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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

So-called ordinary life at Pez Maya

GVI Live! July 2013, Sadhbh

There are certain phrases that you rapidly become acquainted with during your first week at Pez Maya; “boat push”, “pasta red sauce”, “can you go on the compressor?” and “we’re on kitchen duty tomorrow.”  These phrases elicit mixed feelings.  You learn to dread them but, at the same time, love them because they are integral parts of life here at base and are what allow everyone to bond as the big family that is Pez Maya.

My first week here has been a learning process.  I learnt that the iguanas who live around base are treated with as much respect as – and in some cases, more respect than – human base members (shout out to Iggy!)  I learnt the extreme value and importance of insect repellent.  I learnt that under no circumstances must you use Rhu’s bowl.  And I learnt that diving every day on a beautiful reef with great people is really one of the best experiences you can have.

The days here begin early – I’ve only just gotten used to the 6.30am starts – and you are on the go almost constantly, but it’s the best way to have it.  You have to learn to live without those basic facilities you take for granted back at home, like electricity and running water – but when you are swimming alongside a loggerhead turtle or dangling upside down above an array of stunning coral, you see why it’s worth it.  In just one week I have seen two turtles, a HUGE crab – I swear it was this big – tons of exotic fish and countless corals.  I’m still learning to recognise and remember all the latin names of the corals – Cirripathes leutkeni, you what?! – but with the help of some very politically incorrect memory aids I’m getting there!

So I have more insect bites than I’ve ever had in my life, I have sand in every crevice and I haven’t stopped sweating since I got here – but here’s to three more amazing weeks!  Stand by 67! :)