01 September 2009

Dolphins of Greece, 21-29 August

As I sit and think of how to share my experiences of the past week, I find myself a little speechless. Then reading the other entries from days and years past – I find that I am in good company feeling as if their time with the dolphins has been unforgettable! I was worried when I booked the trip ... I am not a scientist, what if I screw up their research (I think I broke that pesky handheld computer)? Who knew that my biggest problem would be trying to type an English entry from an Italian keyboard! This past week has been a marvelous experience and I believe all of the thanks belong to three people – Marina, the crazy Italian who has an unhealthy fascination about jellyfish and wanting to live under the sea (I will return to work singing that song), Susie, a wonderful research assistant who cannot sit still if you paid her (and I think you should pay her by the way :) and Marcello, an Italian with a Scottish brough (who knew that could happen) – and just a few cetaceans (look I learned a new word) that were simply amazing! And when I mean just a few, I mean a “focal group size” between 8 and 20 with adults, calves and a few newborns. I am going to go home wondering and dreaming – which is smarter, bottlenose or common, are we positive or negative – when can I stop looking at my feet now? which is cooler, boat riding or jumping (sorry – aerial behavior) dolphins? I have my answers and I hope the volunteers after me have all the opportunities I had to come to their own conclusions. I may just be back next year to confirm my answers.

Monika, USA

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