Up, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, Left…

It’s here.

Finally, my voyage to the Caribbean Sea coast of Costa Rica has come to an end; and I still have a flow of emotions like ever before.

As I read back on my first few blog posts about this adventure, it’s hard to believe how dramatic, yet scared I was.

It’s been quite a long three months, ’tis true, and everyday day had its challenges; but the things that I’ve witnessed during my stay here are incomparable to many things I will come across in the future: baby sea turtle hatchlings, sloths, tropical toucans, caimans, Howler and Capuchin monkeys and so much more. To imagine what it would have been like to cut my trip short (as I was intending) gives me a feeling of disappointment. Sometimes what may seem like the wrong decision may play out to be the best one in the end.

And as I pack my things, and my emotions continue to ride the loops on the roller coaster that is my life, I can’t help but appreciate how much this trip has changed me for the better as a person: I now know how to bake many a things from scratch; I know how to kayak and paddle my way across a canal; I know what it’s like to be passionate about one’s work to the point that even the smallest mistake throws off the rest of my day until it is fixed; and I’ve developed better skills in handling myself in new environments totally away from home and familiar faces.

Walk the line..

It’s strange, you know; sometimes we often have to leave home in order to fully understand and appreciate the feeling of being there, and I most certainly do now.

Life is such a wonder, and even in the lowest of lows in our days, we must not resist the opportunity to look up and see the goodness that lies ahead.

We must not limit ourselves to low standards, low expectations, and short distances. There are endless possibilities if we just allow them to unfold, whether we know exactly what they hold in store. Just float, because you never know where the waves will take you.

And it won’t be my last Costa Rica,
but still,
Pura Vida,
Moi

Music for the Moment:
I wrote this post while I listened to this song as I found it depicted my emotions about this experience perfectly in song. I dedicate it to all my loved ones who supported me along the way – I honestly could NOT have done it without you all. Much love.

On to the next adventure…..

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“Move to the back! Nope, nope…keep pushin’ back!”

Shadowing the Group Bus

Shadowing the Group Bus (Photo credit: Mr_Stein)

So this past weekend was another little adventure within the bigger adventure: after surviving in the jungle for two and a half months, my body finally decided to give out for a bit and succumb to a small virus.

Of course I am no doctor, so the only option that would settle my mind and possibly my sickness was a trip to the doctor’s office.

And what a trip it was!

My day started off bright and early, leaving the station at five in the morning to catch a boat that would lead the station manager and I to a bus that would lead us to town.

I can’t say I didn’t prepare for the trip, but I can say I didn’t prepare that well. For some reason I assumed the town we were going to (Cariari) was only a few waves beyond the station – that was incorrect.

I was also not prepared for the doctor to inject some medication in my butt; yes I said it – my butt. The last time I can recall having that done to me was when I was about six years old in Jamaica, crying into my father’s lap, and having him comfort me with the bribe of a nice crisp patty and soda to drink after the doctor was finished.

Then when it was time to leave Cariari and head back to the station, lugging all our freshly-bought groceries and tupperware, the bus was so packed that we had to wait about an hour for another one to arrive. And one thing I learned while waiting in the somewhat bus line is that it doesn’t matter if you place yourself in the somewhat bus line; people will push and move in front of you anyways.

Something else that I learned as I endured the (still) packed bus ride back to the station was that the world, in the grand scheme of things, is just one really large global village. And yes, we can thank technological advancements and such for making that a possibility, but even those with the fewest of resources can still find similarities among each other’s cultures as if the borders separating our nations become, at certain moments in time, invisible.

It is also quite interesting to compare our differences as well. Discovering new cultures is what makes traveling so fascinating and, in my opinion, if the world actually became one global state, I’m not sure that interest to wander would still remain.

So as I sat on my newly bandaged bum wound while squished between a Tico on one side and a foreigner blindly discovering the hillsides of Guapeles on the other, I realized that no matter where you are, whether in Jamaica hanging on by the door handle in the old country bus or in the middle of Costa Rica finding your way via el autobús, it will always be a full ride.

Pura Vida,
Moi

Music for the Moment:

Pop Goes the Hatchling!

There is a time for work and a time for play; and so far I’ve had quite a bit of fun.

So! – on to the tasks at hand once again.

I finally got myself a (somewhat) new pair of glasses sent down here by my wonderful family, and now that I am once again with proper vision, I’ve been thrown back into the old routine of morning and night patrols along the beach.

A lot happened during the one month I was without glasses and only permitted on morning patrols: I saw my first ever hatchling, a leatherback baby turtle. It was absolutely ADORABLE, and just reminded me why my work here does indeed help. I say that because my coworker and I unknowingly stumbled upon the hatchling as we were checking the state of all the nests in the second part of the beach that we survey. Even more, this little hatchling was attempting to get to the sea from its nest, and was caught in some branches buried in the sand.

If we weren’t out there, and the sun completely rose and exposed its often scorching heat, the poor little hatchling probably would not have survived.

08/07/13: Look at him go!

Jimmy the Leatherback Hatchling –             08/07/13: Look at him go!

Nevertheless, I took it out of the debris, placed it gently in the palm of my hand, and watched as it slowly crawled out of my palm, flopping onto the still warm sand, to finally float and get whisked away into the sea. It was magical.

I also got to see three hatchlings of the rare Hawksbill species dig out of a nest I was excavating. One could even say that I not only saw them, and helped lead them to sea, but I also swam with them (not literally, as my feet were the only things deep in the water, but the hatchlings did swim right by my knees, so it counts as such in my mind!).

Now that I’m back on night patrols, I get to have more close up action with the mothers as they lay their nests, which is always a fascinating sight. Two nights ago, I got to read the tracking tags placed on the turtles’ flippers to monitor their movement between nesting sights for the first time. I also attempted to stop the turtle, but was unsuccessful (this time, at least!).

Ah well, still a work in progress..but isn’t that just life?

Pura Vida,
Moi

An Ode to Mosquitoes..

I just got bitten 12 times by the same mosquito. And so, this is what I have to say:

Nature’s vampires,
The real, the true,
Are the little bitty flies biting me and you.
They feed off our blood
And taunt us still,
Because they are so small
And hard to kill.
One bite is okay;
Two? Fine.
But more than five is NOT alright.
I could walk covered
From head to toe;
But the sun’s so hot that my skin must show.
To feel the breeze,
Yet embrace the bites.
Compromise isn’t always nice.
Hopefully the worst has come to pass,
for I don’t know how much longer I can last.
Still I can breathe, and am alive;
But mosquitoes beware, for you may not survive.

Sincerely,
Where’s the chalomine?

Back to regular broadcasting soon,
Moi

Music for the Moment: