There is a Finding Nemo quote for just about every scenario in your life. Today's blog comes to you courtesy of Crush, the super awesome surfer dude turtle. For those times when something cool happens in your life and you wanna tell people who weren't there about it. This is how Crush would tell you ….
"Co's we were like woaaah. And I was like woaaah. And you were like woaaah"
Lucky for you my version of events over the last week is slightly more detailed …..
So, I start my days at 6.30am. Not because I want to. Because there is a psycho rooster that has made it his mission to destroy any hope of sleeping in! I shall name him Mr Psicópata (that's Spanish for psycho of course).
I get up and venture out for an early morning beach walk. Unlike Mr Psicópata, the sea birds make me smile every morning. The Peruvian Pelicans glide graciously along the waves just before they break, so peaceful and elegant. Staying millimetres above the waves, never hitting the water and gracefully departing as the wave breaks because it no longer gives them enjoyment. Meanwhile, in the background petrels look like they've either been shot out of the sky mid-flight, or suddenly just decided they're over this whole flying business and they drop in a heartbeat, directly down into the water. Of course, they have spotted some tasty treat for breakfast, but it's such a funny combination to watch … elegance vs dive bombing. I wonder if there is a social class in the bird world??? If so, my money is on the pelicans totally looking down their beaks at those peasant petrels. Like that embarrassing relative that you hope people won't work out you are related too.
The downside to my morning walks are the dead creatures washed up on the shore. Yes, I know! I'm sharing the good, bad and ugly here people. But don't worry - I'd never include photos of this stuff. The main industry in Zorritos District is fishing, and you can't help but wonder if this contributes to these sad sights. This week it has been a dolphin and a seal. The smell is overpowering, and the black vultures hang around, slowly dismantling the carcasses till it looks like a deflated balloon someone didn't bother to pop from a party 2 weeks ago. The vultures stop what they're doing as I walk by to glare at me … "just a wee reminder you flightless little kiwi girl … you're in my world now". Scary looking buggas.
Week 1 of my English language teachers training is over - it's so intense! It ALMOST made me want to come back to a CCCFA or a KYC project …. almost!
We have a great balance of people with 3x Aussies, 3x South Africans, 2x Canadians, 1x American and 3x Kiwis. A mixture of guys and gals and range of ages from early 20's to mid-60's. The days are spent in class learning methodologies & techniques. The evenings this week have been spent completing written assignments. Next week the evenings will be spent actually teaching (yikes!). The company has an arrangement with the local school here to run free English language night classes for the locals. As teachers in training, we get to immediately use what we have learned by running these classes, from beginners through to advanced. The classes start at 6pm and run through till 9pm so it can be very long days for us (not helped by Mr Psicópata of course!). Apart from our trainer, there is no one living in Zorrittos who speaks fluent English, so the locals are excited to see us in town because it means they get to come to class soon! The classes are rostered out so we all get to teach all levels, multiple times - first up for me is teenagers (again … yikes!)
Last weekend most of us were jet lagged and settling into life here, but this weekend we made up for it. Friday night was all about watching football on the big screen, on the beach, with a bonfire - the best way to watch NZ and Peru battle it out. The locals joined us and we all felt a bit flat after a very uneventful game! Hopefully the home game in Peru this week will make up for it. Saturday we jumped in a couple of rented vehicles (complete with drivers) and headed out on a team road trip. Destination …. El Nuro to swim with some giant sea turtles. It was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!!!!!!!
El Nuro itself was an eye opener. It has a landscape that feels like a wasteland and the people appear to be very poor. As we drive in kids run up to the car and bang on the boot, asking for money. Our driver keeps us safe by turning on the A/C and locking the windows. He shooed the kids away when we got out and guided us to the ticket counter. It was another world once behind the large metal gates blocking off the wharf. There were markets selling a million and one turtle key rings, turtle magnets and turtle soft toys. There were food stalls, changing rooms and fisherman going about their livelihood - despite the tourists mostly getting in the way.
You'll see from the photos, the turtles hang out here at the wharf because this is where the boats come to shore bringing in their catch for the day, cleaning up and restocking for another day on the water. The area is protected, and the locals have turned it into a successful little eco-tourism business, although it's apparent the money doesn't necessarily stay in El Nuro I guess. An area to one side of the wharf has been surface roped off for the tourists to stay within, and the turtles come and go as they please. Time to jump in!
They seem very social and happy to hang out with people, gliding back and forth just under the surface, popping their heads out of the water now and then. Even though at times they swim right for you, there is no aggression, just gentle inquisitiveness. I was lucky enough to be in a quiet little corner away from everyone else, they passed through, sometimes 3 at a time, quite happily coming over to check out the New Zealander. Their neck and fins are incredibly soft and squishy and they seemed to like the neck massages I was giving them. Also, you'll be pleased to know that I could not help but talk to them in a 'surfer dude' accent … maybe that was the real reason they headed over to me??? lol (for those that have no idea what I'm on about - google 'Finding Nemo turtle' and watch a clip from the movie) There was also a giant sea lion hanging out near the boats for a free feed, although personally, I think he was there for the photo opportunities. Such a poser. There are some shots floating around somewhere (excuse the pun) of me with my turtle posse, so if I manage to get hold of them I'll chuck them on next time.
Hard as it was to leave the giant turtles, we made our way to Mancora for lunch and a bit of shopping. (Yes Lianne, I made it here!) Mancora (pronounced Man-Core-Ra) has just over 8,500 locals and is famous for its beautiful beaches, surfing & kitesurfing. It has more than 30 resorts along the beach & a myriad of restaurants, nightclubs, shops and cafes. The water averages around 24 degrees. It's lively and so different to the rural town we are staying in. Needless to say, we'll be heading back there to stay for a weekend, before we go our separate ways. But that's another blog ….
Last but certainly not least ….. a BIG HUGE THANK YOU SO MUCH for the comments, messages and likes on the last post. Unfortunately, I am unable to respond or 'like' your messages but trust me, I'm loving them!! I really appreciated hearing from you all and I certainly felt the love! I am sure when the homesickness kicks in, or I'm having a 'total loser' day, I will again read and reread those messages. Keep em coming! xx