by Chris Odom
The Bonaire Service Trip is going amazingly well, and our group is comprised of a bunch of resilient, hardworking, malleable, and happy people. The scuba-training portion of the trip concluded two days ago, and already we have conducted one reef clean-up dive, one fish identification survey dive, and two night dives (which is practically unheard of from novice divers.) The fish ID survey benefits scientific researchers who monitor coral reef health, and our night dive tonight was to observe the rarely seen bioluminescent mating ritual of the ostracod crustaceans. Amazing dives and amazing students!
Shortly before we arrived on Bonaire, an oil refinery in Trinidad ruptured spilling oil into the Caribbean. The oil slick traveled over 1000 kilometers and is now washing ashore on the east coast of Bonaire. Tomorrow our group will wake up early to travel to the eastern side of the island to help with the clean-up efforts. It has to be early before the heat of the day makes the work unbearable and the oil too soft to handle. After we return, we will head to Jong Bonaire, a children’s after school program for Bonairian youth, similar to the Boys and Girls Club in the US, to begin our service there.