Album: Camp Site

“That was what the NSF FEU Fiji program was for me. It was beautiful, difficult, eye-opening, exhausting, and rewarding.”

Christel Carlisle, NSF-REU 2013 Graduated Field Director

“You tell people that you will are going to Fiji to do archaeology. They gush about how lucky you are to get to spend your summer vacationing somewhere beautiful and exotic. And Fiji is beautiful. And you are lucky. But the NSF REU Fiji Program is no vacation. You wake up at sunrise in your tent either from one of the best nights of sleep you have ever had in your life or from a night of broken sleep due to scurrying mongooses, yowling cats, coconut air raids and spiders. Breakfast is oatmeal, as it was the day before, but there is fresh papaya and tons of it. You eat and you get your gear together and you commence a half mile hike to the excavation site. You uncover your unit, you trowel, you help your fellow students map, you screen for artifacts in the ocean.

At the end of the day you cover your unit, hike back to camp, clean and sharpen tools, gather fire wood, help with laundry, bathe in the ocean or with rain water, catch up on field notes, help cook, and wash dishes in the ocean. It is grueling camp life. It is a long day of non-stop activity and you are lucky. YOU get to bathe in the ocean and its fun like it was when you were a child in the tub with your rubber duck and submarine. YOU get to see a night sky so bright and full of stars you forget why we need lights. You eat fresh and unique foods, watch the ebb and flow of the ocean, see the sun rise and set on the other side of the world. You get to uncover Fiji’s history and meet its wonderful, diverse people. When you look out on the ocean or up at the sky you get to realize just how small you are. When you work alongside your fellow students and with the local Fijians, you realize just how important you and everyone around you are. That was what the NSF FEU Fiji Program was for me. It was beautiful, difficult, eye-opening, exhausting, and rewarding.”

Christel Carlisle, NSF-REU 2013 Graduated Field Director

 

 

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