January 18

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Photo Caption: Ashley, Elyssa, and Marcy (from left to
right) enjoy an evening out for dinner at The Ultimate Jerk, a local restaurant.

Our last full day in Jamaica!

It was disappointing to wake up to rain at seven this morning, but by the time we all headed to breakfast at eight it had cleared up and was another beautiful morning. For breakfast we had a choice of scrambled eggs, bacon, toast and an assortment of fresh fruit. As soon as we were done eating, I headed to the room with Ashley and Rachel to finish up our presentation on coral disease. The weather was perfect. It sucked being cooped up inside on our laptops working on our projects. I guess that’s what we get for waiting until the last minute. After countless hours in the water, 400 coral specimens, over 3500 square meters of water and a lot of frustration we had results. We concluded that about 37% of the coral in Discovery Bay is diseased. Not as high as I thought, but it’s still a depressing number.

We took a break for lunch, which like everything else here was delicious. I’m not exactly sure what it was. I think it was jerk chicken wrapped in kind of a pie crust. Whatever it was it was awesome. Rachel was happy to see her favorite item on the menu. I took an extended lunch and laid out by the dock with my book, "A Salty Piece of Land" by Jimmy Buffett, to catch the last bit of sun.

We started presentations at 4pm. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t long, but it was still fun to see everyone’s results that they have been working so hard for. We took longer than expected so we had to stop for dinner. Our last dinner here was excellent; BBQ chicken and ribs, rice, and the potato salad that every one of us loves. I’m definitely going to miss the food here. After dinner we voted on ideas for a class tee shirt. We decided on a black shirt with the outline of Jamaica filled in with the colors of the dive flag on the back, and everyone’s food name + first name below the image.

As soon as we were agreed, which did not come easily, we picked up again on presentations and finished the last few.

It feels great to be done! We celebrated afterwards by having one last bonfire on the jetty. We stayed out there for hours, despite the patchy rain and fire ants, and even had a guest appearance by Professor Warren. The clouds looked awesome and the moon was almost full. It was a great way to spend the last night!

It’s sad to be going home tomorrow. I’m sure we all miss our family and friends and real showers, but Jamaica is definitely a place you can get used to. I’ve had a wonderful experience. I’ve seen things I never thought I’d see (a seahorse!), and done things I never would have done anywhere else, like climbing up waterfalls and swinging from vines into the water. I’m really going to miss the amazing people I’ve met here, especially the girls of apartment 6, the beautiful, clear waters of Discovery Bay, and two of the most amazing professors I’ve had in my time at Stony Brook. It was an incredible learning and life experience.

Well I’m off to pack. See you all in New York!

~Elyssa

Photo Caption: Ashley, Elyssa, and Marcy (from left to right) enjoy an evening out for dinner at The Ultimate Jerk, a local restaurant.

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