Let the Games Begin...Jalova Olympics!!!
Being a 6 month intern here at Jalova in Tortuguero National Park, one of my assignments is to organise and execute a project on a given afternoon. This is part of my leadership course. I chose a team consisting of 1 month volunteers Rob and Emily to help me, and together we came up with some fun and silly games to play on the beach. Four volunteers were leaving the following morning so it was going to be a good send off and way to spend our Friday afternoon off.
We organised 2 teams, trying to distribute skill sets and attributes evenly. The jaguars and the red-eyed tree frogs were the eventual names, imaginatively thought up. Some pretty ridiculous face painting helped to set the tone, and after some team photos and a few digs at each other, we were off to start the event on the beach.
First up was beach tennis which proved to be fairly even between the teams by the end of it, with a few wins to either side. Some awesome shots and dramatic dives were had, and lots of air shots too, not to mention any names. A nice rivalry between Rob and Frank was blossoming early on. Jags and Frogs went head to head in the form of Frank and Heather over a few rules and points played.
Next the dodgy sounding ‘eggs up the bum’. Our eggs were actually some egg sized seeds collected along the beach, and whilst held between the cheeks, the teams were racing in the form of a relay, and dropping the ‘eggs’ into a hole in the sand. The Jags and the Frogs were neck and neck when it came to the turtle relay. This involved the teams in a relay race in the form of human wheelbarrows in pairs, sack racing, and egg ‘n’ spoon held in the mouth.
The teams were really close by the end of that, although the frogs just edging ahead, perhaps due to Jaguar Emma struggling to get her feet inside the sack, before even attempting to hop along Tortuguero Beach. Once completed, each team member dropped the spoons from their mouths (they had been digging away their turtle nests with no hands), and raced over to the waves to begin doing fine turtle impressions dragging their bodies up the beach to the finish line. It was a funny sight. Leatherback, Hawksbill and Green turtle techniques were adopted. It came down to literally a neck and neck race between Megan and Aline to get their bobbing heads over the finish line first. Megan inched ahead at the end giving the Jags a deserved win to take them into the lead. The Jags clawed ahead further after throwing their eggs into the turtle nest first to complete the turtle relay.
With just one event left, the frogs needed the win to finish on 50 points level with the jaguars. Before heading back to base for the treasure hunt Emily had discreetly prepared, everyone ran into the Caribbean sea to cool down and wash off. With the treasure hunt under way, members of each team had to find clues hidden around base and then solve them to help them locate the next clue. The frogs stole the win with Aline finding the winning egg. At 50 points apiece, everyone was a winner and we all celebrated with some delicious chocolate. It capped off a great afternoon, where everyone seemed to have a good laugh, and it was a cool project to organize and run.
Farewell to those volunteers that left us, Rob, Emily, Aline and Emma. Safe travels and thanks for all the hard work.
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