Realizing There is Only a Month Left

The week back from Nicaragua has been a tough one. One week ago I had to say good by to my family and get back into the swing of work and not being on vacation. Even though I only was away for three days it felt much longer, which made falling back into the rhythm of things around the house a little harder. Like for instance, the right after saying goodbye to Mom and Dad, I walked into the house to find a new volunteer!

Lauren, Ryan, Caroline, and Corinna watching our weekend volunteers take their beach pictures


So know our house consists of two Germans, Caroline and Corinna, and Ryan, Lauren, and myself (The American/German house).


Caroline came right before I left for my visa run, maybe two days before, so I have only really gotten to know her this past week and I don't want her to leave! She is 25 and has her masters in architecture. I knew that she studied architecture, but only learned the other day that she had her masters! With her program she spend a month in Guatemala at language school and then came to Costa Rica to work with turtles. She has three weeks in Costa Rica after she leaves us and started planning on what she was going to travel and do during this time. I looked at the calendar and realized that she only has two weeks left, time in flying!


Our other new volunteer in Corinna, she is 19 and also from Germany. She decided to take a year off before going to University and came to Costa Rica. She spend two weeks in language school in Puerto Viejo, on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica, and then came here to work with the turtles. Corinna, is awesome to have around the house she is funny and always asking what she can do to help out! I have been so lucky with volunteers this year!!!


The group of girls that visited us for the weekend

I feel like life here has been a constant whirl wind and I have had something going on 24/7 and have not really had time to rest. This weekend we hosted twenty Costa Rican girls, three professors, and two of their daughters. They were on an adventure for their survival course and they might have got more than they bargained for since they were camping. The weather has been rainy every day this month, and this weekend was no different. We had a huge storm come in and it rained almost the whole weekend. There was little bit of time from where we were able to do a trash pick up with the girls and take a sunny group picture this morning before they left.

The girls got smart and slept here and the rancho the second night


The girls were awesome, except for the part where they were teenage girls and thought they should get a choice about what they got to eat instead of eating a planned out meal. But I had a lot of fun hanging out with them and speaking spanglish with the girls, mostly Spanish but with and English word thrown in when I did not know the right word for it. But, I also had fun hanging out with the little girls that were here as well, so if high school doesn't work out for me I can always go to elementary school!


How Costa Rican girls make snowmen

Also this weekend was Santos' birthday! Yes, I was not joking it was not stop going the whole weekend. So during a down part on the days activities I ran away real quick to go say happy birthday. I assumed that they had already eaten and ran home because all of Santos' children were there and I needed to take pictures! But oh was I wrong! It was almost like they were waiting for the camera to arrive because as soon as I got back with it we ate arroz con pollo y ensalda (rice and chicken with salad), gelatina y leche condensada (jello with condensed milk), y (cake); their meals go really quickly too, not everyone was done eating arroz con pollo when others started on the gelatina! Of course I still asked the kids where the new puppy was and told everyone that I was going to take the puppy back to the United States with me. I had a ton of fun hanging out with everyone over there which then made me sad that I am leaving in a month!


The birthday decorations
Santos grabbing the huge pot of arroz con pollo
Look at the tub of jello!
The birthday cake

Just the other day, after having my family leave me, I started feeling home sick. Then, after having a "family" birthday celebration I started to get sad thinking that I was going to be leaving such amazing wonderful people, again! So, today when everyone was busy or napping I ran away for a little bit to go and hang out with Don Victor and his family (remember they all live on the same property). It was so much fun to just sit their listen to them talk, talk every once and a while, eat amazing coconut cookies the Josephine made, and drink coffee. But then I had to get home and back to work with an exhumation.

Don victor and Marisol
I found star fruit!


They called my name and posted for a picture



Baby Update

Hatchling update:

Our hatchery is well underway and showing no signs of slowing down. We get a few lulls every couple days from periods of time when we didn't have any mommas coming up to nest. But, on average we have been having about 3 nests come up a night!

39% of our nests have hatched

Our current success rate for our nests is at 89%

And we have released 2,253 babies back into the ocean

Thank you too all that have helped put our hatchery together and relocate eggs! It is truly amazing to see the work that has been accomplished in so little time.




Caught Up in a Whirlwind

I got pretty bad at keeping up with the blog while on my visa run, probably becuase we were constantly moving.

View of San Juan del Sur while zip lining

On Friday morning, Dad, Miya, and I went zip lining. We took about a 15 minute drive from our hotel down the dirt road to the main office, from there we took about another 5 minute drive up the mountain, it was quite the bumpy road Miya and I were waiting for a boulder to come rolling towards us then after falling into a pit of snakes. Up at the top of the mountain we got an amazing view of San Juan del Sur and the whole bay! Dad, Miya, and I also had the luxury of being the only ones, unlike the massive group that I went with when Courtney and I zip lined in Arenal last year. Because it was just the three of us with our two guides we weren't able to take that many pictures because we were constantly swinging from one line to the next. But because it was just the three of us Miya and I were able to go down one of the last lines upside down, with our guides of course.

Miya and I before we started

After that we met up with Mom who waited at the office, and the truck took us into town. San Juan del Sur is a cute little touristy town, far more populated than where I live so I was in a HUGE city! We made a stop by a pharmacy so I could see if they had a wrist brace for Mom, no such luck though. We headed over to a bar that was on the beach that our friend had recommended to us called Iguana, we were all so thirsy that we got drinks and some nachos to share. While sitting at the bar on the beach we were visited by many people walking by trying to sell us things, the only time I showed any interest was when the guys came by selling Nicaraguan vases, which I eneded up buying one from a street vendor instead.

Mom, Miya and I enjoying cold drinks and nachos on the beach
There's Jesus on a cliff

After leaving the bar we walked around town exploring the little nooks and cranny's of the colorful town seeing what they had to offer. I never realized that San Juan del Sur seems to be a gathering place for people all over the world. We met a guy from Argentina, who was nomad traveling the world making jewelry, he seemed pretty cool and nice to talk to, probably because he wanted to sell you some jewelry. By the afternoon we were about ready to head back up to the hotel, and luckily saw the hotel owner driving the panga into town and were able to get a ride back with him.

Guys walking the streets selling beans

We spent the afternoon in the pool relaxing, but in retrospeck Miya and I would have rather traded in our time in town for more time at the beach at Playa Maderas. We did stay in the pool until we got too cold, meaning the sun went down, and headed back to the condo to shower up for dinner. We took our usual table in the restuarant and I ordered my last fish meal of my vacation, fish and chips. Miya made sure to save enough room for desert, carrot cake and ice cream.

A storm came in Dad and I had already headed back to the room, Miya and Mom stayed in the restaurant with the wifi waiting for the storm to pass to get the laptop back without water damage. We packed up as most we could that night since the driver was going to be by at about 8:30 to take us back to the boarder.

Mr Bear had to renew his visa too

The boarder crossing into Costa Rica was much more strict than getting into Nicaragua. When we got to Costa Rica we stood in a line that lead to another line, I felt like I was at Disneyland, but it took us less than an hour to get through the whole process. We were all holding our breathes to see if our rental car would be in the dirt lot that we left it in, luckily it was there waiting for us.

From there we began our journey back down to Costa de Oro, the drive took us a little over four hours. The most enjoyable part might have been watching a group of Costa Ricans trying to get a semi out of a mud puddle in the street, it wasn't just any old semi either it was loaded with wooden logs and stuck there for at least a half an hour. From there I went to Laugna Mar with Mom, Dad, and Miya for dinner, so Miya could experience Pablo's fine cooking. She also enjoyed his desert sampler platter that I believe was intended for the whole table to share but she fought off our forks. Mom, Dad, and Miya patrolled with me a little later that night after we all took naps, unfortunately the only momma turtle they saw had a poacher sitting with her so we just kept walking.

It was sad to see them go the next morning, but even weirder to think that I will be home in a little over a month! I can see the season starting to change with fewer turtles coming up these past few nights. But we have been getitng rain for the past three days, Santos said because it didn't rain that much in October it will rain more in November, we will see if this theory is true.



Beach Day in Nicaragua

Yesterday was an adventurous day to the beach day in Nicaragua.  We learned at breakfast, we are pretty much the only ones staying at the hotel, with the exception of a couple from Chicago we met at the pool yesterday.  The hotel owner drove us down to the “surfing beach” Playa Maderas, where there is a hostel and a couple restaurants.  Upon dropping us off Greg also explained that around the point there are a few other little beaches if we want to go explore. 
Tide pools and slippery rocks
Miya slothing it in the shade

Juanita's Kitchen

My attempt at being Clark Little, I don't think he has much to worry about

Well, we went to explore the other beaches around the point, and about a kilometer later we found a sweet almost secluded beach.  It had a shore break that reminded Miya and me of Waimea Bay and sticky sand that was more North Shore like than Ventura or Costa Rican sand.  We took out Dave’s GoPro for a little fun in the water and spent the day going back and forth from the water and the sand. 

About 1PM we started getting a little hungry.  This is where we were lucky that we were not on a completely isolated beach, because we had Juanita’s Kitchen behind us for some lunch on the beach.  Juanita’s was literally a little shack with two women manning the kitchen and a man taking orders, this might have been because he knew English.  We enjoyed sitting in the shade at the “kitchen” and playing a dice game mom brought me. 

About 3 PM we decided to head back over to the parking lot where we were dropped off at, next to the hostel Los Tres Hermanos.  The surf there did look nice; it wasn’t closing out and seemed to be consistent shoulder to head high waves. 

Once we got back to the hotel, it was about 4PM Miya, Dad, and I went for a swim in the pool, where we met the only other people staying at the hotel.  Mom iced her wrist; she took a nasty fall walking on the wet slick rocks at the beach while walking with her slippahs on.  We took turns slowly making our way back to our house to shower and get ready for dinner. 

The fish has been great here in Nicaragua, Mahi Mahi for every meal!  I haven’t had fish since I left the States, so my goal was to try and have fish at least once a day.  This is a goal that has been easily accomplished.  For dinner on my first night I had some fish tacos (not quite Cholo’s status but still delicious!), yesterday for lunch I had a fishplate, and for dinner a fish sandwich.  My other goal of the trip was not to eat rice and beans for the few days that I am away from the project, and besides my fishplate at lunch I have been succeeding in my goal. 

Kind of scruffy like Kai

Not something you see everyday in Carlsbad

This morning Dad, Miya, and I got up early and made our nature hike hoping to see sloths and monkeys, but just got cows, birds, bugs, chickens, ducks, and dogs.  We did make the 1 KM walk to the swimming beach (Playa Marsella), except it was kind of mucky since the river draining the whole valley opened up onto the beach and decided it was probably filled with lots of cow poop and not an ideal swimming beach.  Next up on the list is to go zip lining, Mom is sitting out on it partly because of her wrist and because she just says she doesn’t want to go.  Miya and I tried to convince her and told her she might regret it later if she doesn’t go.  After zip lining it is a short walk into “town” (San Juan del Sur) and we plan on spending the afternoon looking around and seeing what the colorful city has to offer.