VCHT intern Amanda Faulkner
|Written by Barbara Hyland|
|Sunday, 25 January 2009 05:57|
After my first week in Vieques I am starting to feel at home and get into a good routine. I arrived on Saturday night and came into my first day of work on Sunday. Because Sunday is slow, and not everyone was here it was a little hard to get a sense of the trust and what my job would be here. On Monday I came in and the internship started more officially. I got a tour of the trust from Mark, who explained all the different things that VCHT does and what my role would be. I also met Ivelisse and got her perspective on my internship. I spent the rest of Monday learning how to clean the tanks, and just hanging around the trust.
On Tuesday I felt like I really got into the work of the internship. When I arrived at work Mark told me that we would be going snorkeling to Cayo Afuera. We kayaked out and spent about two hours looking for a damselfish. We found one but didn’t end up catching it. Also on Tuesday I was given a list of tasks to do here at the trust over my three weeks. In addition to helping collect fish for the tanks, cleaning the tanks, leading occasional tours around the trust and helping out with odd jobs around the trust, I got some projects to work on. There included creating a Powerpoint presentation on ecotourism, making a template for the species descriptions and finding a place to buy light shields for the streetlights in Vieques.
On Wednesday I continued working on my assigned projects and helping out around the trust. On Thursday I went snorkeling with Mark and Eliu to Playa de la Tierra. We were looking for a puffer fish. We ended up catching a puffer, but not the species that we were hoping for. Friday brought more snorkeling with Mark at Mosquito Pier, where we were releasing sea stars and looking for an angelfish, replacement sea stars and sea urchins. Once we had found everything but the sea urchin that Mark was looking for we brought the fish and sea stars back to the trust to get ready for a large group on Saturday.
Saturday the trust hosted a group of about sixty people from Puerto Rico. We divided the group up and led them on short tours of the different parts of the trust. I was in charge of the Marine Life Exhibit. I was nervous about leading a tour in Spanish, but it went fine (even though I didn’t remember all the names).
Overall my internship is going well, although it took a bit of time to get into the swing of things. I really enjoy working with kids when they come in, as well as doing research on the computer. I feel like I have a lot to work on in terms of my catching skills while snorkeling, but am hopeful that I’ll learn over the next two weeks.
One other thing that I think would help the internship is more contact between the trust and the intern before she comes. Wellesley does not provide almost any information about what the internship is about. I would really like to work with Mark to put together some information (possibly photos/video) about the trust and the internship to get candidates excited about applying and give future interns a better sense of the internship.