November 28

This picture is a day late, but the good news is today's picture looks exactly the same!
It's been overcast and yesterday it rained a little bit as well, not nearly enough but oh well.
Wednesday is our last day, I don't want to talk about it, I'm starting to get sad about it.


November 27

Last night's sunset wasn't anything special, actually looked like we might get some rain. Unfortunately no rain, just a really hot, sticky night.

Camera is up and running again, leaving it in a bag of rice for a few days seemed to do it good, luckily.


Playing with horses

Sorry for not having another sunset picture last night. We were doing exhumations and the bugs were starting to come out. Only 8 more days here, and I haven't seen a nesting turtle in about a week and a half, maybe longer. It's not summer here and the days are dry and we haven't had a good rain in probably a week, which makes it hard for turtles to nest since the sand on the beach is so soft. Our hatchery is back up and running with babies starting to hatch every night. We have about half our hatchery left to go, which seems like a lot but when Victor came back from his visa run half the hatchery had hatched in the week he was gone.

The other day we went out horse back riding. It was a great way to learn about the area around us. We rode through streams, pastures, saw two troops of monkeys and found a few of the guanacaste trees that this area is named for. All the volunteers said that they had ridden before but not a lot. While we were riding one of the girls told me her father is a horse whisperer, she was actually probably the best at riding when we first started and it all made sense.

Next up will be some hiking to waterfalls up behind Javilla. Courtney and I are in the midst of planning our after trip. We are planning on hitting up Tamarindo, Arenal, and Monte Verde and spending about a day or two in each place. It's official I have a flight out of Costa Rica, I will be heading home on the 12th!


November 25

Camera is still in a bag of rice wanted to really make sure that if its water its dried out. So I went down to the beach tonight with my ipad to get a picture, yes I was that person.


Thanksgiving Feast

As I've said before, Thanksgiving was at Laguna Mar, and it was delicious. We had salad, bread (homemade by Pablo), turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole (new to me), mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and carmel ice cream. Oh my goodness the turkey was so delicous, it was probably the most moist turkey I have ever had. It was brined the night before and then wrapped in banana leaves to help hold in the moisture. Pablo saw I didn't like pumpkin pie and brought me out extra ice cream. The bread was also so delicious that we asked Michael if we could have the left overs the next day. Cranberry sauce was the only thing missing. When Courtney mentioned that usually turkey is so dry we need lots of gravy and cranberry sauce to help Pablo realized he forgot to make the cranberry sauce. This was Pablo's first Thanksgiving that he prepared and he spent three days preparing it. It came out fantastic, though he did look a little tired at the end of the night.

And I'm sorry I did't get a sunset picture tonight, Court and I were working on a couple exhumations and had gross dirty hands. Also, my camera might have water damage, or the LCD screen is going out... so my camera is in a bag of rice just to be on the safe side.

November 23

Courtney and I finally made it home from Laguna Mar. It took us all day to finally make the move. Michael even tried to convince us to stay for dinner and then Pablo (the chef who lives in Costa de Oro) can take us home. Man I wish I took him up on that offer.

We got home in time for sunset and the one exhumation that needed to be done. So we got some babies in with tonight's sunset again. Victor was hoping that the clouds wouldn't rush in and the green flash would be visible. I told him no matter how clear the sky looks the clouds will always rush in at the last minute.

Sure am going to miss these sunsets. Tomorrow we are going to go horseback riding bright and early, I'll be sure to take lots of pictures! Sorry I don't post so many pictures on my blog, I only brought my iPad and Blogger makes it a little difficult to post the pictures, so I'll do lots of picture album posting when I get home!


Happy Thanksgiving

Today's picture is actually taken in Javilla at Laguna Mar, or Drew's. He is hosting the Thanksgiving feast tonight for the Americans on the projects. And I am so thankful that my parents got me room here to stay the night. Actually I am really thankful that my parents supported me coming to Costa Rica because this has all been one great experience. Also joining us are three girls from Corozalito (one of them is from the states) and then there is also Victor, Mickle, and Courtney (who is also staying the night with me).



November 21

Started off this morning with hatchery checks. Had a nest start to come up but they fell asleep. I tried to leave them as long as possible until the sun was up. Then they spent the rest of the day sleeping in my shower until we could release them this afternoon.

Today was pretty cloudy and overcast. Perfect weather to rest up since Courtney and I are spending tomorrow at Drews for Accion de Gracias. I believe Mickle is coming up with us to spend the day lounging by the pool but Victor has yet to decided if he wants to come up in the morning or venture up a little bit later. But all I know is I get a hot shower tomorrow!


Sunset a day

I only have about 15 nights left in Costa de Oro. It's really sad that my time is coming to an end. But I thought I'd let you all enjoy in a sunset a day with me until I'm off to go explore a little more of Costa Rica before heading home.

Tonight's was a little late so I wasn't able to grab all the colors in the sky. We were doing some exhumations and all of a sudden the sun was sinking really low. But I ran back to the house and grabbed my camera real quick for this shot.

Red Handed

On Saturday we went and painted at a local school. They had a wall that needed to be painted and Ingrid asked us on Friday if we would like to go and help them. We were to paint the inside of the surrounding wall. This is more of a fence that surrounds the school, About a month before I got here Courtney, Victor, Matt and our volunteers went and scrapped the wall of the blue paint that was there prior. Well, a couple months later they had us come back to finish the job that was started. We painted the inside of the wall this rusty red color; we have no clue why just the inside of the wall. But with the aid of Victor, Mickle (volunteer from San Diego), Ingrid, and Iona (our Romanian volunteer) we were able to get the whole thing done in just a few hours.

We started off with just one roller and a bunch of paint brushes, and Ingrid and I walked down to the hardware store to grab another roller and some paint trays. Boy was that the best decision of the day, I think we could have been there all week had we not. At one point one of the rollers broke, so I ran back over to buy another roller since we still had another wall to go. Those few times of painting Dad's offices came in handy though, since I have perfected my technique for painting quickly and efficiently.

When we were finishing, Courtney joined us. She had been on a horse tour with the group from San Miguel in the morning and was going to come help when she was done. After cleaning up and washing our very dirty hands we decided we were all starving. Day 2 of Loma Clara! This time I got the Fajitas de Pollo con Tortillas and they even had pineapple-mango smoothies that we all grabbed.

After eating and settling the bill we walked back over towards Coyote and decided to go by Super Rey's to grab ice cream. I also grabbed a Café Brit Iced Coffee, good thing I don't live closer to a super I might develop an addiction to these. And then we headed down 100 meters towards the office to get a ride home.

Another fun successful day in Coyote, well, any day I get ice cream in Coyote is a successful day to me...


Butterfly Farm

A couple days ago we went to Mike's Butterfly Garden, in Bejuco which is about 10 k from our house. Unlike most butterfly gardens his is all outdoors which means we get to see more butterflies come and go with the seasons and we never know what we are going to get. We saw lots over butterflies and learned all about the different plants that they are attracted to and why, even how butterflies mimic each others coloring.

Interestingly enough, Mike used to be an entomologist in the army. Who knew that was even a unit?! They go into survey the area prior to war so they know what kind of insects they might be needing to deal with. Anyways, his true calling is bees and all of his knowledge is fascinating! He has a few different hives.He is currently working on replacing some hives by replacing the queens in some nests to change the type of bees they are. He has lots of honey and we got to try two different kinds.  I even tried pollen which was delicious and learned about how it can help with recovery time in endurance sports.

There was a tree down towards the front of the property called the bat tree. This tree is giant and the root system is all above ground. This is where the bats sleep under the roots in the tree. We also took a walk to go and look at his beehives from afar and he explained how he was in the process of trying to split the hives in half. Needless to say, it was a very fun and informational tour to go on and so many beautiful things to look at. We walked through some trees along a little river and even though it was 9 am it was still mosquito time, or some other little biting bug because I came out with a few fresh bites.

After the tour we got a ride back to the house. Mickle (our new volunteer from San Diego), Iona (one of our German volunteers), and Victor got out of the truck and opted to eat lunch at home. Courtney and I continued our way towards Coyote in the truck. We stopped off at Lotti's house and talked with her. We decided that our official end date will be December 5th.

After talking to Lotti, we continued up the road up to Coyote. We decided we really wanted to go to Loma Clara. Courtney went the week prior and had the steak, which she had said was fantastic. We both ordered the steak, which also comes with some shrimp. We got a choice between veggies or rice and both opted for fresh veggies instead of rice which we get plenty of all the time.

 While eating our food, a friend of Courtney's pulled up, he came by and talked to us. He said he was going to be making a real quick stop here but then had to go run some errands. We were kind of bummed hoping for a ride back to Costa de Oro, even though after eating so much steak we probably could have rolled back down the hill home. We finished our food and got a beer and he was still there so we decided to ask for  ride. And that's how we got our ride home. He asked if it was okay that he needed to make a few stops though and wanted to make sure we weren't in a hurry. When he found out we were going to walk he laughed and realized we weren't in any hurry at all. 

We stopped off at a supermarket and Courtney and I grabbed some ice cream. We were going to stop off at the market across the street to pick up a few more things. There is also a bar right next to the supermarket and we got distracted. It had looked like the bar had been redone recently and looked pretty nice. We grabbed another beer. before we ran to the market next door. We grabbed a few more items and then were off back home. It was a fun day away from the house for a little bit and to go hang out around Coyote.


My Costa Rican Dog

While living here the last few months I've adopted a dog. She is one of a trio that are referred to as the tres hermanas, which is actually a mom and her two puppies. This one is Nonita and she is the cutest little thing. At one point she had been accused of being the hatchery intruder but that was quickly proven false when Courtney and I tied her up for a night across the street and the hatchery was still broken into. She and her sisters are strays on the beach. Someone had at one time owned them but moved out of the area and left the dogs, so all the tourists on the beach take turns caring for the dogs.
I've been told I'm not allowed to bring any pets home but this one is just too cute to leave! She surprised us when she kept returning and looked perfectly fine being tied up the night we did. Might have been all the little meals we kept bringing her throughout the night. These dogs are very much like North Shore dogs. They run wild during the day but these dogs have nowhere to go home for food at night. They love to run up and down the beach and hunt fish in the surf. So maybe I will just send her out to the North Shore to live with Betty and her dogs!


Arribada in Corozalito

Today Lotti and Eric came over early this morning right after we had finished cleaning up breakfast. They told us we had five minutes to get ready -  the arribada in Corozalito was going on. We told our volunteers that we were going and if they wanted to come to they needed to be in the car and ready to go in five minutes.

 An arribada is a turtle nesting phenomenon where thousands of turtles come up onto the beach and nest usually for about 3 nights, but since there are so many turtles they will sometimes come up in the day as well. Arribada's only happen on a select few beaches in Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and India which is why this was a special thing to be able to witness. We learned that there is a new protocol this year when counting turtles during an arribada; the turtle is only counted when you see her laying her eggs. When thousands of turtles are coming up a night it is hard to get all their measurements and tag all of them. Also, in Corozalito they don't have a hatchery so they eggs are left on the beach and the coordinator and volunteers will go back and check on the nests and do exhumations on ones that they can find on the beach.

 It was a fun time getting to see the turtles nesting in the day time and as always seeing our friends from other project sits.



Here is a baby update for all you guys!
We had looked into a nest with Lotti today and found some little hatchlings! The nest is still hatching but we did pull 5 babies out. Two of our Volunteers (Julia and Chantal) have not been able to see babies yet so they were very excited to be able to go out and release them even if it was a little rainy outside. Everyone got a chance to take a picture with a baby and see them off to sea.


Feliz Halloween!

Celebrating Halloween yesterday was lots of fun. Laguna Mar hosted a party for the PRETOMA group which included Mahi Mahi fish tacos (I feel like Mari writing this blog post because they were delicious!). The original costume plan was the be Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. We might have started the DIY process a little late so very last minute we decided to be turtle pirates. We used Victor's Helping Turtles badges for eye patches. Ingrid was going to be our fourth ninja turtle but got her face painted while at the PRETOMA office. All the projects were able to go and it was a lot of fun to socialize with all the projects. So in the pictures there is Ingrid and Danny (he works at Caletes and is from Barcelona). Then there is Victor, Courtney and me sporting our turtle patches. And just because our food was so delicious there is a picture of my Mahi Mahi tacos.