Monday, August 6, 2012

Day 37 - Visiting my Red Headed Aunt

Date: 8/6/12
Location: Costa de Oro, Costa Rica

Word of the day:  Hormigas de fuego - Fire Ants
Turtle Fact: In Spanish, they call the Olive Ridely Turtle “Lora” which means parrot. They do this because the face and nose of the turtle resembles that of a parrot. Not to be confused with a Hawksbill Sea Turtle

7am wake up. Breakfast. Work on “road”. The reason that I have to work on the road every morning is because at the end of each workday, I have to remove the planks of wood we set down on the beach. This is done because where we dig, during high tide, would be under water. If not removed, then our wood would drift away.

This morning we get help from the neighborhood kinds. There is about 7 of them that join us. Hard little workers, they put many of our volunteers to shame (sad I know). They wheel barrel, shovel, level – everything. Even the girls do all t his. The future for Costa Rica looks bright for Costa De Oro and turtle conservation! After about 1½ hours, the kids leave and I had been informed they have to go to school – WHAT? They worked on the hatchery before school – Crazy. I plan to make popsicles for them in the near future to say “thanks”.

The volunteers and I continue on for a little while longer adding sand to the hatchery and call it quits for day. Or so we thought. Lunch.
After lunch I scour the beach looking for driftwood we could use for Hatchery posts. Nada (nothing). On my way back to the house, I notice a couple of cut down trees in someone’s back yard. I check out the trees and it appears to be just the thickness we are looking for. I will have to come back with an interpreter to make sure that these are ups for grab. Good find!

For the next hour or so Courtney and I clean up garbage on our property and neighboring beaches. At that point we got wind that a round of Tico’s would be helping us this afternoon and that Eric would be stopping by with a chain saw so we can make some posts out of that downed tree I found. We certainly cannot deny free help, especially when they are helping with work you would be doing. With that said, we get back to work on the hatchery. In no time, the Tico’s show up and help us out. It really is great having the community involved this much. Granted it’s the same 8-11 people, however the community in Costa de Oro is not large either.

After about an hour or so, Eric shows up – Yay time to use power tools! We get a ride with the Pretoma truck over a couple of plots and using the public road entrance (for the beach – the one poachers usually take to get the beach).  Once there we grab the tape measure, measure cut out 2.3b chunks out of the main branches. The circumference of these branches 14 inches – they are they pretty think. We figure we will need about 18 of them (but later find out we need 22). After being cut, we remove some of the large offshoots and load them onto the truck and then head back to the hatchery to unload. Eric and I had a good rhythm going as we work pretty well together, so I often look forward to working with him.

When we arrive back at the hatchery, everyone has just wrapped up for the day. So we unload the posts and do the same. Dinner.

Patrol. Kristy, Nadja (the new German that arrived today) and myself walk north on the beach at 9am in the rain. Since it’s Nadja’s first walk I give her the beginners spiel. Yup, back in the old training role. To be honest before little brother came to visit I would go over the training talks in my head in preparation. Like before, I would gather different teaching styles from various presenters and mush them together to create my own and then add a layer of Vic-ism. Needless to say I got this down. During our walk we saw one track. This turtle came after we passed this area and left before we returned. Unfortunately it was a false crawl. Sleep.

Lesson:
  • Everyone needs to be trained at some point in their life.
  • Building a Hatchery is tough work
  • Sometimes you just


Food:  Asparagus Pasta, cucumber salad, garlic bread
Animals: Crabs, Dogs, Birds, Ants

Something I am thankful for: Great Teachers/Lecturers/Presenters. Granted there had been some teachers whose teaching style I could not grasp. Regardless, I appreciate the effort they gave and the attractiveness they put on education  (in their respective fields).
Something I don't want to admit: When checking out that false crawl, I was poking around a couple areas, confirming there was not a nest. In doing so, I felt a soft spot, that seemed a little to shallow, but I thought I would investigate it by digging down into with my hands. After about 5 seconds, I found this to be a bad idea, as a firey sensation is felt throughout my hand. I just dug into a fire ants nest. FML.

Days of Rain: 19/32 - Big Thunderstorms
Total Turtle Eggs I have saved: 730




riding in the Pretoma Truck with the Posts and


sunset!

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