Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Day 25 - Happy Guanacaste Day

Date: 7/25/12
Location: San Miguel, Costa Rica

Word of the day: Rastro - Tracks
Turtle Fact: Bugs can burrow themselves into turtle eggs while they are in the nest. This may cause deformity or depredation

6:30am wake up. Having working on my journals and other documents last night, I was able to shoot them all out this morning. It feels nice to catch up. I walk over to the kitchen where the girls have prepared scrambled eggs, onions, red pepper, garlic and potatoes. It was good… but I am wondering how may more meals we can create with the same ingredients. We shall see.

At 8am we head over to Costa de Oro to work on the hatchery. At this point it takes a standard 45mins (via beach) to get there. Today, for whatever reason, we decided to cross the estuary at high tide. With that said, the water is about waist high and the water is rushing out to the ocean. This starts off the perfect scene for a scary movie. As you cross estuary with one hand held high (keeping your personal belongings out of the water) and both feet firmly griping the sandy floor, you can’t help but to keep walking towards the ocean versus traversing the fast moving river in a straight line. As you get closer and closer to the middle of the river, it gets deeper and the current becomes even stronger. I cross, with a little bit of excessive breathing. I look back to find the ladies we are with in much worse conditions. So I hand off my bag of dry goods to Kaz (girl from England) and NOT placing them on the ground, and head back into the river to help those cross. Needless to say, that was my good deed for the day.

We continue walking down the beach and finally make it to the hatchery. The next step in the process is to fill that hole; we just dug, with sand. Well this morning we learned that the backhoe machine we thought we were going to be using was not allowed, as we do not have the permits to use large machinery to build the hatchery. FML. Well if the Egyptians, and Greeks can do it, so can we … or maybe not. After learning this, I immediately go into “Operations” mode and help devise a new strategy. Here it goes: We lay dead palm leaf branches along the path from the hole to the beach (keeping in mind the soil is very sandy and the ground can not support weight for wheel barrels). Next we shovel dirt (from the piles we shoveled out of the hole) on top of the palm leaves. We go through and pack this down. Well this idea worked for a bit, but then the “tracks” got too much worn in. ADAPT. I send search parties out along the beach to find flat driftwood and bamboo. Using the power of my Italian ancestry, I lay the wood on the preexisting dirt path and tile them in place. SUCCESS. Granted some people where better at wheel barreling in a straight light than other, I was on full time roadwork duty repairing the “street” for wheel barrels to move back and forth. Meanwhile the others not shoveling and not pushing wheel barrels, were using large buckets. This is going to take a while.
We finish the day at 1:30pm. The girls (boss ladies) have some learning to do about a “workers mentality” and how to avoid individual (and group) boycotts/strikes… We eat lunch on the job site and end up using our hands as utensils as these were forgotten in the packing of the lunch. We rinse of the dishes, pack up and head back home.

We get back to the house around 3pm. Matt and I have a grand idea to grab a couple adult beverages and enjoy them on the beach in honor or Guanacaste Day. (Costa Rican holiday celebrating Costa Rica's annexation of Guanacaste province from Nicaragua in 1824). We invite one of the new volunteers (Andrew) and only other male (now there is 3 of us) to join in. After we head out for relaxing swim/float and enjoy the ocean/waves.

Dinner. Siesta. Patrol. Maddie, Kaz and I walk the beach starting at 2:30am. We make 2 trips back and forth; only to keep walking over the tracks made by the turtles and ourselves that where seen in the first/early (8pm) patrol. No Turtles, no eggs for us. Sleep

  • Everything in the Internet is not always correct. Google almost caused a war between Costa Rica and Nicaruaga as they had the borders lines in correct.
  • Attitudes are contagious (good and bad)
  • Water currents are real – you would never think that unless you felt it

Food:  Beer (Imperial)
Animals: Crabs, Lizards

Something I am thankful for: Road Crews. I hate sitting in traffic on the highway due to construction. But if no one was there to fix it, no one would be able to get from point A to B.
Something I don't want to admit: Being in my kick of creating everything from scratch, I attempted to make a spork out of a palm tree branch and a machete. It did not end well. I cut my finger (not too bad). I ended up eating my lunch like a dog in disgrace. Better luck next time.

Days of Rain: 10/21
Total Turtle Eggs I have saved: 258

Dirt Road I worked on

Crabs Mating

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