I awake a bit nauseous. I have mixed feelings, and it ails my stomach. I am to be at the final dive for the morning, but I do not feel well enough to go. Though I likely should have, I decided to stay and rest a little bit longer and prepare for the remainder of the day.
As the other students arrive back from their dives, I have already packed my belongings. I drift between a state of relief and sadness. I am ready to sleep in my own bedroom again, but know that I will likely never return to the island. I head to breakfast upon these thoughts.
I arrive to eat, but decide I am not hungry. Instead, I try to distract myself with my Nintendo handheld device, though the batter only lasts for a few minutes and I turn it off. I sit in silence until lunch. I think of my presentation due, if I have forgotten to pack anything, and what the good and bad moments of the island were. I am very stressed for my conflicted feelings.
As lunch comes, I decide to skip that as well, coming in only to inform my presentation partner that he may find me in the library. I pull out my phone and speak with my friend about unrelated topics to distract myself, though eventually my partner does come and we must practice our speech one more time.
It is approximately 1:30 PM at this point, and we present to an empty library. Our presentation goes well, and we feel content enough to speak without many issues. At this point, we are informed that some of the other students had invited us to play card games with them, and decide it may be nice to play. We play for approximately 40 minutes before another student comes in to interview us for a project she is partaking, and a few of us stop to be interviewed before we finish our game.
There was a dive supposedly scheduled at approximately 4:00 PM that I had blanked upon. Again, I debate if I should go. This is my absolute last chance to swim in the ocean here, but I cannot get myself to go. It would be too emotionally conflicting for me. I decide to stay again.
I spend more time thinking. I truly enjoyed the ability to partake in science in the environment. I must laugh every day at the pure anger of seagulls to the fun moments with the new friends I have made on the island. I enjoyed forcing myself into the water, as I would have missed so much had I decided not to send in my application to come to the island. It does not mean the trip was easy, but I have no regrets on my trip, and I did with it what I feel would stay with me forever.
Today, I even skip supper. I have had no food today, yet I am still not feeling hungry. I skip supper again, and after the others eat we are ready to present at approximately 7:00 PM.
All presentations go well, and though I feel I could have improved, I believe it went well enough for a good grade. After presentations the professors give each student an award for something they believe we have accomplished above all other students. I received the award for the most improvement in swimming. I chuckle silently to myself, still thinking of my swimming as a less-than-flattering imitation of a fish trying to flop from a dock back to water, but I admittedly do feel as though I have improved since my first day.
The students and the professors then spend time having a competition to compare how much trash each student has collected over the trip as a pseudo competition. I found only a sandal, and commend other students for finding much more than I did. The class totaled more than 3 kilograms by the end of the weight tally. I am impressed.
The subsequent hour involves the students and professors cleaning up all the laboratories and the library. I spend most of my time cleaning the chairs. All goes well.
After we clean, the other students wish to take a walk one last time on the beach. I join them, but not for the total duration they remain out. I am still sad knowing that I will need to leave in the morning. I stare at the sky for at least twenty to thirty minutes. I see many stars and the galaxy. I am filled with awe, and feel the immensity of the universe wrapping itself around me like a blanket. I see the stars wave at me, and I wave back. The night sky blesses me with the presence of a brief, but gorgeous, falling star. I smile sadly to myself, and turn to head back to my dorm for the night. As I leave, I send my silence thanks to the earth and the island for supporting me.
I head back to my room, thinking about my trip. I cannot say that I have regrets. My actions were purposeful, and the folly that arose from them were surely justified. I know that I can leave the island content with my progression as a student and as a person. It was an unforgettable experience worth a lifetime in it's own.
I want to say a special thanks to the the professors who made this trip possible for me. I wish to thank the other students for providing a nice atmosphere of livelihood and happiness. I wish to thank my parents, who support me in all that I do, and for giving me the life that I can only hope to fill with accomplice. Thank you for spending your time to read through my post(s).
When I return home, I will be updating my blog to account for the missing images on my blog regarding the island. I need to organize my folder of images and pick out some of the really cool ones to show everyone. Until then, I'd like to finish this post with one of my favorite terrestrial mammals in Australia. For those who know me, you already can guess what it is. Have a good night, everyone!
My name is Serafin Cardeli. I am Twenty years old and studying to become a Conservation & Restoration Ecologist. I wish to combine education, outreach, and legitimate scientific research to better environmental health and increase public awareness through applicable and relatable methodology. I attempt to specialize in all Canids.