So finally here it is the 1st update of our trip.

After arriving thursday the 10th in Cancun, our ride to Hotel La tortuga was nicely there to pick us up from the airport eventhough we had a delay of around 2 hours. From Cancun it took about 55 min to reach Playa del Carmen. After a quick settle in we went into town to get some pesos and food. The evening ended rather early at 20.00, which was fine as that corresponds with an Amsterdam time of 3.00. The next morning we get up at 6.00, time to repack a couple of things; grab a quick breakfast and then move on to Hotel Colorado.
After meeting up with GVI and our fellow expedition members there at 7.00, we load the luggage into a truck and walk to the bus station. There the bus to Mahahual leaves at 8.30. It takes about 4 hours from there on the reach las casitas (the cruise ship area of Mahahual).

The new GVI base is actually a bit further up the coast than we initially thought, about 45 min. north of Mahahual in a pretty secluded area. No cell phone coverage or internet connections available here. The staff goes out every to mahahual every other day and in case of an emergency we have a radio. The damage hurricane Dean did, last august is still clearly visible. The new base consists of 2 concrete buildings: the office, where data processing and stuff is done and the divecenter where all the scuba gear is stored. In between those two is the communal area: a large palapa with the kitchen and two bathrooms.
On the side of the palapa, there are 3 huts in which we sleep. Jessamijn and I sleep in hut 1,Tiburon (shark),which we share with 8 other expedition members.

The group is 22 and pretty mixed, quite some people from the UK, but also belgian, swiss, united states, canada, ireland and wales are present. The ages range from 19-60.

The first few days were pretty much filled with lectures on safety: general base stuff, diving safety, boat and radio procedures. We are pretty much 3-4 hours away from decent medical help, so it’s good to have all this stuff covered; in the next few days all of us will also receive additional first aid and CPR courses.

Next up the duty rosters are handed out: Kitchen, grounds, communal and boat. We are split up into 4 duty groups and cycle through the roster. Kitchen duty is rewarding and hard at the same time. A lot of the food we have around has to be rationed an d is already divided into weeks. Fresh vegetables and fruit are delivered once a week, but things like rice, pasta, beans and all other packed stuff is limited. Water is a precious commodity here so thats rationed as well: military showers once every 4 days and – if it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down- for the toilets. Drinking water comes from big bottles and is unlimited as we easily use upto 4-5 liters a day because of temperature and diving. The drinking water supply has to be monitored so we can order fresh stuff in time.

We’ve had only 2 diving days this week as the wind shifted and became too strong to get through the pass in the lagoon. This did give us some additional time to study on the fish and coral. Wednesday we took the test: Jessamijn had 85% on her coral test and I scored 81% on the fishes. Unfortunately, this is not enough to pass. To pass we have to score 95% or better. Most volunteers score about 70-80% on their 1st test and then pretty much ace the 2nd.

Friday we completed our introduction into TEFL (teaching english as a foreign language), which means that during the upcomming weeks we might be a bit more often in town than just in the weekend. Tuesdays and Thursdays we will be teaching primary, secondary and adults english. Additionally, the secondary students will be taught to environmental awareness.

So far for now, as 20 more people are in line to use the internet.

Next time we will preprep the pictures and upload them.

Teaching will start next week and then we probably be in town more often.

One Response to “1st post by peter”

  1. anke jan says:

    wij wensen jullie veel succes met het behalen van de 95% score Jan Anke