Currently showing posts tagged Bermuda

  • 3 Days and Counting

    I'm really antsy to get off the island. Americans take for granted the ability to jump into a car and move freely across four million squares miles of political boundaries... my home state alone is the size of France! So, living on a small island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean can be suffocating.

    Conversely, living in a tropical jungle means there's always something exciting going on. Last week we had two indicators of ecosystem bouncebacks: a land hermit crab sighting and a sudden bee swarm.

    Land Hermit Crab (Coenobita clypeatus)

    Like all hermit crabs, these guys find old shells to live in. They are both the biggest species in Bermuda and the only hermits that live on land, causing real estate to be a perpetual seller's market. Bermudians added insult to injury by overfishing their shell of choice: the West Indian Topshell. The decimation of one species led to total poverty for the other. As far as we can tell, the land hermit crab survived the last few decades by carrying around fossils and human garbage.

    The Topshell was reintroduced to the island in 1982 with severe protection laws. Both species have been on the rise ever since, though the land crabs are still a pretty rare find. The one pictured above (now a temporary lab pet) is snuggled into his very own West Indian Topshell! A solid sign of ecosystem recovery.

    Bermuda Bees

    Between mites, pesticides, hurricanes, and the general global phenomenon, bee populations in Bermuda have declined drastically over the past decade. A group finally formed in 2013 (The Buzz) to help restore a natural environment condusive to bee reproduction. Last weekend a huge swarm flew into my neighbor's garden, and a local beekeeper was able to remove and re-home them into a proper hive box.

    And here's a picture of my lil' nugget. I'm not looking forward to being apart for the next 3 weeks.

  • Look Ma, I'm a Functional Adult!

    Relocating to an island is not easy. Bermuda is a particuarly rough place to move because it's really small, immigration is tight, there's no natural resources, the salt ruins everything, the humidity ruins everything, and the bugs ruin everything. There's no Target. Everything at the "dollar" store costs at least $2.50. And buying overpriced, barely-fresh groceries every week is painful. Please note: I am fully aware of how privileged my American life is.

    Luckily, I absolutely love my apartment! I got a corner studio with a full kitchen, bathroom, and closet. It's big enough to hang out in and small enough to keep my living style simple. It has a ton of natural light, full privacy, and there's some fruit trees nearby (avocados, loquats, starfruit).

    I spent most of my first week on a quest for affordable basic living supplies. The institute lent me some bedding and linens, my shower now has hot water, and there are actually utensils in the kitchen drawer. I'm finally starting to feel like a normal person! I have a lot of DIY design ideas, so I took a couple BEFORE pics this morning, for posterity. We'll see how long it takes to make it adorable.