible journey. Before this trip we were 23 ordinary people living ordinary lives and doing ordinary things. After only 5 weeks we have grown and we are now 23 friends, 23 extraordinary Pez Mayans living extraordinary lives and doing extraordinary things.