Friday, September 26, 2008

it's a rainy day

And it's supposed to rain all weekend :( I believe technically it's called a tropical depression, but all that really matters is that it's really icky outside. Yesterday was quite lovely outside, although we didn't spend much time out there. We went to the Wellfleet Audobon where we had a mini set of lectures from various people about fisheries, septic systems, estuaries and contamination...I actually really enjoyed it, I felt like I was at Calvin again :) And we were in a building very much like the Bunker! It had all of its "green" requirements, and even had the cool foaming toilets. At lunch I was sitting at a picnic table and one girl on my side of the bench happened to sneeze...and the whole bench broke. It was pretty hilarious once we all got over the initial "ah I'm on the ground!" shock.
In the afternoon we drove over to the Truro elementary school (they are currently experiencing an outbreak of whooping cough, but we were told not to worry, they all are on antibiotics...) where we set up for out first WET Fest. Each of us were assigned a booth that has a specific topic to cover involving partner and I were at the "Water Olympics" booth where we did different experiments with the kids to teach them about surface tension and cohesion. I think the favorite booth was Edible Aquifers...the kids got to make their own aquifer and well out of ice cream, pollute it with sprinkles and pop, and then eat it. It was actually a lot of fun. I think it will be nice to have those days mixed in between the manual labor days.
I have a new computer! It actually stays charged :) A carload of us drove over the bridge (off the cape!) to Plymouth to pick it up last night. So I'll finally be able to download some pictures! Excited?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

and then I saw a seal.

Actually...I saw a LOT of seals. A bunch of us drove up to Truro to Head of Meadow beach this afternoon where we met a whole fleet of seals just hanging out in the water. We were enjoying watching them, and I'm pretty sure they equally enjoyed watching us.
Today was incredibly laid much so that we didn't even leave the house. Glorious! We went over specific house rules (things like "make sure you close at least one layer of the toilet seat"), had a mini house meeting, and finally got our individual placements! It turns out I'll be working in the town of Chatham. Tuesdays I'll be working to develop their recycling program...good thing I have experience making all of those nicely labeled bins for Theta 34 :) And Wednesdays and Thursdays I'll be working with the Chatham Conservation Commission...doing a lot. At this point I think I'll be doing some field work assessing land management techniques, doing some community and school outreach/education, and meeting with various people trying to figure out more conservation measures and such. It seems a little much at this point, but hopefully once I get into the swing of it all things will make more sense.
Tonight is house dinner! Always exciting to have some food that I don't have to cook :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

grape stomping?

Saturday night Wellfleet potluck proved to be a cultural lesson on the locals. I sat next to a woman who has been living in Wellfleet all her life, and shared with me tidbits about her relatives and how they influenced the town back in their day. She also demonstrated how I go about eating a raw oyster...apparently to get the "true flavor" you need to give it a good chew after letting it slip into your mouth out of its shell. So I practiced (after all I am living in Cape Cod, I have to give this seafood thing a try) and did my best not to gag on the thing while she stared me down to watch my oyster-eating technique. But I did it! And I don't know if I'll ever do it again...
I went to a local methodist church with one of the girls in my house on Sunday. It made me miss Roosevelt Park :( But it should be good to try out a new church for the year, and I'm happy to have some company. The town right above Wellfleet, Truro, had their big event of the year...the Truro Wine Festival. It so happens that Truro has a little vineyard, and the community celebrates by coming out to do some good ole grape stomping, wine tasting, vineyard wandering, and hanging out on the lawn listening to a pretty sweet jazz band. The Bourne House came out as well and it was fun just relaxing and spending some time with people. We finished up the weekend by going out to a Thai restaurant, and like always I was ready for bed at a nice early hour.
This week we have some more Red Cross disaster training, a day of aqua-culture training, and Wednesday we finally get our individual placements! We also will have our first experience with WET fest, which has been described to us as "controlled chaos" with elementary kids running around from booth to booth learning all about water. Sorry for the length on that one...I'll try to be more interesting (and shorter) next time :)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

If I were a fisherman...(fisherwoman?)

Ah, life on the cape can be beautiful...especially when September weekends allow for time exploring the great outdoors. I woke up today at the bright and early (and dark) time of 5:15. I had signed up for a weekend service project with one of our partners, something that we have to do about twice a month. This particular project not only got me up and out of bed, but left me stinking like a fish. mmm my favorite :) We helped Ethan, a PhD student, with his research on fin fish in off of the cape shore. So we inflated rubber boats, hauled nets, got excited when all the little fish were pulled on shore, and picked out all the fish and crabs so we could classify and measure them. I think my favorite so far is the pipe fish...he kind of looks like a sea horse, only very stretched out and twig-like. And crabs are crazy! We were finding HUGE ones and itty bitty ones. All of the gulls were living it up, gorging themselves with the fish and crabs that were not so quick to make it back into the deeper water. I've decided I'm going to be incredibly strong by the end of these 11 months...whether its pulling nets, lopping off tree branches or reaching for the heavier food items on my kitchen shelf, I have my workout schedule built right into my day :)
I also drove over to the ocean side today to enjoy the opposite side of beach. Tonight a bunch of us from the Wellfleet house are going to the famous Wellfleet potluck...apparently it's a great place to meet the "crusty locals" and get some pretty amazing (and free) food. So, should be good!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

on the east side of the country...

Hi everyone! So...
I'm here living in Cape Cod! I know I told many of you that I would be better about keeping in touch, and I thought this blog would be a good way for me to (hopefully) do that. I'll be getting this thing going in a bit!
Much love,