DECEMBER 10, 2008
I awoke this morning a little after 6am hungry from a full night's rest from my evening off. I always enjoy being the only one up (or one of two) and perfectly making a cup or bowel of oatmeal, just the way I like it. The bench that overlooks the ocean is usually damp, but I sit there anyway or down on the sand while enjoying my breakfast. It is so peaceful this time in the morning. The waves pound the beach, the air is cool. There are no voices or sounds other than the earth.
I have to say that after my peaceful breakfast, I wasn't so pleased to find little baby turtles loose all over the hatchery--inside and out. For someone had failed to sign up for their shifts, and without names, I am sure you can imagine who. I know it's a constant complaint. I don't like writing about it, but there is definitely one particular person here who is ungodly lazy, and selfish for it.
Anyway, so I gathered all of the babies/escapees and pilled them into a bucket that I set in the shade of the kitchen for a certain someone to take down the beach when he awoke. I then checked the schedule for the next few days to find that today was the only day that I could make it into town based on my schedule. I try to find days that are mid-week before the weekend begins in Japan. So I got a quick shower and gathered my things, making the 9k trek into San Francisco de Coyote.
The walk was nice at 7:30am. Seven thirty-seven to be exact. It was hot, of course, but not as hot as it would have been if it were later. My hair was still drying from my shower, but I was already getting sweaty and found a post to prop my aviators up to use as a mirror to get my hair up and away from my neck. Maggie and lucas were with me. Maggie is due any time now and I wish she'd stop making the long walks with us (luckily she stayed in town later, for now). Lucas likes to hate tires on vehicles and got smacked in the face by someone as he chased after their motorcycle. The road is all dirt and rocks. I am constantly picking rocks from the bottoms of my shoes, waiting for the moment for that one rock to puncture through and destroy my now, somewhat comfortable stride. But my shoes really are in terrible condition from all of my patrols on the beach. They are the only ones that I have here and have already developed expanding holes.
Along the way are small fields, teak forests, cows/bulls with sharp horns and testy attitudes, and beautiful horses. Things are brightly painted in blues, yellows, fleshes, reds, greens, and all others in between. Some of the gates remind me of a tall Japanese torri, leading up to straight-line, clean-cut yards, most likely uninhabited the majority of the year. It's great contrast--their controlled surroundings to the wilderness that surrounds. Almost all homes here are this way. Doesn't seem poverished like the homes I saw back in San José, or in the countryside. I love the tropical flowers that dot the road (hibiscus). Others are vines, purple/blue, resembling morning glories.
I missed talking to some people while in town today. Two weeks from now is Christmas time and I will do everything to make it back to wish people back home a Merry Christmas. It's a good feeling to come into town and read emails of stories from people back home. I cannot possibly respond to all of them, because internet time is money, but they really help to give me life here. Even if they only ever talk about the same things. I blogged, I wrote family, played on YouTube for a minute. But I forgot to email Erica, so wrapped up in getting things done. I am upset about it. I really, really miss her. I have been writing her letters here that I cannot send. The postal service is virtually none existent as addresses come in the form of "blue house on the corner with chickens, adjacent from the bar and the guy with the angry dog." Seriously. Erica is the only one that I write to almost every day. I will have to write and apologize, so she knows how I feel come January. She is my sister. I love and miss her so much.
Marshmallows, check. Caramel popcorn, check. Tampons, check. Drink stuff, cold drinks, and various snacks; check, check, check. It began to pour down rain as I was ready to depart. I sat on the bench outside the grocery store and waited, eating my caramel popcorn (so homely) and watching Lucas frantically scurry about town looking for me. He found me, eventually, and sat next to me while we waited for the rain to cease. I fed him popcorn for the concern. We took turns. He's always so anxious; ready to go at the drop of a hat. He had his moment when the rain stopped. I was glad to have him there.
I got a 3k ride on the way back. I should also mention that I peed on the side of the road, and I only mention it because it's kind of funny, and it demonstrates the scarcity of people and infrastructure on the long journey between camp and town. It also demonstrates how living in the wild makes it seem like a normal, everyday duty in times of despair. I could not have held it for the 9k back. I couldn't have even held it for the 6k I did before the pickup. It's so important to constantly drink water here to avoid dehydration, especially when you are walking 12 miles in the heat, to and from town (add this to the 3-10 miles (5-16k) that we walk each night while on patrol and you could be walking anywhere from 18-22+ miles any given day). The savior of the PRETOMA crew this time was a fellow hippy friend to the cause, Billy. He comes down to visit ever so often to surf at Playa Caletas. He is one of the only ones that gives us turtle folk rides if he sees us along the way. We're just one of the same. Who ever said that I wasn't a hippy at heart was lying to you. It was probably me, so I was lying to you. But you already knew that, you dirty hippy at heart, of mine.
I can't believe I forgot to mention, but two days ago when Sarah, Chris and I departed on our journey into some adjacent, unknown town, we came across a female lora nesting in broad daylight. More photos here.