I am not really the ‘journaling’ type, or really the writing type at all to be honest. My extremely talented younger sister was clearly the recipient of my mother’s superb writing genes. Never the less, I plan to give this blog my best shot for the sake of my family and friends. Let me first say that I really miss all of you, and I am so excited to share my epic journey with you. The first program I am attending is The Diversity Project. I am one of six undergraduate students out of an applicant pool of about 80 chosen to travel to Indonesia for marine research, with a $3,000 stipend and all travel and housing costs covered by the program. The program is through UCLA started by a man named Paul barber, who studies mantis shrimp here in Indonesia and on other Pacific reefs. The program is in Bali, Indonesia. What I will be researching and learning about this summer is biodiversity, and Bali is part of the coral triangle making it the underwater diversity capital of the world! Immediately after this program, I will be flying to Queensland, Australia for a semester abroad. I will be attending James Cook University in Townsville for about four months. All of my classes will have a marine biology focus except for my rainforest ecology class and my aboriginal cultural class (ALL WILL HAVE FIELD TRIPS!). Going to Australia has been my dream since I first heard of the barrier reef, and I can’t believe I get to see it before I even turn 20!! (Thanks for pushing me so hard to get what I want in life mommy!) After my semester abroad I will spend about two months on Christmas vacation in the states…or somewhere else not sure yet. Then I will be off to Hawaii for a Cornell University program. I will backpack across the ‘big island’ with Cornell professors studying a range of things from volcanic rocks to coral ecology and I will have a Hawaiian culture class. This program will focus mainly on geology. When I return to Cornell, having attended this project will enable me to get a minor in the Science of Earth Systems. I will be in Hawaii from late January until mid-May. I have been in Bali for two weeks now and I have already gone on four of the most amazing dives EVER. Life underwater here is truly spectacular! I will be posting again soon about my dives and the remarkable culture in Bali very soon. I have posted tons of pictures on Facebook, and I will be posting pictures of a traditional Balinese wedding I attended very soon so please check them out. Below are links to my three programs if you want to read more about them.
Love and miss you all!