This week I had the amazing opportunity with my National Student Exchange group here on the FIU campus to go and see the Florida everglades and the Miccosukee Village. This was my first time going to see the Everglades down here in southern Florida. I would have to describe them to someone who hasn't seen them before, I would describe them as land that's pretty flat, marshy, pretty much all underwater, and covered in a lot of tall grass. My NSE group spent the whole afternoon in the Everglades.
The first thing we did when we got there was we got to see an alligator show. There was a guy in the middle and there's four or five alligators in with him. He was sharing different history about the alligators and what they're like as an animal, in general. The coolest part of that show was his demonstration on how hunters used to graph the alligators and then bring them back to the camps. Hunting an alligator is a little bit different because a hunter could not kill them right on the spot. They would actually have to bring them alive back to the camp because if they would kill them right there, by the time they got back, they would spoil the meat. During his demonstration, he was on top of the alligator and holding its mouth back and then would tie the jaw shut. He showed the alligator could bite his head off and kill him as he was trying to catch it. After the show, we got to go over and feed these little baby alligators and yes, people did hold them.
After the alligator show, we went on an airboat ride around the Everglades, something I definitely will never forget. It was crazy and I was a little scared at some points, not going to lie. There were twelve of us on a boat, sitting on these benches, no seat belts, no nothing. And we're going crazy flying around in the water! It was fun and it felt like a rollercoaster, but also like you could fly out anytime and go into the water and get attacked by an alligator. It was a thought that I kept having, and I was scared. But it was fun. And we did see alligators!