Written by Emily
After spending the day before at the beach, splashing around in the sea with Elias, Nathalie and Julia, and screaming as unidentified sea creatures brushed past our legs, we were in a pretty chilled mood this morning, despite waking in our usual disgusting, sweaty fashion to a breakfast of rice and freakin' beans. The day passed by in a sunny haze, invoving more hatchery duty, seiving with the locals and practicing the 3 Spanish phrases we had learnt during our stay.
The lols only really began today in the evening, as we were invited to attend a party at the house of Uri, one of the locals, for a farewell party for two members of staff. After conferring with Joao, we were informed that the walk to her house was straight down the dirt track off the beach and would take about 20 minutes. After walking with Archie, who was sporting a highly sexually -charged, pink shirt with floral cuffs for about half an hour, we began to complain. This annoyance stemmed mainly from the fact that we had all been put on early patrol that night, and would have to leave the party at about 7 o'rebel clock, giving us but 1 hour and a quater to spend there if we ever arrived. A further 15 minutes later, and we found ourselves with Joao, Christine, Archie and Nathalie standing awkwardly on the veranda of Uri's house, unsure how to conduct ourselves.
Presently, Abby bowled over, and asked 'what are you guys favourite colours?' A strange way to make small-talk and kick off a party, we thought, but it turned out there was method to her madness. A couple of young local girls were standing next to her with a huge basket of coloured bracelets which they proceeded to give out to us. After answering that my fave colour was usually purple, i was presented with a delightful green, red and yellow affair, but i couldn't complain. Soon after this, dinner was ready, and although it was again, a mainly rice 'n beans based dish, tasted amazing. Leepo, another local, soon broke out the cahuita rum after this, in a bid to get us nice and drunk before patrol, as if saving turtles from extinction wasn't hard enough sober. Luckily, or unluckily depending on how you look at it, I was saved from too many shots, as Greivin, a local with whom I was on patrol that night, suggested we should leave to get back to the station in time.
I was all set for another awkward, stunted, Spanish GCSE conversation as we strolled back, but on exiting the house, Greivin gestured to a large motorbike in the drive. Another foreign -exchange moment occured, as I was pretty sure of what was about to happen, but could't quite believe it... In my threadbare Primark flip-flops, shorts and no helmet, i clambered on the back, and asked in my bestest Spanish whether or not i was expected to hold onto him. He emphatically confirmed by grabbing my arms and placing them around his waist, to which i commented 'Greivin please, we've only just met...' The motorbike ride was one of the most intense experiences of my life, and there were many times where i was sure that death was on the cards. What made matters worse, was that Greivin decided to not even spare me the awkward conversation, turning literally round from the road to ask me about 'universidad' and 'hermanos' at regular intervals. I was so relieved to arrive back at the station, even though we almost crashed into the side of the shed as we did so. Thanking Greivin, i hurried into our shack to get ready for the impending patrol.
Once we had collected Christine, a Norweigian volunteer and the third member of tonight's tortuga crew, Greivin and i set off. It wasn't long before we found a nester, but even i, in my turtle-saving inexperience could see that this one had nested very much too close to the sea, meaning that her egg hole was full of water. Greivin commented on this by exclaiming 'es una tortuga loca! Idiota!' And leaving her to her own watery devices, we pressed on. A while later, and the three of us were trudging up the beach, complete with a bag of eggs that we had previously collected from a slightly less 'loca' turtle. As he needed to relocate the bag, Greivin had spent the last half hour angrily trying to call for back -up on the walkie-talkie, but receiving none, he decided that desperate times called for desperate measures. Handing over the spare walkie-talkie to me and Christine, he instructed us to walk up Sector A for 20 more minutes, and call for help if we saw a tortuga. As we protested with shouts of 'pero, Greivin!' He waved us away and powered on to relocate some huevos.
After a few minutes of walking and talking, Christine and i spotted the dark tracks in the sand that we had come to associate with turtle nesting. Panicking, i suggested we should try and get someone on the radio. Tentatively, Christine held the walkie-talkie up to her mouth and said 'Hola?' I then wondered over slowly to the potential nest site, and realised it was in fact a false crawl. No tortuga. A few crackly minutes passed, until Rangel's growly voice abraded through the airwaves-'Si?' Looking at each other, we realised that our Spanish powers could not get us through this. 'What should i say??' Christine asked me desperately. 'Er, 'nada'?' I joked, not expecting her to instantly hold up the radio and say just that into the handset. Suffice to say, Greivin was slightly regretful of his decision to leave us to our own devices.
Rach meanwhile, was having adventures of her own. (Read next blog)