Saturday, September 17, 2011

Weeks with of stories!

The internet has been out for a while, so here goes a quick synopsis of the past week and a half.

During this time we filled our hatchery, which holds 145 nests. So we had to build another; it’s a lot smaller, only 35 nests, but it will hold us over until more nests hatch from the original. Making a hatchery is hard work. Lotti (my boss who is possibly one of the most amazing person I've meet. She is from a small Island in England and came to Costa Rica as a volunteer 11 years ago and fell in love and runs a lot of the turtle stuff.)and I went around the town the night before to recruit the local guys to help us.  At 8 am the next morning Lotti, 8 guys and I went out to the beach and began removing all the plants and sifting through all the sand to remove roots. We dug about 3 feet deep in a plot of land that was about 16ft X 20ft. While doing this the guys were cracking jokes and thought it was funny to throw these really gross grub like bugs at me. One even got into my ear. EWWWW!!!!  We finished in record time, it only took 4 hours and after we had a little BBQ. We built it in perfect time because the next night the original hatchery was completely full.

As for a normal turtle patrol, the tide and the moon have been a little out of whack so we haven't had many turtles. I mean I went 6 days without a single new nest, fortunately we had babies hatching almost everyday. It's hard to patrol for 3 hours in the middle of the night when the odds of seeing a turtle aren't very high. Luckily the last couple days the turtles began to come a shore to nest again and its supposed to be a really good week for turtle nesting.

Also this past week I have learned what people meant by the rainy season. Up until the last couple days it has been really mellow maybe a couple minutes of warm rain, but not anymore. We get afternoon showers that continue into the night. One day the rain started early and we figured we would walk to dinner early if we needed to just so we wouldn't have to walk in the rain.  Unfortunately the rain never stopped, it just poured and poured and poured. So we had to walk the kilometer to the restaurant in knee deep water to get dinner. All I could think of was this water is murky and what if there are crocodiles in the road!

Eventually we made it to dinner without a crocodile sighting, ate and headed home for a little nap before we had to patrol for 3 hours. During my nap one of the local dogs, Ready, began to bark at something outside my door. When I went to check what it was the door to my room shut behind me, leaving me locked out. I had a half hour until patrol so ask Wilson, the local coordinator, where I would find the spare key. When he got to the house he looked at me and said there wasn't one but he would remove the metal roof of my room in the morning when it wasn't pouring rain. This left me doing a 3 hour patrol in the pouring rain in just leggings and a tank top.

The next morning we had a beach clean up at 8am, but Wilson showed up around 730 and climbed up on the roof and removed the metal. When he opened the door he showed me my new skylight and said I better hope for no more rain! I laughed and he quickly climbed back up and repaired my roof.  He told me not to worry too much the assistant before me did the same thing and everyone get one freebie.

This week Pretoma thought a good way of getting involved in the community would be to do a series of beach cleans in all the local beaches and have Pretoma  representatives at each one. The beach clean up at San Miguel  was on Monday and it went off without a hitch.  I was pretty successful at recruiting plenty of help.  I was even able to get a couple of the poachers to come. Everyone laughs because I told the oldest of the poachers, Alberto 21 years old, that the beach clean was important and he and his brothers better be there. I think the community was a little surprised I was able to get them to show up.

 I have really fallen in love with the town of San Miguel and I am thinking I am not going to switch back to the "resort house". I mentioned this to my boss and apparently she was going to ask me to stay here as well. So I think for the next 3 months I will be living in San Miguel and only go to Corozalito for a week each month.

I originally wanted to live in Corozalito because the town seemed so great. It is centered around a soccer field and I thought it would be easier to meet locals and learn Spanish, plus I get along really well with the coordinators there. However, I have met so many people here and the locals stop by all the time to say hi. I was even invited to play soccer on the beach with them last week, I opted for watching and having a cold coke. Next week we are going to play baseball.

Its kind of cool living in such a small town, everyone knows me or has heard of me because I am the only American girl living here currently. Since I am going to be here for a long time, unlike volunteers, they can be more invested in being my friend. Every time I walk down the street I get stopped  just because everyone wants to talk to the new girl so I've really gotten to know almost everyone. As a result my Spanish is getting pretty pretty good. I can now joke around with the locals instead of just telling them things that are a necessity to say. I have even found myself talking to English speaking volunteers in Spanish and not even realize it. Some times they will just look at me and say "Can you repeat what you just said? But in English this time."

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