Start of the 2nd quarter

In the morning I took a quick run. I discovered a beautiful sunrise at the beach and watched it for a little bit. Afterwards I got ready for college and decided to wear my new shirt for the geology quiz and the entrepreneurship project. The quiz was not really hard, we had to draw the plate tectonics picture.

Then it was time to meet the guys from my entrepreneurship class for the 1$ project. They didn’t show up until 11:30 am and I was getting really annoyed and desperate. Eventually Maja came and then Khaleb (the guy who was supposed to bring lemonade – the original plan was selling lemonade and lollipops) showed up with plastic cups full of sand and succulents with cool stickers on the front. He told us that the lemonade stuff did not work and he came up with this idea at 3 a.m. in the morning. However, I developed a marketing strategy: we would sell them for one dollar each and say that we collected the plastic cups from the beaches to protect the environment. This clearly worked out, we sold all of them, some guys donated money as well. We will do it again on Wednesday and khaleb will make some more. I already have pre-orders of my friends for some succulents. I am excited how much money we will have on Wednesday. We are planning to sell them for 5$ dollars each or 3 for 10$. Let’s see what happens on Wednesday!

Afterwards I had Pilates class which was very cool. We had to use the ring again and did some fun exercises with the ball as well.

After college I did my geology assignment and then had dinner together with Carmen and Olivia. Afterwards, I read my entrepreneurship book and lab 2 and 3 for the quiz on Thursday. I am happy because I got all points on the quizzes from last week! Furthermore, Carmen made some lemon bars which I got to taste before I drank a cup of tea and went to bed. The have like baking mixtures for everything, Carmen mixed it with eggs and water and baked it. It tastes artificial and really sweet totally American style. Surprisingly, Waltraud (she is like a second mother to me) called me before I fell asleep. We had an inspiring talk and it was so good to hear her voice again, I miss her very much and I will try to follow her advices the coming stay here. I am really looking forward to seeing her again back at home in Austria.

Tuesday morning I had surfing class. This time the waves were much more bigger and stronger therefore the class was exhausting. Sometimes the waves would break above me and flood over me and push me to the seafloor which is a little bit scary to be honest. But it is an incredible feeling to feel the power of the ocean. At the end I caught 3 waves where I really tried to stand and one time I managed to do it pretty good. Afterwards, I went to the appointment with my entrepreneurship teacher. It was a good opportunity to talk to her and sort things out, now I am more at ease and can take the class without stress. In oceanography we talked a lot about plankton and life. It is always very cool when she gives us little breaks by playing music related to the topics so we can absorb the information pretty good. It’s also fun that she is so engaged about every tiny little detail and draws so much on the blackboard.

In the afternoon I rode my bike for half an hour and went shopping to Vons (I think Tuesday is gonna be my grocery day). Afterwards, I finally finished my entrepreneurship assignment and did the study questions for oceanography. Furthermore, I registered for the volunteer project on Saturday at Leadbetter beach. For dinner we had the tritip steak slices, some couscous salad and another salad. In the evening I did some workouts and ate some lemon bars before I went to bed.

On Wednesday I took a run in the morning (1.5 hours) and had a delicious breakfast afterwards.

In Geology we learnt about the age dating of rocks. We also did a group project on that topic which was really fun.

In the break afterwards I met Khaleb and Maja to sell the rest of our succulents. We changed our price to 3$ for one. It went really well and I also managed to sell some to my friends for higher prices haha. Furthermore, I went to the students health center at the college to get advice because my tooth aches. I was recommended some doctors. I phoned them and asked about the prices (because of the insurance) and there was everything from 183-100$. Eventually I came across a dentist office where they do X-rays and the first appointment with examination for free. Luckily I made an appointment at Friday at 1 p.m. After some workouts I went to Pilates class and then back home. At home I studied surfing, oceanography and entrepreneurship because the mid terms are coming up next week. For dinner we had some awesome chicken pasta and a fresh salad.

Before I went to bed I had a really cute Skype conversation with my mother. I could see my cat Silver again which was really nice too.

Thursday I had surfing class in the morning. The waves were not big therefore it was more like a paddling class but not less exhausting. After some workouts I went to entrepreneurship class where we presented our 1$ project.

Actually we made 66$ with the project and split it up so everybody got 16.5$. We won the competition and got extra credit for the course. Furthermore, we did an CEO and management exercise. I was the CEO and came up with a vision statement to make healthy nutrition snacks with less energy. I had to communicate this to the manager and that one will only communicate with the employee and he would built the raw bar with LEGO bricks. It was to show us the management process in a company.

In oceanography somebody had a question why there is upwelling at the equator. The teacher then asked for volunteers to draw at the blackboard. I took the opportunity and explained the wind at the equator flows from high to low pressure from 30 degrees north and south towards the equator. It then gets deflected by the coriolis effect in both hemispheres westwards and therefore the water masses there move away from each other moved by the wind. This divergence zone creates upwelling there.

Oceanography lab was really fun! Today we had our quiz which was really easy. Then we learnt about plankton productivity. Therefore we took some plankton samples at the harbor and observed them in the lab with microscopes. It was really fun to work with them again since I have done it the last time like years ago. I partnered up with Jeshua and we worked it out pretty quickly. We had to count the phytoplankton and zooplankton in our sample and compare it to other data and gain knowledge about the productivity. We finished about 20 min earlier and were free to leave. Afterwards I bought the 100 scantrons for our oceanography exam next week. I really felt like a marine biologist today!

For dinner we had again some sweet potatoes mashed up (I love them!) and some vegetables and cabbage salad. Afterwards, I did the last study questions for next week oceanography mid term. Finally, the package from my mother arrived today, it was actually supposed to be the first package to arrive. Inside was bread, yeast, Christmas cookies, oatmeal cookies, cantuccini, striezel, baking mixtures for bread and my self made granola müsli from home and a little unicorn toy! Honestly, I think I don’t have to buy bread for the rest of my semester here.

Friday morning I run 2 hours before I had my breakfast and did some yoga to stretch. I also had to take photographs of beautiful hibiscus flower and a very cool car in Montecito.

At 12:30 pm I rode my bike about half an hour to La Cumbre Plaza and State Street where I had a dentist appointment. There I had to fill in lot of paperwork and the did some X-rays. It’s really interesting, they do it like every single tooth and you have to bite many times on tiny plates and they do the X-rays from every perspective, should be better than our panorama X-rays in Austria. So well fuck sry for this but I have an infection my tooth root and have to do a root canal next week. So they cut the root out, fill in something and I get a new crown. I also have to take antibiotics which I got at the cvs pharmacy, they have literally everything there. Then I went to wholefoods market for the first time and I really like it, they have an own wine bar in there. I bought some whole-wheat flour for the banana bread today and rode my bike back home.

At home I studied for the oceanography, geology and surfing exams next week which was pretty exhausting (like the whole day). For dinner we had some Thai chicken curry with rice and salad. Afterwards Carmen an I made some banana bread again.

On Saturday I had to get up earlier because the Best Day project started at 7:30 am at Leadbetter beach where I also met a friend of mine Christian from Denmark. Firstly, we checked in at registration tent and then unloaded the truck. There was also a welcome speech for all volunteers and breakfast stuff like hot chocolate, fruits, muffins, donuts and oatmeal. It was very cloudy and windy today and was shivering the whole day. Then we set up all stations: a obstacle Parcours which we digged into the sand which was very exhausting, a surfing, kayak and body surf station. At 9 am the participants of the event children with special needs arrived. Every volunteer had its own participant to look after. I had an 20 year old one with communication and movement problems but he was really sweet. We had to equip them with wetsuits, life saving jackets and helmets. Then we accompanied them to the stations and made sure they are safe and have fun in the water. Meanwhile I stepped on a bee which hasn’t happened since years to me. They Organisators made sure I got the sting out as well as some ice and cream for my foot. At noon there was a bbq for everybody with Hot Dogs and burgers and stuff. Afterwards was the honoring of the participants, they got medals and their names were cheered. After the event we only had to load the truck again. First of all, it really was a great experience, I would say like personal growth and development. It felt rewarding to be there and make the children smile and have the best day of their lives. I will definitely volunteer again in the future!

When I got home I did some workouts, made a study plan for the following weeks and studied geology and oceanography. Then I did some research on my project topic noise impact on marine life and found some interesting articles as well as from one of my favorite organizations called firmm (German marine life organization in Tarifa Spain). For dinner we had some cheddar biscuits and salad.

After dinner Carmen and I drove to Goleta to watch A Simple Favor at the theatres there. The film was really intensive and watching it in an American theatre was quiet an experience, they can just choose the seats they want!

On Sunday I went for a run and ran almost the time from my half marathon at the Badener Stadtlauf. Then I had breakfast with Carmen. The rest of the day I did some studying and research and relaxing an sunbathing as well.

At 6 pm Carmen and I went for dinner to the Mesa Verde a vegetarian restaurant. The restaurant is hidden and has a comforting ambiance. I ate an vegan and gluten-free lasagna for the first time and it tasted very different but really good.

In the evening I was so tired already. I looked at the oneoceandiving and ocean Ramsey (underwater model and freediving girl, marine biologist of hawaii) to get some information about my future shark freediving trips in Hawaii after this semester. This is going to be one of the best experiences of my life! My mother is also very into this topic and wants that I have the opportunity to meet ocean Ramsey which I am very very thankful for!

Spontaneously, I decided to call Huppsi over Skype and we talked for a little bit which made me feel better. For the end of the week I talked with my mother, played some Nintendo Animal Crossing and had a nice cinnamon tea with banana bread.

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