Some days life here seems normal and similar to home. Other days it does not. Since my site change I am desperately trying to find a balance in my life. I gained a bit of weight back staying at a hotel in Kingston for about a month, then we had that week of lockdown for a hurricane threat. I have been trying to eat better and walk daily, and these are things that I am pretty good at. However, at night when I am home I am so tired that I tend to snack all night and mindlessly put food in my mouth. I now need to focus on the routines at home.
I try to walk every morning with my host mom, who is more like a sister in age and interactions. We get up and walk at least 2 loops around the housing scheme that I now live in. We walk with two other ladies as well. They will often walk a third or even a fourth lap but for me I need to get showered and dressed for work after the second lap. I try to get up and make coffee and even some breakfast or at least a snack so I am not walking on an empty stomach. In my old site the stress was much less because my schedule was more flexible. Now I have a “real” job that requires me to be accountable for my time and be on site for the majority of the work week. It is not so bad as it is an office job but we go out to sea often, or we do public outreach and have students. My tasks vary from day to day so I never get too bored. I also walk about 2 miles to and from the lab almost daily. Depending upon the weather or if I see someone I work with on the road who will pick me up.
So I have my regular exercise kind of on track. I know that I have been blowing my 10000 step goal a day out of the water lately. I am also looking at starting to ride my bike a bit in the neighborhood I live in. Sadly according to the rules of PC I cannot ride the bike on the main road and that is the only way to get to work, so instead I walk, which seems just as sketchy if riding is not safe, but I digress. My biggest struggles are when I come home. I am too tired to do much else, so then I sit and eat and watch movies all night. I do not even read much anymore. I am hoping to stay home all day Sunday and catch up on housework and plan my week. The last few weeks have not allowed me that opportunity.
At the lab my main duties are outreach, social media, education and now sustainable technologies. I also help with the wet lab and the aquarium. I go out and snorkel to collect specimen to use for the education sessions. I am getting very good at catching critters now. We keep them for a short time and then release them back, except the Lionfish because they are non-native species and we want to remove them from the Caribbean. That is a subject for another blog post.
This last month has been truly exciting for me as I have been around World-renowned marine scientists! I love getting their stories and how they see the reef historically and the future prospects of it. In a time of turmoil, I have found a refreshing influx in my first passion, the sea. I find it to be an amazing ecosystem, a form of resilience against the forces of man and nature and a true form of balance, this is how I want my life to be, now and in the future.