Exciting first week on Base
Steff, one of our new Divemaster Interns wrote this weeks blog about her first impressions here at Pez Maya.
Well, I think it´s fair to say that if you´re looking for a marine conservation program that challenges, inspires and, yes, exhausts you, look no further. Slackers need not apply.
What initially attracted me to this program over others was the chance to experience both the marine conversation scienceyness of it all, as well as the recreational tourism side of the diving industry as a Divemaster. I can´t speak for the latter half yet (that’s still 11 weeks away), but having now spent 5 days on base, I can say there´s no skimping on the science. We´re being taught by the ever-so-knowledgeable staff pretty much everything there is to know about the Sian Kaán Biosphere, from the fish and coral under the water to the birds in the sky, and much of the in-between. This awakens a sense of awareness about our immediate environment that makes everything seem more… whole, I guess. It gives backstory and purpose to life in Pez Maya, and why we do the work we´re doing.
I won´t lie though. The first week has been intense. We had been forewarned that it would be “information overload”, and they didn’t exaggerate. Aside from the science lectures, we were given induction lectures, and run-throughs when it comes to everyday base life, e.g. the cooking/cleaning rota, boat push, radio controls, working the compressor etc. So, yes, it´s a lot. And it is exhausting. But good-exhausting, worthwhile-exhausting. No-trouble-getting-to sleep-at-night-because-you’ve-done-a-really-good-day´s-work-exhausting. That kind, the good kind.
Now that I´ve shared a little bit of the ´arghhh´, let me shine a light on the ´yaaaays´! There is, praise be Jesus, Nutella on base, which for porridge haters out there is an overwhelming joy. A form of gambling resembling rock, paper, scissors, but rather coconut, machete, sand can determine whether or not you´ll be cleaning your own plate tonight; instant rush of adrenalin if you win, much regret at challenging the person with 4 plates if you lose.
And honestly, if we´re topping it all off, stumbling out of your room in the morning to a Caribbean sunrise over the ocean, and then later getting to SCUBA dive in that ocean, is nothing short of breathtaking. And the fact that this is a totally self-sustaining base, in that the staff ensures we look after it as only a home deserves, makes it a fuller experience somehow. This isn´t a vacation, or ´the dream´, it´s the reality, which is so much better. For however long you´re here for, you´ll likely be taking away much more from Pez Maya than a tan; this is the conclusion I´ve come to in only the first week. Bring on the next 6 months!
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