I Like Turtles!!!!!!
The strong sunlight shining directly into my eyes from outside the window made it hard me to fall asleep again. It is already 10:30 in the morning and time for me to get up. Everything is so beautiful and peaceful outside. As I walk to the well to get bucket water for shower, the iguanas are quietly chasing each other and hunting for flies in the common room. After the bucket shower, it is time to do some laundry and then reading time on the hammock. Around 12:30pm, when the diving volunteers are back from their second wave, it is time for lunch. Lunch for today is spaghetti with mushroom, corn and coconut cream sauce. In the afternoon, I went for a swim in the ocean to refresh myself from the hot temperature and did some base duties such as cleaning the common room and the toilets. Soon it is 6:30pm and it is dinner time. The best part about dinner is always the dessert. Today’s desert is apple sponge cake and it is supper yummy. After dinner is more time to spend on the hammock, looking at the stars and listening to some music with other volunteers.
And finally, it is 10:00 PM, and my work of the day has officially begun. This week is my third week here in Pez Maya as a turtle volunteer. From the end of June to the second week of November is the nesting season for sea turtles, during which they quietly come to the beach every night to lay eggs and then swim back to the water. That is why I start working at night every day. Every night is an adventure because you never know what is waiting for you on the beach. Sometimes we find cute little baby turtles. Sometimes we see big green or loggerhead turtles laying eggs. We measure the size of the turtles and record the nest that they were making. Sometimes when the turtles are not nesting at good locations, we have to move the eggs to places further away from the water. However, sometimes, particularly when the moon is very bright, turtles do not come out to the land. In that case, we would not find many things.
We walk along the beach for approximately 5 km every night, and we finish patrolling around 3 am to 6 am depending on we encounter on the beach. It is amazing how much I have learned about turtles, from zero through to patrolling every night for the past three weeks. Although it was somewhat physically challenging for me at the very beginning to walk several kilometres on the beach every night, I still think coming here to Pez Maya is one of the best decisions that I have ever made. Not only because I have been able to come so close to observe the beauty and to appreciate the unique characteristics of the sea turtles, but importantly, I have got more to tell other people after I go back home and to university about why we ought to respect the intrinsic value of the sea turtle species, and how we ought to protect and improve their living conditions.
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