It’s finals week here at Linfield which means I am looking for any distraction available to keep me from stressing about my upcoming exams. I have my final for Intro to Theater tomorrow at 8am and my final for Physical Chemistry on Wednesday at 1pm. In addition, I have a final paper to write for my Writing in Chemistry class by Friday and a take home test for my Partial Differential Equations class that’s due Thursday. Thankfully before all of that madness begins I get to focus on my study abroad trip to Mexico for January 2014. Tonight we’ll be meeting for our last class session of the semester to go over final logistics, and then as a class we’ll go out to dinner at Los Molcajetes, a local Mexican restaurant here in McMinnville. We have received our itinerary for the trip, so I’ll share that with you now. We fly into Los Cabos on January 6th and head up to Santiago, where we’ll camp from January 6th to January 10th. Here we’ll get to experience a lot of the natural wildlife inland on the peninsula as we’ll explore the canyons and other environments around Santiago. We’ll then spend January 10th and 11th at Casa Buena in La Paz doing laundry and getting some quick R&R. We then head out for the part of the trip for which I am most excited. From January 11th to January 17th we will be circumnavigating Isla Espiritu Santo in the Sea of Cortez. If the weather is nice enough we may even kayak across the bay from La Paz to the island. We’ll get to experience all of the coastal natural wildlife in its most basic form on this part of the trip, and I’m really excited to get in the water and get my hands dirty. We’ll then spend the 17th – 20th back at Casa Buena in La Paz, and those of us that are scuba certified (3 students and 1 professor) are hoping to set up a dive trip for one of these days. We then go on a kayak trip of Magdalena Bay the 20th-25th, which is on the Pacific Ocean side of the peninsula. Here we’ll be able to compare the coastal wildlife found on each side of the Baja Peninsula. Finally, we’ll camp near La Paz January 25th-28th and stay at the Pescadero Surf Camp the 28th and 29th before heading back to Linfield. I plan on being able to take tons of the pictures that I will definitely share. This will definitely be a trip of a lifetime as we combine science and philosophy to challenge our beliefs about the world we live in by experiencing nature in its most basic form. Needless to say I am very excited, and I will be sure to have more to say about this trip in the future!