Location: Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, Galapagos

Life is an ongoing lesson. For many, learning is achieved at its fullest potential through experience. For me, that is one of the sole reasons I chose to come on a program like Seamester. The amount of life, laughter, and beauty that is experienced and seen aboard Argo is immense. But with those amazing aspects, you also get to see another side. The human side. Living on a boat with 26 other unique individuals has taught me a lot about what I define as being human. For most of us, we are in the very first chapter of our adult life. In my case, I am in the very first year. A premise that I’ve grown familiar with my school back home is something called a lifelong learner. Being and becoming a lifelong learner is not an easy process. But we’re reminded of the lessons that lie in the creases of our life through how we live. And times we make mistakes or slip up; we can have a chance to learn twice as much.

Today began with an early 6 o’clock wake-up. After a quick breakfast, we made our way into Santa Cruz for the first time! Our first steps on land consisted of gawking at sea lions and marine iguanas basking in the sun. We then made our way through the town, and following a stop to drop off our laundry; we made it to the Charles Darwin Research Station. After being separated into two groups and meeting our guides, we entered the park and started in the Darwin Museum. Learning about the various projects and research areas that the Center was focusing on and purchasing some swag at the gift shop helped us get an idea of what it was all about. We were then given the opportunity to see the body of Lonesome George, who was the last saddleback tortoise of his species. And got to see the whole giant tortoise operation. The park rangers raise hundreds of tortoises from birth and keep them in captivity until they are old enough to be released into the wild. In the last 5 years, they have been able to release over 700 giant tortoises! Learning about the efforts to repopulate the decimated giant tortoise population was fascinating.

After the tour, we made our way back to Argo and concluded our day with a delicious meal. The Galapagos are truly one of the most beautiful and biologically diverse places on earth. All of us are feeling blessed to have an opportunity to explore a place like this 🙂

As usual, we send our love to the family and friends back home!