Healing and dealing

NOVEMBER 21, 2008

It's 8:22am. I just got back a little while ago from my 4am patrol. It was nice seeing the sunrise. I had a North patrol and retreived my camera after the first half to take pictures. It's particularly cloudy, though. I also did laundry for the first time since I have been here. Hand-washing doesn't get anything clean, but at least makes things smell nice.

Last night, while Joel and I were on our 6pm patrol, we collected 6 nests before running out of plastic bags to contain the eggs in. We could have had at least two more nests heading back to camp since we passed two females already digging on the beach. Joel had 5 nests in the pack and said it was incredibly heavy. I only had one that I carried in my hands with ~80 eggs and that was heavy enough. That's nearly ~420 potential hatchlings we have collected. We were exhausted and irritable at each other by the time it was done, for our 3 hour patrol had turned into 5. I saw my first scorpion, too. In the dark. In the sand. Near the nest where we were. I really do not want to get stung. Sarah said that she found one in our room the other day. Gives me the shivers. Do you know what else gives me the shivers? The foot to foot 1/2 iguana that ran in our tent yesterday as I was sitting on my bed sorting shells. Scared the piss out of me! And then Kitty ran in and dug up an anole lizard in our tent and took it outside and ate it! Natalia also thinks that her bed has bed bugs, for she has chigger-like bites all over her body. I feel fortunate to have slept on two different mattresses here and not have gotten them, but Stephanie says that bed bugs do not exist in Costa Rica. Some of us speculate mosquitos as the culprit.

Parts of this outdoor experience gets to me at times. I can deal with the dirt, the bugs, even the makeshift toilet. But creepy crawlies, like boa constrictors, giant lizards, and painfully poisonous scorpions is beginning to get to me.

Final thought before sleep--my toes are bloody from these patrols. I will have walked 22k today before the day is done. And this bed is too big.

I am waiting to go on my last patrol of the night at 6:30pm. I should say second, since I went out at 4am. I promise that everyday is not a double, even though it has been crazy for me the past few days. I'm pretty sure tomorrow I only have one patrol. My knee is hurting still from injuring it before my half-marathon. I thought the change in recreation would help heal, but it has proved to be very difficult and stressful on my joints and muscles when walking through the sand for hours at a time. I am running on about 4 hours of sleep, so I hope that tonight isn't much longer than 6 hours of patrol.

We ran out of propane tonight. Eric (the fisherman) and Stephanie came out and brought us the last one in town (from San Francisco de Coyote). It put off lunch until 6pm v. the usual 2-4pm. Dinner tonight should be around 11pm. Since I am going North first, I should get the chance to eat dinner. South might not be so lucky.

Joel is going into town tomorrow to use the internet. It is so tempting, but we are on kitchen and hatchery duty all day, so I have to watch the hatchery while he is gone. I want to not feel the need to have to go in and communicate with home like some of the others. I think that the people back home understand that my responsibilities here take precedence, and I need more than a week to be away. Otherwise, it won't really feel like I am so far away. I am far away. I am really far away.
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