A week of many firsts: Diving, bucket showers, and turtles
New volunteer, Clarisse, had an amazing first week at Pez Maya, learning to dive and seeing some amazing wildlife.
Washing myself with a bucket in a mozzie net cage, seeing a 1.16m Green Turtle lay her eggs on the beach, swimming with a loggerhead whilst completing my Open Water certification and meeting some awesome new friends, are just a few highlights on my first week at Pez Maya. I feel like a very lucky girl right now, in a very happy place. I have however, had my ups and downs acclimatising to my new home for eight weeks.
On arrival, the ‘rustic’ scenery that was described in the outgoing communications felt like an understatement. Especially coming from three weeks travelling around Mexico with Wifi at every hostel and at least one private running water output – I knew what Mexico had to offer in regards to technology and this was far from what I was used to. Upon entering the base I was filled with a bunch of overwhelming feelings about the whole experience. The first thing that came to mind was, “how am I going to go to the toilet without the privacy of my own flush?” Things like this really show the little luxuries in life that are taken for granted every day.
It wasn’t all bad, because the base was amazingly beautiful, situated on a secluded beach front with the amazingly strong Mexican sun beaming down on my skin. Hammocks a plenty, and the beautiful ocean to explore just a short boat trip away. It met every expectation I had in regards to a natural experience, I just didn’t know if I was cut out for the lack of routine comforts.
Enter the other volunteers…
Us newbies were met on our second night by the group of old volunteers, whom had spent the weekend partying and relaxing at Playa del Carmen – all I could think about and look forward to at the time. Like the staff on our first night, they were all so welcoming and made the effort to get to know each of us. We were introduced to our hut mates and who we would be working with throughout our time in Pez Maya. I started to feel more at home instantly. These people were warm and relaxed, and their vibe was contagious. A great way to start our first week!
To be honest, it went by as a bit of a blur. We were introduced to our duties around the base and worked as a team to get them done. We stayed up late to watch a huge Green Turtle lay her eggs on the beach with Jodie carefully showing us how, when, and how close we could approach her during the whole thing – it was incredible, and the staffs’ knowledge of it all just added to the experience. It took me two days to get used to the lack of running water, and I have come to now enjoy throwing a cup of fresh water over myself at the end of a big day in the salt and sun. An absolute stand out for me though, was completing my Open Water certification with my main chick, Kerry, in her child-sized kitty rashie. Kerry and I were able to complete my certification in three days, allowing me to go on with my Advanced Open Water the following week and get stuck into some other skills and deeper dives. Her attention and support was really appreciated, as even now I feel confident and at ease under the water. Thanks Kerry 🙂
To summarise my first week in Pez Maya is really hard, because I feel like so much has happened already. I have met so many new and incredible people, whom I know will be my close friends for a very long time. I have experienced nature and animals do some incredible things in the wild and with no human interaction AND have been given the opportunity to dive every day to see these things personally. I love it here, and feel at home, even with the bucket flush toilets, no Wifi and sweaty nights under mozzie nets. I cannot wait to know what else is in store for us during the next seven weeks of my stay.
Also a shout out to Emilia, who is my BFFL and sister from another mister. Stand by for our epic best friend handshake and list of things we have in common. Little things make big connections in Pez Maya 🙂
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