MAGALOG21 (2021)


Tom is one of the best underwater guides ever.You will always see crazy little critters while following him around the reef.The big stuff, I'm better at finding, like the Giant Manta I spotted in Dauin and then in Oslob, I did a giant stride off the front of the Banka boat and landed right in front of 2 big whale sharks. Seeing whale sharks that close was a jaw-dropping experience! Incase you can't tell, the Philippines trip was my favorite KSC trip. Some of the really important things I have learned include for instance equalizing my ears. Margo took time to show me multiple ways to do that. She taught me to slow down and descend and dive at my own pace.Tom says, "when you dive slowly like he does, you will see so many more critters." In my rescue course I learned the importance of dive planning and to

be a prepared and observant diver. I have learned how to avoid and solve problems that may occur. The KSC instructors make it fun to learn by applying the theory to everyday scenarios. There is always a speaker or presentation during our trip. My favorite talk was about ocean trash because I learned the impact of plastic and pollution, and how bad it really is. Woody had us all do a beach cleanup for plastic as part of the Zombie Apocalypse diver program. The trips also include some local culture cooking, dancing or visits with a village or school.We bring sneakers and school supplies for the local kids. That was one of the highlights for me because I got to help other kids and learn how kids in other countries live. We learn about their history, culture and language and that really inspires

me. At the Mountain School in the Philippines, their dances told us a story of their life.The respect they have for their elders and pride shown in their family and schools made me appreciate all the more what my school and family provide for me. I have experienced so many foreign people that are so humble and grateful, to meet me.They are all so happy in spite of having so little compared to what I have in the US. I don't look at my life the same since I started traveling with my family around the world. My KSC family holds a very special place in my heart.They have taught me so much, while also giving me the world to love. Morgan Burkhard, age 15 803-419-2556 email:

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