Turns out it is much more difficult to blog consistently than I thought it would be. No internet, a beach outside the school, and being in the coolest place on Earth are quite distracting. Eventually I'll finish up about the Amazon, but for now I'll tell you about my arrival to the Galapagos.
After I said goodbye to my host family on Sunday February 3, our gringo group took a bus to UIO to depart for the Galapagos. It was more complicated than it should have been because we moved in a group of ~20 rather than smaller groups. The flight to Guayaquil was really short. We had a 30 minute layover, during which cell phone and restroom use was restricted. It felt like a small prison. Finally, all of the people from Guayaquil boarded and we were off to San Cristobal.
Before the plane landed, the flight attendants went through the overhead compartments and applied bug spray to our belongings. Once we landed, we went through the Galapagos quarantine to make sure we weren't bringing any new species with us. We got our luggage and toured our new campus: the Galapagos Academic Institute for the Arts and Sciences. Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is a small town that seems a lot like a South American Libby MT. Everyone knows everyone, and lots of people have small jobs working with the land or sea.
This module, I am taking evolutionary ecology. We talk about the mechanisms of evolution and how they are shaped by the environment. We also get to go snorkeling... for educational purposes, of course :]. For this class, everyone has to do a presentation. I suggested nesting strategies of shorebirds to the professor, and now I get to do some research on nesting strategies of shorebirds! I am super excited, but also kind of nervous about being able to find, read, and download papers with the slow internet connection.
I haven't taken many pictures yet, but I might be able to upload some very small photos later this week.