Nests in the hatchery

We have finally started to fill the hatchery. Though we are still a ways away from filling all the way. I'm happy that we have been getting turtles though, so I'll take it! One of our nests got a temperature tracker for some data that we are collecting. We will put two others (for a total of 3) in the hatchery as well as place three along the beach in popular nesting sectors. Hopefully, the temperature trackers will give us a good idea that our hatchery is correctly replicating the temperatures on the beach, and the genders of our nests.

Mylain, Luisa, Rebeca, Katharina, and Steph enjoying our last night all together

Last night, Steph and I patrolled with our two Ticas (Rebeca and Mylaine). We walked the whole beach and when we got home we found a turtle practically walking into the hatchery to lay her eggs. This happened a lot last year too, I think they just know where their eggs should go. We waited off to the side under some palm trees since it started to rain until she began to dig her nest. I was pretty excited (though in my sleepy state it might have been difficult to tell) this was Steph's first time seeing the "whole" nesting process. While Rebeca and Mylaine were counting eggs I was able to show Steph how we take measurements and what we are looking for. It was a good thing we had volunteers with us! Now if only we could get more tags so I could have tagged her too!!!

Cacti flowers!!

At one-thirty AM Steph and I were up again to walk with Mylain and Rebeca out to the main road and wait for the bus. I have never walked with volunteers before but I liked them so much I decided to go with them. While we were waiting and being eaten alive it started to rain. The bus finally pulled up and it looked like the rain might be letting up a little as well. WRONG!!! The bus pulled up we said our good byes and it started to POUR! Steph and I were very cold and very wet when we got back to the house.

Tonight our German's are leaving, they have been with us for two weeks so the house will be oddly quiet when they leave (maybe more so for Steph since she has only lived here with a full house). We are heading up to Laguna Mar, I offered to buy them a drink since they have been the best German volunteers I have every experienced. (I feel confident saying that online because I'm pretty positive that none of the other German volunteers from last year aren't reading since we never even exchanged contact information.)

Went in search of some plumerias and was successful!

I've also taken to walking on the road this week. I have been wanting to see what some of the houses look like from the street, since I usually only see them from the beach. I found all sorts of cool gems, I find it odd that we have so many vacation homes but they never seem to have anyone in them, what is the point? Maybe I'll buy some land and build a house so that I can live here ALL the time. Mom, dad, you are more than welcome to visit.



Been Without

So I have been without constant good internet since I got here. Kolbi decided to change their rates as far as internet went, so I believe everyone is still trying to figure out what they are doing as far as internet goes. Which means I've been posting less, and writing less too. However, I want to keep everyone up to date as far as what I've been doing, and I think it helps keep me sane on rainy days.

Luisa and Katherina enjoying the beach one morning

Of course, I decided last night that today I was going to wake up early and get my laundry done. It hasn't been starting to rain until about 3 or 4 in the afternoon, great plan right? Ha, no. I did my laundry and then about an hour later I just see clouds coming in, remember by me saying I'm doing my laundry early means I'm doing it at like 6 AM so it will dry in the morning heat. So I have some laundry hanging in my room trying to dry as well as out on the deck, basically just trying to keep it from getting completely soaked.

Look familiar Victor? Trying to find the Beinvenidos Costa de Oro sign to put up!

On the 23rd, I got Stephanie (or Steph), she will be my research assistant until the end of October. She is from Georgia and just graduated University with a degree in psychology, she took the internship as a way to determine if she wanted to go into cultural environmentalism or if she wants to work more closely with animals, unfortunately we haven't encountered a turtle since shes been here so this may not be helping too much.

We also have two Costa Rican girls (Rebeca and Mylaine) visiting with us from University for the week. It has been fun having them around the house and learning about what it is like to be a University student in Costa Rica. They are going to school two times a week, and while Mylaine of them has a house in San Jose, she would rather take the 6 am bus from Limon than live in San Jose.

Also this week, we have Steph who is a research assistant from San Miguel. She is here to help with patrols while we have a full house and get my Steph trained. San Miguel Steph is from Belgium, the French part, and speaks about five languages. She studied molecular biology in university and decided to take some time off before diving into a career.

Rainy day morning activity, make a hatchery chart!

Like I said we haven't been getting many turtles the past couple nights, which have made patrolling a little harder. I'm also running out of stuff to do with rice, beans, lentils, and pasta. I guess I'm only so creative as a chef, good thing I wasn't thinking of that as a career. Today it has rained pretty much all day, needless to say that I am missing the unlimited data card Victor had scored last year (just thinking about all the criminal minds I could have watched by now!). Stepping into the coordinator position has been weird to get used to. While to my sisters at home I'm Miss Bossy Older Sister, I don't like to boss people around because I don't want to come off as nasty (I mean I can be bossy to my sisters because no matter what they still love me).



Who Gets a Cold in Costa Rica??!

As the title suggests I have cold. I do not know where it came from. But one day I was congested and then next my throat was sore. I am ready for it to pass though!! Nothing is worse than patrolling with a sore throat.

Here is Shane with volunteers Luisa and Katherina

This morning Shane and I went on a lovely beach walk down to San Miguel. Original plan was to meet Hilary half way since she is leaving tonight, though that did not work and we were waiting at their station house for them when they got back from breakfast. We sat around and chatted with them for a little bit before deciding to head back to Costa de Oro, Hilary along for the ride (so to speak). Found some interesting treasures along the way.

On our way down Shane and I found a piece of a skull. I think I might go back and hold on to it to show volunteers that I kill people when they do not do as asked (only kidding). I am no forensic scientist (just an avid watcher of Bones) but it looks like it could be human, solely based on the fact that there are molars. After finding the piece of the jaw we found a rock. We think somewhere on our beach there really might be a body buried.

Apparently egg plant is in season now, when I got here there was two in the refrigerator and Lotti just brought another one in. When she pulled it out of the box I just looked at here and said, "Seriously Lotti, how do I cook this? I don't even make eggplant in the States." She gave me some ideas for how to cook it so that is what we will be having with dinner tonight- and the next couple nights.


Hatchery Update

Still using Matt's PRETOMA sign from last year

So the final decision has been to cut the hatchery in half. No I am not stoked on it, but oh well it is what it is and I would rather get nests into it sooner rather than later (maybe expand later on if there is time to). Luckily though, I have had Shane here for the past week and he has been so much help! Well maybe too much help, we had almost all the sand filled in the last trench and just needed to level it out so the hatchery would be about 10 CM above ground level. The almond wood Courtney and Victor found last year for the posts are really heavy though so he has been awesome at helping to move them around the hatchery to reconstruct a wall. One of the reasons I'm alright with the size is that we are only filling the hatchery until mid October this year. The deal is that all the walls and posts need to be taken down before we leave (and the project is set to close December 10th).

The front of the Costa de Oro hatchery

Update: Okay so this still has not been posted, mostly due to lack of internet and I wanted to get pictures of the hatchery. However, the hatchery has been finished before I got pictures of the process of building it (whoops, guess thats what happens when it starts raining every night after we work on it).

I was able to fit in 12 rows and 7 collums, which will give us 84 nests to work with. Hopefully This will be plenty and there will not need to be to much nest relocation until middle of October.

We just need to fill in the emptiness with the dirt that was removed from the area before and take down the old green netting from the remaining posts that are not being used this year. After we get the trench filled in, we will be moving the dirt that was removed from that area last year down to the beach.



Hello Cyberspace Followers

My dad informed me that I am not posting frequently enough, though I'm trying to post as often as I can!!

First rainbow of the season!!

Somethings that people might be wondering about.

Yes the water in the shower is still cold and we don't have any water pressure. Luckily though, Don Victor turned of my running toilet though so that next time the power goes out we won't loose all the water with in the first couple hours. Oh yes, the other night Hilary and I woke up for patrol with no power on. We were able to get ready for patrol but when we got back all the water was gone.

The first thing my parents said to me when they saw me today was, "boy you are tan!" That is because the hatchery still isn't finished and though I try to wear sunscreen (I really do! I don't want to be a wrinkly old raisin when I grow up!) I'm still crisping up under the nice Costa Rican sun, tough life I know. Sorry, but I'm really not sorry.

Baby bird in a nest, all you can see in the nest is the butt

Bug bites. There is definitely a combination of things going on here. I got smart about putting on bug spray when I'm working in the sand (sand fleas and no-seeums) PLUS coconut oil really helps!! I have been wearing that every night before patrol plus shoes and my bites seem to be severally less than last year. And, when I am bitten, the swelling is going down so much quicker than last year. I'm trying not to gouge out my bites, I still have scars that haven't disappeared from last year.

Courtney, people ask where you are all the time. Our neighbors from across the street (the ones from San Jose) are here right now and were asking about you while I was "taking a break" from carrying buckets of sand up to the hatchery. There is also a new male dog on the beach he's yellow like the Tres Hermanas, but has some white markings on his face. I was instructed that I am not to be friends with the dogs, I cannot feed them or pet them and when they come to the house I need to shoo them away. This is hard so I yell nice things to them (learned that from Hilary) and throw some sand. I have to tell volunteers that I really like dogs and I have two very adorable ones at home, which then leads to my slide show of Kai and Max and I turn into the crazy American dog lady, which is the look I'm going for anyways.

Muni picking up trash!!!

My Spanish is getting better, or so I think until a native speaker comes up to me and starts rambling off. I'm able to talk to the people around town for the most part. They know to use simple Spanish and talk to me like a child. Except Don Victor, he continues to use weird words that can't even be found in the Spanish to English dictionary we have at the house.

Municipali came by the other day to collect trash, AND THEY DIDN'T MAKE A MESS!! I was hear probably like a good month and a half before we saw them for the first time last year. I thought Don Victor was pulling my leg when he said they were coming.

I have egg plant in my refrigerator, two of them to be exact. I don't even eat eggplant in the states, so I am taking suggestions on how to cook this delicious (I'm sure) vegetable before it goes bad. I thought it was something random to have received for food as well.



I'm Dying of Heat!

No filter, just enjoying a lovely night in Costa de Oro

Okay, maybe I'm being a bit dramatic, but it has been hot today! Not too terrible temperature wise just very very humid, but then again it was humid all the time last year. The weather this year has been a bit cooler and I've seen more rain this past week than in my first month of living in Costa Rica last year.

Hilary playing with our food, this might be why we got along.

Hilary left me this morning. She went back to San Miguel for a couple days before leaving on Friday (?) to go to Manuel Antiono for a couple of days and then heading back to Canada. Yes, we have already planned arrangements for me to move to Vancouver so I be with her ALL THE TIME (I'm not sure if she was aware of that part) and become a Lulu Lemon wearing fashionista (which I already am pretty good at).

Calendar and patrol chart

I've been a little disappointed in the help from the community so far this year. I am taking all suggestions to get more help!!! We had three locals tell us they would help us on Saturday and no one showed up!! Yesterday, we thought one was coming since he asked what time we were working and he didn't come either. Sad face goes here.

With the departure of Hilary, I gained Shane. He is a research assistant from San Miguel sent to help me out for a week. He comes from England where he studies Environmental Science and thinking about maybe going to medical school. He has been in Costa Rica for 9 weeks now and is here for only 3 more before going back to England where he will go one vacation with his girlfriend.

I also had two new volunteers come in this morning. Katherina and Luisa, they are both from Germany and in their gap year (one is just starting and the other is finishing). Katherina was telling me that before she came here she was in LA, I was telling her I grew up just North of LA. Her response, Camarillo? Blew me out of the water, not many people who live in California know where Camarillo is so I was not expecting a German to know. However, she was there for the outlets, go figure, what else is there to do in Camarillo?

Also, while being in Costa Rica, I have decided that Max will be my dog when I get home because I miss him so much. Miya: you can keep Kai, she bites me too much anyways.

My baby boy Max
Snotty nose Kai

Sorry, my blogging has been sporadic. I just figured out how to set up the MiFi today hopefully that will help. BUT with this awesome blog app I can write posts when I don't have internet!! WHOOHOOOO!!!! So really I don't have an excuse!



It's raining

Two patrols down only one nest, it's like the turtles know that our hatchery isn't finished yet. I can't wait to finish it.

Just before it started to rain I was working in the hatchery while Dana and Basty packed up their stuff and Hilary was getting in her nap (I had already dozed off while working in the hatchery and then while sitting in a chair reading my book).

Eric came down earlier to pick up Dana and Basty than we had expected. We thought he would be by at like 4 or 5. He found me working in the hatchery and was surprised to see me, guess he wasn't told I was coming back. Eric and I talked about the hatchery, removed a post that had been left from last year to hang the dog hunting hammock Victor was living in, because it had been attracting wasps and because we were raising the hatchery someone was likely to hit their head. We also came up with a plan to get it done sooner. He was also going to get us more sacks for the sand bags yesterday but it was Mother's Day here in Costa Rica and so everything was closed.

BY THE WAY MOM HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY AGAIN!!! thanks for making my car payments for me

Now it is just Hilary in the house tonight. We have plans to go to Laguna Mar for dinner, since it may be her last night patrolling her in Costa de Oro. Though we have 8 beds available we are still only sleeping in the large one in the coordinators room, we found it foolish to get more sheets dirty.



Lots of Hatchery and First Patrol

Yesterday afternoon I got into Costa de Oro at about 12 ish. I had an amazing lunch up in the office and then we came down to the beach. I had a meeting with Lotti and Maddie to talk about different goals, rules, and volunteers that are coming and going. Basically a catch up meeting.

So weird being at Laguna Mar without Drew there!

When I got to Costa de Oro I was greeted by Hilary!!! Hilary is from Vancouver (just like Maddie) and was in San Miguel las year. Maddie had talked to Hilary about going to San Miguel as the coordinator for just the first month or two of the project before Hilary goes back to Canada for school. However, there was a last minute switcheroo and Hilary has been in Costa de Oro as the coordinator and trying to get the hatchery up before I got here.

Not going to lie a little bummed yet a little excited that the hatchery wasn't finished. I'm excited because I get to help with it this year. Right now we are trying to sift through all the sand and then we are adding more to it trying to raise it out of the ground to help keep the nests dry when it rains. I'm a little bummed because I can't put nests in the hatchery yet. Its been hard everyone around town has been working and our volunteers have been coming and going, getting sick and injured. So it has been a rough start and Hilary's goal was to have it finished when I got here.

The Kings are staying just down the street from me. Katrina, Cailyn, and Zane came by to say hi yesterday before dinner and said they were going up to Laguna Mar later and asked if I would like to join them. I said probably but wasn't completely sure of time but they expressed an interest in patrolling with us so I knew getting back wouldn't be an issue. Unfortunately, earlier in the day I had been at Don Victors house earlier saying hi and trying to round up some help for the hatchery (but everyone was at work) and the Kings had come by to see if I wanted to go to Tangas down on Playa Coyote for lunch. I did get to up to Laguna Mar for a coke though and got to meet the new owners (Cici and John) as well as see Alvaro and Pablo.

We got back to the house for patrol, it was Basty and me for the night plus some tourists who showed up at the house and the Kings were supposed to meet up with us, but they fell asleep when they got home.

It was nice to be on patrol again, there were no people on the beach (though we could see one light in San Miguel). I had only one turtle track and it was right in front of our house, a little bummed I didn't get to see an actual turtle last night. This is when I realized how sad I was that the hatchery wasn't finished yet. So bright and early I was up at 6 am to get to work. Hilary and I were in there sifting sand until about 8 and we took a little break, I ate some food and unpacked some of my stuff. We went back in and did about and another hour work of work before we decided that it was time to take a break, plus the Kings just came by with a bag of goodies for me.

Hilary and I have two volunteers in the house, Basty (short for Bastian) and Dana. They are both from Germany and had the same host family in San Jose where they stayed a few weeks and attended a language school before coming here. We also have Hannah (also German), who has been having a tough couple days being sick and spent the night up in the office just incase she needs to go to the Clinic in Jicaral.

It's an odd feeling being back. Almost like I never left but at the same time a lot seems different. I know it won't take long to get back into the swing of things.

Can't wait to get this hatchery finished though!!!





24 hours later

I feel like i often write posts that are titled like this.

I've made it to the PRETOMA office!!! But seriously it was a 24 hour journey. My flight left LAX at 10:15 on Monday night and arrived in Coyote just a little before 10 last night.

The bus journey was an experience. It started off that my taxi drive took me to the wrong bus station, and I think totally ripped me off with how much it cost. So, I had to take another taxi to the right station and I found my bus but waited for 3 hours before we boarded and left. It was seriously the longest three hours ever!! I had been warned that the bus is hot and humid and usually chickens running around, so needless to say I was really confused when it was a charter bus with TVs and AC. It was dark and when I realized we weren't taking the ferry I was concerned that I might only be going to Bejuco, even though I heard other people going to Coyote. I just freak out easily in vehicles I guess, I even have a hard time following the GPS systems in the states because I don't believe them.

This is Luna

I'm in the office now. Have seen Lotti, eaten some food, waiting for Maddie so we can go over the goals for this year before I head into Costa de Oro.

Mom, I know you are always saying no more dogs but the PRETOMA office dog is really cute and she has bat ears. I might steal her.



Greetings from the airport!

This is the beginning of my attempt to blog a little more than last year and provide as much information about what I'm doing in Costa Rica and and what there is to do in Costa Rica. Guess I'll be revisiting the trip with Courtney a little bit. In my attempt to blog more this year I am also going to include turtle facts and maybe other interesting things about other animals around Costa Rica.

All set to go with Mr. Bear

I'm also using a new blog app this year called BLOGSY. It has quite a few stars in the App Store so hopefully it's a tad friendlier than blogger in safari on ipad. Another addition to the blog was adding my Instagram feed. Found to the right (probably on this blog post). This is another attempt to try and include more picures into my posts.

Not very clear but says 50.0

My flight path goes from LAX to Florida. Florida to San Jose. Then I will take a taxi to the bus station and a 6 hour bus ride to San Franscico de Coyote, where I will stay in the office for the night and Lotti will drive me into Costa de Oro on Wednesday. I was stressing out today about the weight of my packed luggage, which is the reason why I have a slackline in my backpack. Now the weight of my luggage was really hard to judge, at one point I was holding Max in one arm and my bag in the other to see if I had reached the 25 lb mark yet. Well, after about an hour of stressing mom went next door and was able to borrow a scale. Leaving the house my bag was at about 47 lbs, which I figured would give me a little bit of wiggle room in case the scales were different... I'm not intirely sure if they were different or something in my bag expanded, but, my bag was at 50 Lbs exactly when checking my bag. There was a big sigh of relief when nothing was said about it.

Mom and Miya are heading up to Camarillo for the week and dropped me off at the airport. So my last meal in California was In n Out, I'm sure tomrorow I will have some horrendous breakfast in the airport in Florida and then some Americanized lunch when I land in San Jose before my journey to Costa de Oro begins.