Update MMF Intern - First 2 weeks
Day 1, was a day of trepidation with a cocktail of emotions, nervous, sad, anxious and excited for what I have just committed myself to.
Leaving my family for 6 months, the longest time apart from Karen, Jas & Matt in over 32years - was I insane, probably.
Flight out 27 Oct 2018 with an emotional farewell, at least until Jan 2019 when they will come to visit and holiday.
As I leave the Coastal outline of Australia, in my mind I bid adieu to my homeland of Oz and prepare myself for an Indonesian lifestyle and the new experience to be had.
Day 2, consists of myriad of unpacking and making my Homestay room 'Home' for next few months - (nestling some would say).
After, it's time to walk, investigate and acclimate to my new environs/home and understand the lay of the land, Warungs, landmarks, Dive Shops and more....
Day3-5, and it's time to check in to Marine Megafauna Foundation at Blue Corner Dive shop for my induction and orientation with Rosie (Intern Co-ord). And WOW what an information overload day with learning new Programmes, Data Entry, Forms to complete and the plethora of Staff and people (names I cant remember) that just kept pouring into the office.
This led to the next few days learning the ropes in's & out's of MantaMatcher.org, Google Sheets, MMF website and processes to follow, a tsunami of information I was unable to absorb.
During this time I also participated in the weekly Documentary Nights and mid-week Secret Life of Manta talks conducted in the Yoga Shack of the Secret Garden.
Day 6, wow this was random, but fortunately I arrived at a great time for the annual Halloween Fundraiser Night for MMF. And of course was roped into helping set-up (handyman style). This took staff most of the day and some preceding weeks to organise, until it was 3pm and time for us to take a break and return re-charged for the Nights festivities.
However, as staff for the MMF fundraiser, we were required to 'work' the majority of the night, and I along with Emily was in charge of the Beer Pong tables, and then later we became dinner servers for approx. 75 people.
Twas a great night had all and got to meet soo many more people from all around the Island (more names to forget).
Day 7, it was finally time 'To Get Wet' dive into the waters of Nusa Penida (Manta Bay & Sekolah Dasar) for a shakedown dive with Rosie in the hope of seeing some Manta Ray action. Ah alas it was not to be, no Manta but was a nice blue water dive with a lot of marine life and healthy corals/walls.
After the dive it was time to wash the gear, thank the Dive Operator and complete my first MMF Environmental Factors Log, then a FB Post with photo and thank (Link) the Dive Shop.
Day 7, I was invited by the same dive shop for a staff only Sunrise Dive hoping to see Mola Mola (ah yes please). So up at 5.00am to be ready for the boat leaving at 6.00am and out to Blue Corner dive site. But however a nice dive, no Mola Mola were to be seen.
On the bright side I was offered to come out for the 10.00am schedule dives to Manta Bay & Crystal Bay to do my first MMF Research Dive and briefings (of course no script or prior learning done).
The conditions very nice, water around 27dg and back-roll in and cruise the site, no Manta :( soo sad....
Surface interval, Nasi Goreng for lunch and hit the water again at Crystal Bay where maybe Mola Mola can be seen in cooler waters.
No Mola Mola :( however many turtles and a nice exploratory dive as well to become familiar with the sites.
Day 8-13, consisted of sooo many Admin duties, learning, more induction and Data Entry to help with the back log of Manta's on Manta Matcher, along with other duties.
I continue to attend and support the mid week talks and enjoyed Rosie's Mola Mola talk, along with Mike's Secret Life of Manta's.
Day 14, it's time (over-due) to go out in search of Manta's however this time due to small incident (Health) I will be snorkelling at Manta Point & Crystal Bay.
And it was soooooo worth the effort, snorkelling above and around the major cleaning station I had in total 5 Manta, including what I believed 1 very large female leading the train, however not to be confused with a Manta Mating Train.
This is what makes me happy, and makes the pain go away missing my family, being with my Manta Family, my Majestic Manta's (M. Alfredi - Reef Manta)
Day 15, and it's a day off, even though this is not working, and am finally feeling at home and settling in. A day to re-charge, organise things, prepare for my first Sunday Night Documentary presentation and a light dinner.
The Blog's to follow will be less intense - so please be patient in reading this Blog, and I hope in some way my Blog's & Rivetting Moments inspires the dreamer in you to travel and be adventurous ......