Turtle Conservation

Published: June 6th 2008
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Turtle conservation was interesting, hard work but fun.
Day1 we where in the hostel in Alajuela, we had dinner in the hostel then most of us crashed.
Day2 we had orientation at the i-i offices, which was a really funny way to start the whole thing. we had this orientation video about how i-i helps you when u need help in the county and they had a worst case senario where a woman was talking about her experiences and how she found out she had a brain tumour, now it doesn´t sound funny but as soon as she said that the whole room burst out laughing. we couldn´t stop talking about that video the whole trip. After the meeting we where given the choice of doing different things around the town, so a few of us went to San Jose. It was smelly and dirty but the weirdest thing was the had all these cow statues everywhere lol i don´t really know why but it was weird seeing all those cows.
Day 3 we got up at about 5.30 to catch our bus down to Gandoca we spent the whole day traveling down, the views from the road where amazing and we also watched this really emotional movie about shark finning, it was so sad. Once we where down in Gandoca we had a few minutes to find our cabina´s and then we had more training which was more of the rules and how the project works etc.
Day4 still jet lagged i woke up at stupid o´clock, chris had done his first shift that night so he was still sleeping, at 10 we had our first actuvuty which was nest digging, this was one of the funniest things u will see, you have your whole body basically in this whole trying to recreate a leatherback nest which had to be at least 75cm long and for most of you who know me my arms are most definatly NOT 75cm long so for some people all you can see is legs and bums in the air trying to reach the bottom. we had hatchery training after this which teaches you what you do on your shift and how the hatchery´s are run. That evening was my first shift, unfortunatly what my cabina mum (Carman) didnt tell me was she´d cooked LIVER for dinner, needless to say i was throwing up for the whole night, the only good thing about it was i confused the hell out of the Association lot.
(to make it clear the association bunch are a group of locals who where trying to get a license to harvest the eggs but were denied the license so they applied for a research license, now they are totally screwing up all of the 20yrs of research done by our lot, they only walk if our patrol walks but they walk one in front and one behind our patrols so they get the turtles first, then they don´t allow us to get the tags or anything, this could get kinda scary but they weren´t violent so it wasn´t scary.)
Day5 as i did the late shidt i didn´t have to do the morning activityso i tried to sleep for longer but with the jet lag that didn´t happen, the afternoon activity was again nest digging but this time ALL my nest´s collapsed. that evening i did my fist hatchery shift which was 12am - 6am we got one egg bag and put them in the hatchery other than that it was just a really really long 6hrs it all went by sooo slowly.
day 6, day 7, day 8, day 9, day 10, all seemed to melt into one day with more hatchery shifts more nest digging and kanasta building going to the bar after shifts with angela and robyn. on day 10 howeer i did a patrol shift and FINALLY saw my first turtle, she was HUGE and looked like a dinosaur but she was beautiful.
Day 11 was mine, angela and robyn´s day off so we hopped across the Panama border and went to Bocas Del Toro which was beautiful, we got to Changinola around 11am panama time and got on a boat over to Bocas which takes you through the mangroves and out across a little strech of ocean. once on Bocas we got a hotel room for $45 for all three of us and went for lunch now i must say after eating rice and beans every single day for almost every meali was in heaven, we all had HUGE burgers and local panama beer. After lunch we walked around bocas for a few hours the but we where in was a very small area so it took us about an hour and a half (if that) to walk it twice. We headed back to the room where we slept for a few hours then we got changed and went out for happy hour, we all had stupidly cheap cocktails then went and had $18 lobster.
day 12 our journey back to Gandoca was harder than we thought what with leaving all that stuff behind like the hot water and air-con. so we got the boat back to changinola and jumped across the boarder again at Sixaola and we were back in Gandoca but to our suprise when we got back we where told that instead of leaving on the saturday we had to leave the next day (friday) so we where rushing around trying to arrange taxi´s and last shifts.
day 13 we traveled back to Alajuela on the public bus, then back in alajuela was the new group of the turtle conservation so we filled them in on things they wuld be doing and we out for dinner and beers.
day 14 we went to find robyn a suitcase so we walked around the Alajuela market and town centre for a while then that evening nikki to us out for goodbye drinks.
day 15 we did nothing in the morning but around 11am was a local cup final match (football) so a few of us went to a bar and watched it. then around 4.30 i got in a taxi and left for the airport then at 7.30 i left Costa Rica

more to come about mexico soon....


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