Happy and Sad Times on the IslandGalapagos Islands, Spring 2012

This week I’ve been determined to enjoy all the things I love most about the Galapagos. Or at the very least live my Galapagos life to the fullest, both with the ups and downs. And let me tell you, this week has had plenty of both.
Both something awesome and something tragic happened last Saturday. GAIAS arranged for all interested students to take a fishing trip with local fishermen. I wasn’t very excited. I’ve never been much into fishing. When we got to the dock I saw that my local friend Linda and her family were our fishing guides. From there the experience got loads better. The first catch of the day was an enormous, beautiful dolphin fish. Luckily the fish managed to get away and live until another day. I managed to reel in a few fish myself. The best catch of the day was by my friend, who caught an albacore. After we caught the fish we took it back to a host family who cooked up the fish and served it to us for dinner.
Sadly Saturday was the day we found out my best friend’s amazing dog had been poisoned and found dead in the yard that morning. To some people it may seem strange for a dog’s death to have much of an impact, and to those people I say you didn’t know Jugatona. Not only was she one of the cutest dogs on the island, she was the friendliest too. Jugatona would follow my friend everywhere around island. If I walked by Jugatona she would follow me too, smiling and occasionally nipping at my heels. A few times I would sit on the boardwalk looking at sea lions on the steps below, Jugatona by my side watching them with curiosity. She would also accompany my friend to school every morning and walk us home late at night from disco techs. It’s hard to explain in writing why this dog was so amazing, and just how full of life she was. Her death was shortly followed by the death of my second favorite dog on the island, Scooby-Doo. Turns out one of the local authorities has been putting posion on the streets for “street dogs” to find. However in a town where there are few leashes or yards, this tactic has cost so many people their beloved pets.
I guess the point of th post is in part a memorial to some wonderful animals. The other part is a reminder that while there are many amazing things to look forward to while studying abroad sometimes there will be periods of sadness. In the end though those happy and sad experiences mixed together are what makes the experience a strong and meaningful one.

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