10 000 pesos that is which is just shy of $5. That's how much I make taking each person out on a fun dive here in sunny Taganga. I make more when I teach one day mini courses or scuba tuneups but not all that much really. But, 10 000 pesos is enough to pay for my bed for the night and 2 beers so I suppose it's all worth it. Add to that, my love of diving and hanging out here and I've got a smile on my face every day.
Since the Shakira concert I've been working almost everyday and even went out on the boat with just myself, two fun divers and the captain. Everyone assumes that I know all the dive sites but leading people through a site is very different from just following a helping out. I took one guy out in the correct direction but I kept pulling right when I couldn't find the reef and ended up far far away from the boat and the reef before finally pulling the plug and surfacing to get my bearings. Just a little ebarrassing. Luckily the guy I was guiding was an instructor from a dive school up in Honduras and cool to boot. Shoot, it used to take me 20 minutes to find my car a mall parking lot and that was with me pointing and clicking the alarm at every car that I passed. I am getting better though. I've found a few trusty markers, funny shaped corals and old tires that I pray will never change.
All was going swimmingly until late last week when the laptaop I borrowed from my brother declined to boot up for me. I was really counting on the thing to help me get my esays done and some other things to boot. I emailed my brother for help only to get some vague innuendos that I had probably dropped the thing or gotten it wet. No dear brother. I didn't take the thing on the boat diving with me. My best guess is that a little ant got zapped while touring around inside and corrupted something. I really just need a boot disk, but there don't seem to be too many Mac users down here. C'est la vie! I didn't lose copies of any of my documents and those were my priority so I can't be too bummed. I went down tothe dive shop and requested a few days off so that I could concentrate on my essays on the nice computers in nearby Santa Marta. Internet access is only 40 cents an hour so I figured it wouldn't be too bad.
I woke up early, ready to begin an essay-tastic day on the computer and headed into town. After about 20 minutes on the computer I started to feel like I was going to be sick. I'd been a bit ill the night before so I headed home and ended up sleeping the day away. Two days later I was still in the bed wishing I was dead. I would get up in the morning feeling ok but by about 11am I was ready to collapse. On the third day, the girls in the hostel saw me comatosed in bed and brought me some Pedialyte which pretty much saved my life as I was more dehydrated than sick. I hadn't eaten or drank anything for more than 48 hours. The next day I hauled myself off to the Health Center in town. They weren't much for chatting or diagnosing, just treating which was fine by me. It cost me $20 to be looked at and to get an anti-vomiting shot in my ass and in my arm, anti-spasmodic for my stomach. The sent me to the pharmacy to get some more reinforcers in pill form and I was out the door.
I was feeling good enough that night to eat some soup and over the next two days I just bloomed back into my normal self. I've never thought of myself as a bubbly personality but I am definately a high-energy girl and it was great to be back. My first day back in the water was just me again with 2 fun divers and the captain. We always take a quick snack break on one of the small beaches where the fishermen set up their nets and haul in their catches. While we were there the men pulled in not just the usual mackeral, or bonito as they call it, but quite a few red snapper (pargo). I asked our captain, Nelson to inquire if I could buy a couple but the big fat man in charge (hey, they call him Gordito) handed me 4 as a gift. I was thrilled and split the bounty with Nelson. Back at the hostel, one of the girls who works in the kitchen, Lulo, walked me through what I had to do. Ugh, take out all the gills and all the insides. Check. Scrape all the sharp scales off the outside. Yup, I was covered in them. Check. I fried them up in a little garlic, onion and oregano oil and cooked up some rice to boot. Probably the freshest fish I'll ever eat.
Back to my essays. I lost 4 days to illness so I got cracking a sent yet another version of my 'What is most important to me and why' essay to Ruth who sent me feedback that basically told me to stop smoking pot while I write! Well I don't smoke but I do recall penning much of the essay with a rum and coke firmly in hand. This essay is killing me. It's the last one I need to finish in a set of four for my first choice school and I should be able to use a large part of it for another schoolas well so its muy muy importante. I'd set a deadline of December 14th to have all my essays and applications completed which I still want to hit. The 14th is over a month before application are all officially due but I do want to have some fun here! Wish me luck.