Week Five – Yurtle the Turtle

We tend to get up early here.  Most people are up between 5:30 and 6:00am and going about their daily routine, plus the neighbourhood rooster gangs are up and cock-a-doodling for dominance, so sleeping in to say, 7:30 requires willpower and earplugs.  The other morning, I got up, washed my face, etc. and decided that I really wanted to go for breakfast, so I woke Aidan up and herded everyone out of the house.  We walked to the soda and had only been there for about two minutes when one of the guys from the Pretroma Turtle Protection Program came walking by, saw his partner and hollered that several of the nests had just hatched!

So, we followed along and watched as 86 brand new baby Olive Ridley sea turtles were picked up out of their protected nests and brought down to meet the water.  We held the babies which are about the size of my palm and, if they are lucky, will grow to be 2-3 feet long and weigh about 110lbs as adults.  The little turtles scurry through the sand towards the water.  As the waves roll in, some get knocked back up on to shore, but they turn and try again.  When they actually make it past the breaking surf into the water you can see their little heads bobbing along as they swim out to the open sea.  I think this was my favourite moment so far in what has been a month of favourite moments in CR.  I haven’t been adding pictures to this up to now because it takes too long to upload and send them, but I couldn’t resist sharing this one!

We went to a party at our neighbour’s house that combined all the gringos in town and many of the Ticos – about 30 of us in all.  It was nice to be able to get to know some people here better, particularly our neighbours Wilbur and Cecilia who live behind us and have a couple of boys that are 8 and 9 years old and cute as the proverbial button.  I would like the kids to spend some time playing with other kids here and making friends so that they will pick up the language better.  It’s scary to realize how many of the gringos here have been living in CR for years and never really learned Spanish beyond what they need to find their way around a restaurant or store.

A couple of days after the party we had a rain day.  And, for the first time since arriving here, I felt homesick.  There have been times before this when I missed a certain person, or a particular thing, but on that rained out day, the terrible Valley-Girl-esque thought that kept running through my head was: “I’m tired of camping now.”  I just wanted to be somewhere actually clean and dry for a minute. Wear something pretty.  Maybe go get a latte and catch a movie.  Make a phone call.  Be anonymous.  All those tiny little things that people take for granted when they live in a place like Kelowna.  However, the day passed and the thought passed with it.  All part of the adaptation process I guess.

So, I was back to adoring CR and wanting to stay in Punta Banco forever.  But alas, it is the beginning of a new month and we are staying longer then we had anticipated, which means that we need money for rent.  In Kelowna, we would hop in the car and go through a TD drive through, but here it’s not so easy.  Neither Punta Banco nor Pavones have a bank.  In order to get to a bank, we either need to get on the dreaded 5:00am bus out of here and make the jolting three hour tour (each way) into Golfito, or hitch a ride with someone else.

Our American neighbours said they were going into Paso Canoas (on the border) on the 1st and that we could go with them, so we thought our problem was solved.  But the day before, they announced that word had gotten out they were making the trip and there were 4 other people expecting to go, so we got left behind.  Never fear though; he said we could borrow his car.  So two days later we set out to make a road trip.  But on the other side of Pavones we realized we were running hot and a look under the hood told Aidan that there was a problem with the coolant – namely that there wasn’t any, due to a leak.  Fortunately, we had parked next to a stream, so we emptied 6 litres of water into the tank and made our way, s-l-o-w-l-y and with many stops, back to our village.  So I guess it’s a good thing that we like it here, ‘cause now it seems that we can check out any time we like, but we can never leave.

I just hope we can get to a bank for rent money before we get evicted and have to build a shelter out of driftwood.

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