DECEMBER 4, 2008
"Remember yourself, from the days when you were younger and rougher and wilder, more scrawl than straight line."--Anna QuindlenThey have fenced us in. "They" being Sylvester's goons. These goons are the same guys that are paid to come to camp at 7am every morning to make noise and harass us. As I mentioned yesterday, the bulldozer is their favorite toy. I'm not sure what right they have to come here and staple barbed wire around our camp. It's not like they put up chicken wire, or wooden beams. No, this was rusty, razor sharp barbed wire. I don't understand, but we are all on edge and becoming more and more concerned with their attacks on camp, and how far Sylvester is going to take sending his message and threats.
Sylvester is the guy that owns the property behind us--the corn fields. He technically only owns everything 50m behind the surf because the beach is protected under the Federal Wildlife Preserve. His property includes the wetlands here, which he intends on destroying for whatever reason. PRETOMA is still pushing for a National Wildlife Refuge that will include the wetlands on his property. It's a constant battle. Neither of which either side will call a draw, but hopefully our side will win, someday. Sylvester is constantly pushing and testing the system. I'm sure I will be writing much more about him in the future.
Tomorrow some people are heading into town. I wish that I could go, but I have doubles tomorrow night and need to sleep. I haven't been to town in a week. A week without anything else might not register, but a week here feels like two. Maybe going there initially was a mistake. I need a battery for my clock. The salty air has gotten to it. Sarah said that she would look for one for me. We rely heavily on our alarm clocks for patrols and hatchery duty throughout the night.
Time to escape to the beach.
We order more food today for our last month. It comes next week. We also learned how to do triangulations to find previously marked nests on the beach. You place a "Norte," "Centro," and "Sur" post in the sand where erosion cannot effect it. You tie an orange marker to each and make a black permanent mark where the tape is in case it is to move in 45-60 days. You mark them INN, ISN, INC, ISC, INS, ISS, RNN, RSN, RNC, RSC, RNS, RSS. The first letter is for what it is--'I' stands for "incito," and it marks where a female has laid her nest, untouched. And 'R' stands for "relocate" and it marks where a nest has been relocated by us because it laid in Zone I (where the surf is), or some other condition. The second letter stands for which area of the beach you are on--North or South, The third letter stands for which post it is--one located in the north, center, or south. We do these to prove that the process can still be done with successful results--that they deter poachers and that the hatchery can still be our last resort. Still, the poachers know this method and it definitely is not fail proof. Where the measurements cross is where to find the nest. Only we know the coordinates.
Being here has made me quiet; made me oppressed. I don't need to be heard all of the time. I never did. Why did I feel I needed to be? I don't always need to have a say or have the answer; know it all. Here, I find that most everyone has their own answers. I am not heard, and I will not speak. People aren't asking me. I am disappointed with myself for having to be right and for things to be done my way. I thought that I had left these characteristics behind me. I am tired of feeling sick. I am tired of hating food and people not understanding. Even demons follow me here. Give it another week to saturate. Give it six....
I spent three and half weeks with Mandy, Megan, Alex, Erica, Luke, and Ashley while first traveling through Japan. Most of us were initial strangers, and now we are like family. We say we love each other. We are always here for one another. I had way too high of expectations for the relationships that would develop with the people here. We're none alike--some too quiet, some too irritable, some too demanding, too loud, laid back and immature. Everyone was on the same page in Japan. It was pretty amazing.
You would think that everyone would be on the same page here since we are here to mutually do something so important, but I guess that I can understand. Simple comforts back in the real world, like taking real showers with warm water and water pressure, or having a real toilet are amiss. Being able to run to the grocery for whatever food you are craving, and have proper heating, cooling, and storage elements for all of the food management. Having a real bed and real blankets to stay warm at night, or a proper change of clothes after working out in the rain all. There would be no concern of sand in your food, hair, beds and clothes. You wouldn't have to lug up buckets of water just to brush your teeth or wash your clothes. You wouldn't have to worry about if people will sneak into your home at night and steal your things, or worse.... There is a lot of stress put on us here and none of us are life-enriched enough to appreciate it in its most necessary ways. I do recall when we were in Japan, of people complaining about the food we ate (it was free and mostly endless), the heat, rain, long bus rides, whether their mattress was on a frame or the floor. It was so petty to me, that people had these kinds of complaints in a culture where we were guests and so bless to be there. Our opportunity to travel throughout Japan was a gift within itself. I am thankful for that experience, for it has taught me a lot about how to adapt and cope. No matter how strong we are inside and no matter how much we can endure... we still need proper human interaction. I'm fine without all of the other luxuries. How I miss my family and my friends.