Today was our induction. We had to be awake and in the house by 9 to help the rest of the group clean the house. I had to clean the kitchen which included mopping the floor, wiping the sides and washing up. They do this every Friday which I think is a good way to do it. It means everyone pulls their weight and shows the importance of team work. After this, we were told to get our laptops so we could hook them up to the servers which contains a variety of folders which contain content to do with the AWF such as the research sheets and induction materials. We then had our induction. Firstly we were told the house rules which were pretty simple rules then we moved on to the AWF Powerpoint. In this, it taught us about the island of Tenerife itself, the species of animals found around and in the sea. I really enjoyed learning about all the animals in this presentation it was so interesting. I had already done research on the four main resident animals around Tenerife which are short-finned pilot whales, sperm whales, risso dolphins and bottle nose dolphins. We also were told about the whales and dolphins which migrate through the Tenerife waters, turtles and sting rays. After this we spoke about the dangers facing the animals and what the AWF is working towards. I learnt so much, I had not realised many of the dangers I was told about such as the lifespan of dolphins being reduced to only 2-6 years in captivity performing for an audience. They have really sensitive hearing so being surrounded by people talking and machinery such as the tank filter is very stressful for them. They usually die from this stress. They also have a skin coating to protect them from infections but the dirt and sweat on humans erodes this leaving them prone to infections. The chlorine also upsets their skin and the tanks usually have a white or blue colour painted in them which blinds the dolphins because it is so bright. They are also separated from their pod and do not have the social interaction they need because they are very social creatures. This leads to so much stress that they end up dying.
Whenever we go on boats and see a whale or dolphin, we have to record it on a sheet. We were taught how to use this sheet, which seemed quite big at first but after we had gone through it, it seemed OK. We were then told about how whilst on the boats we need to try to get those on the boat to sign a petition to stop whaling or see if they are interested with helping out with the AWF in a simple way such as joining the Facebook page or donating or raising money. I am looking forward to getting on the boat on Monday to see how it works. We then watched a documentary called The Cove. This was about a place in Japan where they slaughter dolphins for meat. First of all they trap them by banging loud metal underwater to drive them into a certain place. They then have dolphin trainers coming in and shipping them to different parts of the world for parks. This was quite upsetting to watch but it was interesting to watch and I hope that it will help change the way they think about killing dolphins. It is a very inhumane way, they just stand the dolphins until they die. Dolphin meat was going out onto the market labelled at whale meat and it was extremely high in mercury which is very dangerous. They were planning to put this meat into the children’s lunch boxes but two council members stood up and told people about it because they knew it was dangerous and had children themselves. This did not go ahead because of these two council members talking out which was a danger to themselves. A Japanese slogan is ‘if a nail sticks up, it needs to be hammered down.’
At 5 we had a test on what we had learnt so had an hour to revise. The test went well and we answered all the questions and got nearly all of them correct! We were then free til the meeting which was at 7pm. Between these times our fellow ‘media productioners’ had awoken after their nap after climbing Mt Teide so we spoke with them and they told us about a wall around the corner. We went to this wall and walked along it, it was so high up! We could see a big part of Tenerife from up here and could see the sea! It was so pretty, I knew we were quite high up because of the steepness of the roads but seeing this view made me realise we were higher up than I thought. The pictures do not do it justice, but here are a few.
It would have looked much nicer if it was sunny, we will hopefully go up there when it is sunny.
The meeting was about what everyone had been doing that week and we were shown a presentation about the peatlands which told us about how if the peatlands are destroyed, there will be a hugehugehuge devastating amount of carbon released into the atmosphere and the results would be catastrophic. We were then dismissed for our weekend! Our first evening of the weekend consisted of karaoke and bars in Las Americas in which I got to know the other volunteers and enjoyed the atmosphere.