Dogs and Popsicles: The Keys to My Heart (or, Why I had a good day)
Today marked our second day of class. We started the day with a discussion led my Nari and me on aquaculture regulation and certification. This was followed up by a talk by Maja Schluter, our visiting faculty member, on work she has done/is doing on adaptability and evolution of social-ecological systems and their controlling bodies. We also got to take our first trip into the field, and we were all very excited to see first-hand the concepts we have been learning. To see the fisheries, we walked along the beach in Kino Viejo (Old Kino), toured a jellyfish processing plant, and briefly visited a shrimp packaging plant.
When we first arrived at the main pier in Kino Viejo, we met with our guide for the day, Mario Rojo, and were bombarded with the sorts of sights, sounds, smells, and tastes foreign travelers relish when visiting a new place. Because it is a holiday weekend here in Mexico (the birthday of Benito Juarez) the town center was flooded with people (see Jersey Shore section of the previous blog post). According to Xavier, the town is very rarely this full people and most of the crowd are tourists from nearby Hermosillo. Luckily for us, the influx of people meant that every food stand and craft seller was open for business. Particularly of interest to us were the numerous seafood vendors selling cockles, clams, and pen shells that smelled wonderful. The shellfish were all extremely local and fresh. They were eaten raw, and most people were adding chili sauce and fresh lime juice.
- Cockles, sauces, and a vendor
From the pier itself, we had a view of the beach. The amount of trash on the beach was shocking, but even more so was the presence of several very small children playing in said trash. Also, we saw families fishing off the pier with homemade tackle, such as line wound around plastic bottles with bolts for weights.
Everywhere we went in Kino Viejo, there were stray dogs watching our every move. Most of the time, they were quite cute and at least mildly friendly, but one dog starting growling at me when I offered my hand for a sniff. I guess he was guarding a panga or something.
- a Kino dog
- Air compressor portion of a "hookah"
- Class helping local fishers move their palapa on the beach
Our day ended with an excellent dinner of chicken coconut curry made by Elena and Maja. Tomorrow, we look forward to more discussions and a field trip to a shrimp aquaculture farm. It is amazing getting to see what we discuss so soon after we discuss it!