To my dear friends from Preserving Nature’s Wonders in the Galapagos this summer,
I can’t believe it’s already been a few months since our adventures in those magical islands ended. I can still taste those sweet, fresh oranges we ate off the trees by the dozen in Campo Duro as well as the delicious flaky croissants America brought us from the bakery every morning on Isabela Island. Every time I see the moon start to get full I’m reminded of our nights spent on San Cristobal Island lit only the moon and stars (and then I here Scott’s campfire stories….ring…ring…)
This past summer was truly amazing. The natural beauty of the islands far exceeded my expectations; swimming with penguins and sea lions, sunbathing with marine iguanas and fending off the “Beach Master” are memories forever imprinted in my mind. And all the hard work of our students went directly to preserving that natural habitat. Our digging, weeding, and cleaning at Campo Duro, though at times tedious, proved more than fruitful as the first ever giant tortoise nest was laid by one of the resident tortoises! Wilfredo and the staff at Campo Duro were more than grateful for GLA’s hard work. Wilfredo decreed that all GLA students will be the godparents of any baby tortoises that come out of the nest at Campo Duro.
The hard work that every single student put in this summer reflected a labor of love of our natural world. The endemic plants we left to grow up in the highlands of San Cristobal will remain as a testament to the impact of our work to preserve the Galapagos’ natural state. We were able to experience life in the Galapagos firsthand through massive rainfalls, rough seas (those boat rides!), the long walks, and even water shortages helped us all to understand true day to day life of Galapaganians and appreciate the conveniences in our own lives at home.
You should all know that you left the Galapagos Islands a better place than when you came and I think it could also be said that many of us experienced a life-changing experience from our trip. Thank you for helping me make awesome memories in a wonderful place. I will never think about the Galapagos without thinking about Hakan, Fabricio, Crystal, all the other wonderful local people we met and stayed with and also each of you.
I hope you all are adjusting back into school and life at home and I hope that you’ve been able to share your memories and photos with friends and family at home.
Thank you for all the wonderful memories,
Galapagos 2014: Preserving Nature’s Wonders
Don’t just relive your summer abroad. Experience GLA in a whole new way next summer, in a country you’ve never been to before. Then check out Liz’s favorite memories below.
- The view from the top of the Sierra Negra volcano on Isabela Island
- Being covered in volcano mud on the way down from Sierra Negra
- Making homemade marmalade over an open fire at Campo Duro
- The drastic improvement of my soccer skills over this past summer thanks to all the practice
- Our circles of trust and sharing while out on the islands
- The roughest boat ride EVER and all the pukers!!
- Planting my own baby tree on the highlands of San Cristobal
- Fabricio’s scary stories….
- The amazing food from our beach barbeque