Written by Emily
30 March continued...(cool)
After an angered and panicked conversation as to how the hell we were ever to show our faces outside the shed again, Rach and i decided to make the best of a bad situation, and so headed cautiously over to dinner in the vain hope that we would not have to sit, surrounded by a fog of anxiety on a lonley table. Dinner was rice and beans, something that would become pretty much the main feature of our lives as the days of turtle conservation passed by. Luckily, a spritely young Dutch boy by the name of Elias decided to take pity on us at the dinner table, and so our time was spent generally chatting to him and comparing English and Dutch culture.
Presently, Rach and I received our turlte-saving training, and were then sent on our merry way to our first night patrol. Night patrol, a hellish ordeal disguised as a worthwhile, animal conservation exercise, comes in 4 hour shifts at either 8pm or 12 midnight, and consists of a group of volunteers/staff/locals ploughing up and down the beach in the wet, fly-infested sand mounds, until that hallowed moment when a turtle is spotted, flippering it´s cumbersome way up the beach to lay some egg times. I was put on patrol with our unwitting roomate Abby, and Jairo, one of the locals. After about a million silent years of trudging through silty textured sand dunes, Jairo spotted a tortuga. He instatly handed me a pair of latex gloves and a plastic bag and shoved me forwards towards the nest with an encouraging grunt of ´venga!´ At first, the task of bag-holder, watching as the tutle deposited her future offspring into my plastic sack, seemed like the most magical experience possible. However, as the time wore by, the eggs kept coming thick and fast and my arms became less and less alive by the second, the awe was very much bleeding slowly, but surely into intense pain. Only Jairo´s spindly weight leaning across me to grab the full bag caused me to snap back to reality from a pain indused stupor, and soon we were back on the beach again.
By the time i retruned, blistered, exhausted, aching and covered in sand at 4am, a nice clean bed was the only thing that could heal the pain. I then remembered that i had no such thing, and instead was forced to clamber in the dark, under my shoddily erected mosquito net, into a damp-matressed crap-hole, that had become all the more so due to the fact that the middle slat of the bed had fallen out, causing a nice dip in the matress line for a delightful pile of sand to collect in. What tomorrow would bring, lord only knew.