Soccer, Animal Kisses & Turtles!
As per usual, the past few days have been action-packed and filled with lots of academics and new adventures.
On Tuesday after classes ended, a taxi full of students headed to a local pitch to play an exciting football match with the staff of the hotel. We had a great turn out and were able to play a match of 8 vs 8 with subs. Local spectators came out to cheer for the players on the field! The students played extremely well and the Blyth students took home the W with a final score of 12-11, a close game!
While some of our students were enjoying a competitive soccer match, others headed off to their authentic Mexican cooking class. Their class took place in a traditional Mexican kitchen in the home of an elderly local woman who is a native of the island and was teaching the lesson. The host had prepared a variety of the ingredients the students were to cook with on the table. Most of the ingredients had been freshly picked from her garden in the backyard. The students learned how to make guacamole, salsa, pico de gallo, tacos and homemade quesadillas. They even had a chance to try cactus, which most students said tasted like a green pepper! They even tried Cozumel’s famous lime-orange, which is a fruit that is the shape and size of an orange but is green and tastes a little bit sweeter than a lime. To drink their host prepared a tasty unique Hibiscus drink that was a purple colour from flowers out of her garden. To finish their meal, the students indulged in a toasted coconut dessert in the colours of the Mexican flag.
On Wednesday our class schedule had been rearranged to accommodate for the exiting turtle excursion some of the students had signed up for that evening. Thus a group of students headed to volunteer at the humane society for 9:30am! At the animal shelter the students helped clean out the dog kennels, sweep the cat areas and scoop animal poop. Once all of the cleaning tasks were complete the students enjoyed taking the dogs for a walk!
At 4:30 pm the students who had signed up for the turtle excursion left the resort and headed for the Cozumel’s wildlife conservation. Once there they were educated on the importance of conserving the island’s unique wildlife and of the impressive efforts locals take in doing so. The knowledgeable guide also taught the group about the turtle species that are native to Cozumel and come to the island for nesting. The group proceeded to partake in a beach clean up on the southern most tip of the island. Along the beach, the turtle nest’s had been meticulously numbered and recorded. The guide lead the students to a nest that had been marked as hatched and he dug into the sand to find the first hatchling. Once a hatched nest had been located the students dug a trail to the water for the turtles to crawl through to the ocean.
After the sun had set the turtles began to wake up and instinctively knew it was time to dig themselves out of the sand and head to the water! As the turtles emerged the students were able to pick them up, interact with them and redirect them to the ocean! It was truly a magical experience to be a part of.