It has been a pretty eventful weekend. Yesterday we had our first full day off and spent it doing laundry, finishing our case studies for LDE, and preparing our presentations for today. Today we presented our Island StoryMap presentations based on the three US Virgin Islands - St. Croix, St. Thomas, St. John - that we have been working on since we last left Falmouth, MA. Each group did a fantastic job on their assigned island 🙂
My group was assigned St. John. St. John is known as the smallest of the three US Virgin Islands. As part of my research for the assignment, I learned many new things about St. John. St. John may be small (19 sq mi), but it is also known for its rich tropical biodiversity and wide range of habitats including seagrass beds, salt ponds, mangroves, and coral reefs. About two-thirds of St. John is protected under the Virgin Islands National Park. The Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument (est. 2001) also encompasses most of St. John, preserving 12,708 acres of marine life!
These days I have been practicing self-care by prioritizing my sleep and checking-in with myself at least once a day. I found that it is much harder to focus and enjoy the little moments in life when I am stressed about assignments so doing a daily mental check on myself (and venting to my peers) is critical!
I look forward to (finally) boarding Cramer tomorrow and seeing new sights. I dearly miss my friends and family at home but everyone here has been nothing but great and supportive. I can only cherish the last couple of weeks I have left to spend with them until we depart… :’). Here’s to making new memories at sea and finally seeing our work in action!
- Kyaralind Vasquez-Liriano, Wellesley College ’23
P.S. I love you besties (y’all know who y’all are) <3. Friends and fam, please stay safe and well as it starts to get colder over there. Do not worry, I am in good hands!