It’s a well know fact that I don’t like flying. Actually, I hate flying. So the idea of an 11 hour flight on my own was not a particularly exciting thought. However, the thought of spending six months following my passion and working on a volcano was more than enough to convince me to take a seat on the plane!
The flight went by surprisingly quickly. I slept for the majority and watched a couple of my favourite films between naps. Before long we were descending into Mexico City. It was beautiful watching the sprawling city lights as we came into land. A few hour wait in the airport and I was back on a short flight to Manzanillo. Two taxis and a coach ride later and I found my way to Colima Intercambio e Investigación en Vulcanología (Colima Exchange and Research in Volcanology, or CIIV for short).
I had my first meeting while trying to fight off travel fatigue and jet lag, but I was excited to find out what I’ll being doing over the next 6 months. With work assigned to my name, I headed to the apartment, where the CIIV volunteers live, to get some sleep. The apartment is in a fantastic spot in the centre of Colima, with beautiful views of the city and the volcano from the roof.
The first few days at in Colima were a little overwhelming; learning my way around the city, navigating buses and taxis and trying to add the necessary phrases to my small Spanish vocabulary. I also began to take in the workings of CIIV, finding my way around the lab and getting to grips with my work. Two of the current volunteers were leaving just as I arrived, so went for a lovely meal in a seafood restaurant to celebrate the end of their time in Colima.
Sunday – my first day off, was spent shopping. I picked up necessities from the smaller shops in town, and wandered out a little further to explore the big Walmart. My shopping list included dinosaur pasta and dinosaur biscuits, essential snacks for long days of geologising!
I am still getting used to life in Colima, and have so much to learn. I can’t believe my first week in the fantastic city is complete! Next week I head into the field for the first time, and get to grips with the projects I will be working on!