Full Day Five is about to come to a close. (I would have posted this last night/earlier today, but the internet here is coming and going as it pleases paying no attention to my blogging needs and your reading desires.) Today was our first real day in the cave doing cave things. You know, digging, screening, pumping out water to actually find artifacts. The usual. Today was also host to our first lecture class. It was interesting… and while I did the reading and I would dare say that I understand the general premise behind each article, I am no where near close to understanding the little details. In most cases I can’t even pronounce the words. And some of the places he was talking about could have been in NeverNeverLand for all that I knew! (For example... there is an island in the Pacific called New Ireland. Who knew? Not this girl!)
Update of the Field School so far:
Day Two: Went to Shipwrecks Beach and LEI’d (this still cracks me up) out under the hot sun for a bit. While there we watched three very brave souls jump off of a huge rock. MANIACS! Then we returned home where we read fascinating articles, ate dinner, and slept.
This is the rock that those crazzzzy guys jumped off of. It might not look far up, but it is. And once you jump you still have to swim back to shore.
Day Three: “Field Trip.” That is what they call it. I call it “Hiking Day.” The phrase “field trip” should only be used when referring to a group of elementary kids going to Ferdinand’s in Pullman, Washington to watch a video on how to make cheese and then getting free ice cream cones. This was no Ferdinand’s. Instead our “Field Trip/Hiking Day” was to Limahuli Botanical Gardens where we looked at taro (or as the Hawaiians say “kalo” (must suck not having a “t” or “r” in your alphabet)) beds, native plants, Polynesian species, and invasive plants. We also had to hike into a valley carrying a spiny palm so that it could be planted later. Which is when I realized… I don’t like walking downhill. I would way rather try to climb UP something than make my way down. Even during my high school cross country days (yep… get your laughter out now, I ran cross country in high school for four years…AND I WAS VARSITY ALL FOUR YEARS!) I hated having to run down hill. Going up is when I passed people. Downhill is scary and momentum is NOT my friend! After “hiking day” was over we came home. Ate. Showered. Slept. Everyone was really excited about the soccer game in the morning so they wanted to be refreshed.
The taro/kalo fields.
The water fall in the valley that we hiked up.
Day Four: Woke up. People watched soccer. Those vuvuzelas sound like a swarm of bees coming to get you. I watched ten minutes. No one scored so I read more articles. Then after a thrilling victory for Spain, we went to the beach. While at the beach we saw not one but TWO endangered species. (Did you know Hawaii has more endangered species than any of the other 50 states?) There was a sea turtle trying to eat in the water. The lifeguards had to announce SEVERAL times to all the snorkelers that they needed to stay 20 feet away. Some people were all up in that poor turtles grill. At one point the lifeguard said through the megaphone “Can you hear this? Is this thing on? I have had to tell ten times to move 20 feet away. You are like three feet. That means you need to move, like, 6 times farther.” Then we saw a monk seal tanning on the beach. It was roped off though so people could not touch it. Came home. Ate. Read more. Bed.
You can kind of see the turtle in this picture... but this is the best that I could do from 20 feet away!
Monk seal living in the dream... besides the whole about to go extinct thing.
Day Five: Woke up. Ate dry cereal and made lunch. Loaded up into the vans and headed out for the cave. Crawled in. Learned to screen sediments and identify artifacts. Screened a bunch of dirt and clay and rocks. Found birds bones, fish bones, the tiniest snail shells (and lots of them), old wood pieces, sea urchin pieces. Walked to the bathroom. Found a skull on the road. Picked it up (I am learning to deal with dead things much better!) and carried it to Dr. B to be identified. He said it was a cat. I nearly cried (I am still upset about this and made note of this in my field journal). Climbed into the new site that we will be working on (I had to wear a helmet and it was a real sketch ladder, but I survived!) Came home. Cooked dinner (I made nasty brown rice (whoever buys bulk bags of brown rice instead of Minute Rice is just silly!), chicken and broccoli...and everyone said that they liked it. Were they being nice? Probably. Did they mean it? Probably not. Did I have to add enough soy sauce that I should never eat salt again to make it taste like something? Yes.). First class (talked about the colonization of Oceania and Lapita Pottery for two hours...Don't ask me to sum up it up). Home. BLOG. Bed soon.
There is a definite trend to our days. We wake up. Eat. Leave. We come home. Eat. And Sleep. There was some talk about charades last night but no go. Either way, I have a ton of time to Facebook (if the internet isn’t being a little beatch) and to write postcards. The problem is that the time zone change here is so whack that by the time we get back from class it is at least 11PM on the “mainland.” So sorry that I text people at like midnight…my bad!
To sum up everything so far (and then some pics of the cave!)... I AM SURVIVING FAIRLY WELL!! But then again, it is day 5... ask me again on day 15!
From inside the "poor man's time machine"/sinkhole/digging area.
This is the little hole that we have to crawl through to get into or out of the site. It involves quiet the technique to get in without bumping your head!
Did you know that there was once a commune in the cave?
(And shout out to BFF Lauren for finding the most amazing YouTube video ever. If you want to see your favorite childhood cartoon characters and get a GREAT anti-drug message at the same time then this will be the best 27 minutes of your life! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jivU-4xv7aw)