It’s.. photo time!

By , April 22, 2010 5:18 pm

Told ya I would show some pictures, didn’t I? Here they are! Or at least 10 of them.

This is where I had to change planes to get to Fort Lauderdale. The airport even has it’s own electronic tram to get people from one side of the terminals to the other. 🙂

Well, I really don’t have a clue as to what town this is, but it was somewhere in between Detroit and Fort Lauderdale, though closer to Detroit.

Jep! That’s where I’m staying! Along with a couple of other persons who’re also volunteering in the park.

That’s my transport to get from my house to my work and ocasionally into Homestead to get groceries. It’s an old Chevrolet S10, known in the office as the ‘little blue truck’, a little beaten up, but a lovely truck with a lot of character. I like it! Although I like anything with an engine. 🙂

Naaaah, it’s not my pet. It’s an alligator in the park. Saw it at Royal Palm, a place for tourists to go see wildlife, which includes alligators like this one.

Yep, that’s a cottonmouth! Venomous snake that also roams the lands in the park. You can understand that when I saw it, I stopped the truck, but didn’t get out to snap a picture. Hooray for a zoomlens on your camera. 😀

If you get up early enough you can get some great views out in the park here. Or not even in the park. This was on the road to my house, just outside the entrance of the park.

That was yesterday! I was in a helicopter with 2 of my colleagues to get to areas where we had to do research, but couldn’t get there by boat or car, with the muddy grounds and all.

A better shot of the helicopter that we flew in. See? No doors! You could really feel every whack of air from the blades, keeping it in the air.

Jep, that’s a location where we did one of the sediment deposit checks. We basically stayed up on the boardwalks not to disturb the ground underneath, as that’s what you gotta research, the amount of sediment deposited on the ground.

That’s it for the pictures right now! Total amount of pictures that I took right now is 588. I’m not saying that they’re all good pictures, but some of them are nice at least. 🙂 Makes for better selection of great pictures to show all of you when I get back in about 3,5 months.

Somewhat settling in now..

By , April 21, 2010 3:33 pm

So, last time I posted something here, I was in the country for just about 24 hours. Right now it’s Wednesday morning , 10 minutes past 9 and I just had my coffee.

Anyway, what have I been up to the last couple of days, you wonder.. Last saturday I had a free day. With the jet-lag still keeping me from sleeping a whole lot in the morning, it was kinda hard to sleep in, so I spent lazing around the house in the morning. In the afternoon, me, Tim and James, my housemates, went over to Homestead to get some groceries. As the evening started, people started to drop in for a small welcome party that was organized for people from the office to get to know me. A sort of welcome party for me. With this party there was also a surprise birthdaycake for me and a colleague of mine, she had her birthday earlier that week and my birthday’s on the 23th of April (hinthint!!). It was a nice party and a good way to meet the others.

The following morning I was forced to get up early (6:30AM), since I was signed up to do volunteer work at the Biscayne National Park, south of Miami. This consisted of picking up trash that was washed up on shore on an island called Elliot Key out of the bay of Florida. A little reminder to all who read this, throw your trash in the trashcan and not into the ocean or street! I don’t want to be picking up your trash here in Florida. I saw bottles all the way from Germany!

After the volunteering, I decided to head out into the park some and check out Royal Palm. A place for tourists where they can check out some of the wildlife in the park. Mainly alligators and lots of birds. People from all  over the world go there. I heard chinese, germans, dutchies, english and (of course) americans.

The monday and tuesday, that’d be yesterday and the day before yesterday we went out into the mangrove areas and did some sediment accretion research. Checking if the mangroves deposited more material on the muddy surface. We went there by boat, as you can’t get there by car. Oh man, that boat was FAST! We were hauling ass when we got to the bigger open water areas!

This morning we’re heading out to Homestead Airport, cause we’re going to a location that’s too far away to get to by boat. So we’re going there by… helicopter! You heard that right! In about 2 hours I’ll be up into the air and checking out the mangroves from a bird’s eye view, making sure I got my camera with me. That’s something I’m looking forward to, since I never been in a helicopter before.

I’ll make sure to get some pictures uploaded the next time I make a post, I bet that reading through a lot of text can be quite boring for you, the readers. So expect a serie of pictures soon!

As a last thing, I gotta say that I do love the fact that people are actually reading my little blog here and comment on my posts. I’ll make sure to keep you all updated about the on-goings here.

Right now though, I gotta get myself ready to get to the airport! See ya!

First 24 hours here..

By , April 16, 2010 10:54 pm

The flight was uneventful and boring, that’s all I gotta say about the flights. I watched some movies, some comedies, listened to some music and slept some. That’s all I did and all there was to do on the flights. Detriot’s airport was pretty fun to see, but not really for filling up 3 hours of waiting for the next flight. Ah well, nothing I could do about that.

In Fort Lauderdale I got picked up by Gordon (my internship supervisor, more or less..) and Karen (colleague of Gordon at the USGS) and was basicly sent past the Wallmart (which is HUUUUGE, think of the biggest store you’ve been in in The Netherlands and multiply that by 4, that might be the size of this Wallmart) to pick up some groceries and stuff to get through the first few days. After which I was brought over to the house I will be staying at for the next couple of months. I talked a bit with my housemates Tim and James, who were there for a few weeks already and will be staying for a few more weeks also, doing research about sparrows.

The next day I got shown how my car works. Yeah, I actually got a vehicle assigned to me, owned by the USGS. It’s known as the ‘Little Blue Truck’  here and is a beaten up old Chevy stickshift pick-up truck that I’m allowed to drive on park grounds. After getting the car I followed Gordon to the office. Basicly meeting all the people working here, filling out paperworks, doing some computer-tests and starting with the aviation training, cause at some point during the internship, I’m going to be flying along with the helicopter to get some work done in the park.

Right, I got tomorrow off and there’ll be a little bbq at my house for the employees here to get to know me on a social level, so that’s all going to be great.

What can I say, I’m already having a great time and I’ve just been here for about 24 hours. This is going to be one hell of an experience, I kid you not! Alright, it’s 5pm here and it’s time to go home, so that’s what I’ll be doing right now. More from me later!

Oh, one last thing, there’s no internet at the house, but I’m allowed to check my mail at the office, so ocasionally I’ll check my mail and see if I have time to update this website. If not able to do those things  I just mentioned, you’ll just have to assume that I’m having the time of my life here, cause I probably will. 😀

Serious airport business!

By , April 15, 2010 6:50 am

Well well, luggage checked in, said goodbye to my mom and dad, already through security..

Some say travelling alone can be boring. True as that may be, right now I’m friggin’ loving it! I got a smile from ear to ear and it’s not going away for the next couple of hours! I mean, what is there not to smile about, hmm? I’m on my way to America! That’s what I wanted all my life and now I’m going. 🙂 How cool is that?!

Also, meet the plane and the rising sun! (photo taken with my iPhone)

Almost now..

By , April 14, 2010 11:06 pm

Bags are packed, I’m taking a few hours to sleep before we’re heading off to Schiphol Airport. This is all suddenly becoming very real very fast! The fact that I’m staying away for 4 months is something I don’t have to think about too much, or I’ll turn around and run away screaming.

Still, I’m looking forward to everything! This is a one time chance and I’m taking it with both hands and both feet! Letting go again 4 months later! Just a few more hours and then I’m on my way.. TO AMERICA!

Just a few more weeks now..

By , March 19, 2010 12:15 pm

This week has been a rather hectic week for me, but a damn productive week as well!

I received my Visa Application from the USGS and immediately made an appointment with the American Embassy in America to hand it in personally.

I finally ordered the tickets for my flight to and from America. I’ll be leaving my beloved country on the 15th of April and will stay away for a total of 113 days. That’s about 3 months and 3 weeks! Daaamn, I’ve never been out of the country that long before.

On thursday I travelled to Amsterdam to hand in the Visa Application on the American Embassy. It took a –little– bit more effort than I first thought, but in the end the friendly man on the other side of the glass said the magic words: ‘Alright, you’re done. Your Visa has been issued and you’ll receive it within a few days. Have a nice day!

At times I still can’t get the fact that I’m actually going to America, but I’d better get that fact inside my head pretty damn quick and prepare myself for it, cause I’ll be going there before I know it!

America, here I come!

By , February 21, 2010 4:16 pm

“We now officially offer you the opportunity to assist the US Geological Survey Land-Margin Study based at Everglades National Park as an intern through the International Volunteer in Parks (IVIP) program. Congratulations.”

That was part of the email that confirmed my internship in America, which means that I got a full YES from the company where I’m going to work.

But there still is a lot to do. Get a visa, book a flight, get my things sorted out, finish things at school. But once I get all that done, I’m on my way to a three month internship in Florida, America!

It’s no surprise to me that I’m still a bit flabbergasted about it all. In under 3 weeks I went from first contact to getting the approval to come over. Wow.. Just wow..

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