Dear Allie, Amelia, Bella, Christophe, Dom, Faith, Hannah, Hazard, Imy, Jenna, Jesse, Julen, Julia, Laurel, Layla, Leah, Lyla, Maya, Naomi, Sage, SiSi, Tenley, Tori, and Tristin,
Somehow it seems like just yesterday that we were all unloading the bus at Caño Blanco about to embark on our new adventure. We remember the mixed reactions you all had to seeing the boats that would take us to homebase and to the news about walking in the mud barefoot while carrying your luggage. Despite not knowing what was really ahead, you all demonstrated curiosity and courage while the boats got stuck on the sandbar in the rain, in the dark, in the unknown. You trekked, arrived and calmly settled into your new home in the jungle. Awakened by unfamiliar sounds, you continued to acclimate, you all bonded very quickly and demonstrated your commitment to the program…it was impressive!
There were various days that seemed endless in between the delicious arepas for breakfast and us coming together for chow circle yet somehow you found the energy for night patrol. You worked as a team during beach clean and structured activities and managed to keep each other laughing and of course to interject with singing at any moment. We hope that moments like seeing the cayman at home base or helping Jason forage coconuts will remind you of how interconnected with nature we could be and how coexisting is a reality. You all brought meaningful insight and shared personal perspectives about conservation that at times went from teaching moments to full on debates!
We made note of everyone bringing their all to our day in town with the artisans, community members and kids, to those engaging in conversation with Macko, speaking Spanish with the guides, being grateful to the kitchen staff and mindful of keeping home base tidy.
Thank you for being your best selves! We wonder if that’s something that has shifted in some of you since. As you know lots of shifts can occur in a short amount of time; we witnessed them in some of you, and hope that you are acknowledging them in yourselves.
We’ve been reminiscing, and there were definitely many highlights from our time together, so I’m going to mention a few and let you all bring up the rest!
-The epic bus sing alongs
-Lacey love and restraining yourselves from sharing the love
-The guest guitar and ukelele
-A particular someone screaming way too often
-Eating, eating and more eating… definitely the group with the healthiest appetite!
-The creative beings you brought to life during our council
-Learning to make cook with the women from Parismina (out of curiosity, has anyone made empanadas or prestiños? We know miss Sayleen and miss Yolanda would be proud)
-Catching the waves at Playa Negra
-Surviving the mosquito and ant bites
-Learning some new moves with Maya and dancing up a storm
-Walking through the storm at 2am during the second night patrol shift
-Flying through the cloud forest and seeing a sloth actually move
-Discovering first hand why we should not throw toilet paper in the toilet
-Spotting the trifecta of monkeys and all the other wildlife with Jason on the boat and on homebase
-And most importantly, anything that has to do with a roach
Lastly, we’d like to share some words of wisdom. A wise human once said, “Be the change”. Remember, change is contagious. Keep spreading what you have learned, what you were challenged by, what inspired you and what makes you the future leader we all got a glimpse of during our time together. It was lit.
Pura Vida Maes,
Adriana and the Sea Turtle team