Saturday, September 15, 2012

Day 77 - Independance Day #2

Date: 9/15/12
Location: Costa de Oro, Costa Rica

Word of the day:

4:10am wake up. 4:15am I am walking out the door with my white headlamp on my head, red flashlight in my pocket, Walden (audio book) talking to me in one ear, and a backpack filled with turtle patrol stuff. As I walk the beach to the South, solo, the only things I come across is old poached nests from the night before.

Breakfast #1 (cereal). Shower. HT.com updates. Breakfast #2 (Turtle Pancakes)

Heading out to the beach to say "good morning or buenos días", I notice that our beach it littered with wood of all shapes in sizes. I have never seen anything like this. I mean the Caletas project certainly has a collection of drift wood on the higher banks, but over night it looks like someone deforested part of the amazon pushed everything into the ocean, only to wash up on our shore. This sight actually excited me as now I have wood to line the path to the hatchery instead of walking great distances along the beach. Making sure, some of the larger and lighter pieces don't wash away to a different part of the beach (granted most of them are "water logged" anyway) I make about 5 trips from the ocean with some decently sized logs, before I throw in the towel retrieving logs. I place the logs, stake them in place and fill in the path with new sand. I would say at this point, I am half way down with the path.

Lunch. Netflix- Mad Men.

Continuing my culinary trip around the globe, my mind stops in Asia. Tonight I dream of a calzone-empanada like meal, but with an Asian twist. I plan on making rice dough, putting steamed vegitables inside it, rolling it, baking it and then cutting it like sushi rolls. Soooo to get started I make the dough.

Praying Mantis - Found in our Kitchen
By this time it's 3:30pm and I ride my bike 5k into town. Needing some dipping sauces for my Asian-infused meal, I head to Super Rey's for a couple of items. On the way back I stop by the Pretoma office to say hi to Ingrid who is at the moment living there and is always complaining that she never gets visitors. However, she was not there. I ride my bike back to the house (repairing the bike chain 8+ times). When I arrive, I see Ingrid walking in from the beach. WHHAAATT? Apparently she was dropped off and will be spending the night with us at the Costa de Oro house and will be helping us patrol for the night.

Almost 6pm, I start prep for dinner. I boil all the veggies I plan to use in a water/soy sauce mixture (other than the onions which I saute). Right as I am finishing the last of the prep and before making the rolls, Courtney, Kayla and Kayla's father walk in the door and proceed to drag us to Hotel Laguna Mar, where live music, dancing and fun is to be had. My Oriental meal will have to wait for tomorrow.

At Laguna Mar we meet up with the rest of the group. The bar and seating area is packed while a Tico with a microphone and accordion is playing and signing music. What is going on here? Can the middle of Costa Rica really look like a boutique night club? At least hear they won't kick me out for wearing shorts and sandals. We dance taste a couple appetizers and enjoy one another's company. At one point in the night, the MC started signing along to an MP3 of Hotel California. He stuck the microphone in Matt's face and pressured him to sing the only Americano song we have heard all night. Knowing not much was going to come of this, I bust out my cell phone, connect to the free wifi, look up the lyrics and grab the mic. All this happens within 30 seconds. I sing, preform and bow. I'm now internationally known!

SIDE-NOTE: Today is Costa Rica's National Independence Day. The fun began yesterday, when various schools from communities around the country make colorful homemade lanterns, which are lit by candles. The lanterns are lit at 6pm, and Costa Ricans join their voices to sing the National Anthem. The students then walk through the streets, carrying their lanterns, often accompanied by drums and singing.

This tradition comes from the night of September 14th, 1821, when delegates from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador met in the Guatemalan Plaza with the purpose of joining their voices and saying out loud in unison, “Long live liberty”, just a few hours before the declaration of independence was given in that country. The entire town gathered in the City Hall, lighting the place with lamps and lanterns.

I wish I could have played with fire like that as a kid. Instead, I stood in church for 3 hours, holding a candle for midnight Easter Mass, falling asleep and burning the hair and jacket of the person sitting in front of me. Συγνώμη (signomi)!

Now back at the house I take a siesta before my early morning patrol. Siesta. 

3:30am I get up and prepare for patrol. Ingrid and I walk south on the Beach only to find a questionable poached nest. Due to the tide and footsteps around the hole we unsure if this was actually poached nest or not. However, better we be safe than sorry, I tack one on for the poachers. 26 nest for me, 25 for them. 

Sleep. 

Lesson:
  • It's sometimes worth saving for later
  • It's always better to cook with a friend, as long as they are on the other side of the counter
  • When it rains it ... washes up lots of wood
Food: Cereal - My new favorite thing to do with normal (bland flakes) is to add a little bit of honey as well as vanilla extract. It tastes just like Lucky Charms, but without the marshmallows.
Animals: Crabs, Dogs, Birds, Mosquitoes.

Something I am thankful for: A blender. Forget all that cutting and chopping. Throw whatever you want in (granted there is enough liquid) and voila, sauce. Or on the other hand throw dry ingrediants in for quick mix.

Something I don't want to admit: I catch myself a couple times a day (when exuding laborious activities) smelling less than pungent. A quick jump in the ocean, a rinse off in the outdoor shower and a swipe of Old Spice corrects this problem. Don't let anyone fool you - if you stop wearing deodorant your body does not naturally change. It just means that your lazy and don't sweat; thus not permitting your stank.

Total Nest I have saved: 26
Total Nests Poached on my Patrol:25
Total Turtle Eggs I saved: 3,127
Total Baby Turtles I Released: 40
Days of Rain: 47/73

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