Since I can remember I have been in love with the ocean and it’s mysterious inhabitants. I admired Jacques-Yves Cousteau and other explorers who felt at home in the ocean. I never had trouble finding my career path; I always knew what I wanGina Lusardi Photographyted to do. I studied marine biology and conversation; wanting to share with the world the magnificence of this blue planet we know so little about.

Being an avid photographer, it seemed like the only logical step was to take my camera under the waves. I was introduced to scuba diving by one of my college mentors. It solidified my passion for learning about the marine world, and ignited my drive for a career in underwater photography. I applied for an internship with a production company specializing in the videography of Manta Rays. It was a dream come true. After a year with the company I decided to spread my wings and diversify my experiences in diving.

This past summer I found myself relaxing in a hammock on a Caribbean island outside a dive shop I was completing my Divemaster certification with. I knew that climbing the professional scuba ladder was a necessary step in accomplishing my ultimate goals. After a short intermission, I resumed my training here in Costa Rica with the goal of becoming an Open Water Scuba Instructor. Being able to teach others about scuba diving and the marine world is exactly what I want to be doing. Being able to directly influence others and train them to my own standards of respect for the environment makes me feel like I can make a small difference in this world. My ultimate goal is to focus on specialty scuba training such as: knowledge of species and the environment, conservation, photography, and videography. I hope to own my own production company where I can create my own professional courses. Aspiring photographers and videographers taking these courses can hone in on their skills and learn about the subject matter in which they wish to photograph.

This weekend my fellow candidates and I will be taking part in the Instructor Examination to become Scuba Instructors. This is it. All of our training and hard work has come down to these next few days. It is time to prove to the examiner that we know what we are doing and we are ready to teach others the necessary skills to become a scuba diver. No need to worry about the outcome of this weekend I know that we have all put our hearts into becoming instructors and we all have our own reasons for doing so. We are psyched to introduce new divers to the world that we all hold so dear to our hearts. We are prepared to teach them how to keep safety first and respect the environment in which they wish to explore. We are willing to share with them the lifestyle of a scuba diver and all the perks that come along with it. We are ready to become Open Water Scuba Instructors.