Through the many months or weeks of each of our stays at Jalova base, there is one event that truly is the pinnacle of all surveys and wildlife sightings. Something that is so ground breaking and fantastic, that it only happens every few months, so as to avoid serious injury/illness due to over excitement for all involved. What is this mind blowing experience you ask? It is that fantastical, magical and mind boggling BEACH CLEANNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
For those who were not a part of our recent beach clean, let me take you through the ups, downs and overall excitement of the blessed event. The aim was simple. To clean 2 miles of beach of accumulated trash washed up from the ocean. A series of challenges resulted in ten chosen warriors; Sarah, Robyn, Roberto, Ben, Jessie, Imi, Josh, Warren, Fiona and Dave; each showing superhuman skills of agility, quick reaction times and scavenging skills. These chosen ten where divided into two teams, one to start at base and work to mile 16 and one to work backwards from mile 16 to base.
With tools in hand (garbage bags and gloves) we set off on the adventure that awaited us, even with some warriors scarred by the unfortunate events of the last beach clean which involved dragging trash bags through 2 miles of rain. But bravery is something that is needed for any undertaking and so we parted ways and looked forward to the amazing meal that night, with the dynamic duo of Michelle and Pepper cooking dinner.
As with most journeys of self discovery we each came to realise some very important facts. One, that there is a large number of shoeless people, mostly children, walking around the Caribbean. Two, that the best place to get any bathroom needs (combs or toothbrushes) or any cleaning detergent imaginable can be found on the beach. Three, turtle bones have the tendency to look a lot like plastic or cardboard and finally, that some garbage bags were never meant to hold actual garbage. But through learning these crucial facts of life we found some items that made our hearts stop and hold our breath; a legless, armless cowboy, that latter lost both his head and parts of his torso, a green fluro pig, a larger pink pig, a small pink pig, a decapitated elephant head, a yellow rubber ducky and a bicycle helmet.
Imi with her beach finds
And with us every step of the way, on a gallant steed (commonly known as a quad bike) was the ranger, Jorge, taking photographic evidence to document this great event in history. Something that will soon become legend in years to come. It will be told that Team Mile and Half, consisting of the great warriors of Sarah, Roberto, Warren, Josh and Imi, later known as Team Awesome, and Team Half a Mile being made up of warriors going by the names of Robyn, Ben, Jessie, Fiona and Dave, who would later be referred to as Team Efficient , together picked up 25 bags of trash from the beach, with the ranger on his steed and carriage (quad bike and trailer) picking up and transporting each and every last bag back to base.
Jorge and Roberto taking the trash off the beach
Later, over a very yummy dinner that night, both teams shared tales of discovery. We all agreed that it was a job well done. I am pleased to report that not one warrior has shown any signs of illness due to excitement in the aftermath of this truly life changing event.
– Imi, 3 month volunteer