The Adventures of Hani and Jacques Cousteau

I need to clarify that I was actually not with the real Jacques Cousteau because he passed quite a while ago. I am talking about my lab partner, Grayson, which I have nicknamed Jacques Cousteau. Anyways, Jacques and I were on one of our adventures exploring the unknown mysteries of Blueskin Bay. On our exploration we discovered many peculiar creatures such as cockles and mantis shrimp. We also journeyed around Blueskin bay to understand the different inputs of nutrients from various rivers and the ocean. We took filtered water samples and placed them in the “chilly box” for preservation until we analyzed the samples in lab.

On this fantastic exploration I got a wonderful tour of the Blueskin bay area with my colleagues aboard the SSS MARI 303. We posed for a plethora of pictures that created a timeline of our journey and accomplishments. We were lucky to discover some ice cream and hot tea buried in a dark and mysterious caravan owned by our professor. All the while Jacques and I tried to stay warm and finish our oxygen samples of our cockles. It is safe to say that after 11 hours of looking at Blueskin bay that I am ready for a hot shower and something to eat.

An amazing and successful exploration if I do say so myself. Until the next one! Signing off – Hani

Uni life

University of Otago is nothing like Whitman College. It is incredibly larger with not only a larger student body but a larger campus as well. The social life is very different and event the grading system is different. At I finish up my fourth week of classes I realized that this sort of atmosphere isn’t as bad as I thought. I enjoy taking papers that reflect my interests in a way that Whitman College would never be able to. I can attend classes that have to do with indigenous knowledge and culture while also comparing it with my culture as a Native Hawaiian. I also get to hang out with people who are from the Pacific and have similar interests to me.

Now that I think about it I haven’t even talked about what papers I am taking. I am currently enrolled in PACI 103, MAOR 303, MARI 301, and MAOR 110. PACI 103 is my Fijian language and culture class where I am learning how to speak Fijian and engaging with the Fijian community. MAOR 303 is my paper that focuses on the Ngāi Tahu and the Natural World. It basically looks at indigenous resource management from the eyes of the Māori and specifically focusing on the Ngāi Tahu who were from Otago. MARI 301 is my marine ecology paper that allows me to go on the field trips on weekends to do experiments on cockles. Lastly, my MAOR 110 paper is a korero class or a Māori language class.

All these classes are amazing and I am learning so much everyday. It is the first time in my college career that I am taking only one science class and mostly focusing on learning about the cultures of the Pacific. Learning about history and culture is my passion and I am always looking for ways to combine it with science which I think is what the MAOR 303 does well.

Although the weather is bipolar and there is shards of glass wherever I walk I do really enjoy my time here in Dunedin. The people here are amazing and I am starting to establish a support system here with not only my flatmates but the pacific island community. I am off to study and practice Fijian. Moce or Farewell!

Fingerplowing for Cockles

This week was pretty hectic in activities. First off I met another Hawaiian girl here who I went to high school with. Her name is Anuhea and is extremely nice. Together we attended the first Kapa Haka meeting and just got blown away by their beautiful voices. It will be fun trying to learn how to sing and pronounce Maori words.

I also went to Blueskin bay for my Marine Ecology field trip. Blueskin bay is an estuary that is generally exposed during low tides. During this field trip me and my partner set up our cockle experiment. Cockles you say? Yes Cockles! They are bivales that burrow in the sediment and there are THOUSANDS of them. In order to see the cockles you had to “finger plow” the sediment. “Finger Plow” is a weird term that my professor came up with to basically describe the action of raking your fingers through the sediment. Honestly, it sent my whole class through a fit of giggles that almost made me feel like I was 10 again. While we were finger plowing we also had to do a plankton tow in a kayak. This was super fun minus the fact that somebody had accidentally flipped over making the seat completely soaked. This resulted in my butt becoming completely soaked. Let me tell you wet clothes in cold weather is SO not fun. I survived and ended my day by taking a hot shower and eating curry. Not too bad of a week I guess. Until next time!