Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Coming Back

2 years ago, I came to paradise. I fell in love; not with a person but with a state of being. I found happiness, a sense of community, and wonderful friends. I learned a lot from my previous time spent with the Corcovado Foundation and the months/years that came after. I matured into my womanhood and discovered something inside myself that was triggered by the wonderful things we do for this community. But most importantly, returning back to paradise I realized something very important.

Eva and I began our walk to the river called Rio Oro on a bright sunny afternoon to tan and enjoy the ¨Pura Vida¨ lifestyle. Exchanging stories (new and old) of El Progreso and the project, she turned to me and asked, ´Well, what is different about you?´ and as I began to launch into a series of physical differences such as my short hair and the fact that I was no longer ¨gordita,¨ she cut me off and repeated the question, ´But what is different about you?´ pointing at my chest. Thinking back, the answer should´ve been more obvious to me but I explained to her, ´well, I think I´ve accepted that not everyone can like me and I´m okay with that. I find it easier to let things roll of my shoulders and not affect me. I´m happy with my life.´ And Eva looked at me and said, ´so you love yourself.´

I don´t know why but it had the strangest impact on me, our conversation. I was left wondering for days why I hadn´t seen it before. I´ve come to the conclusion though that returning to a place in which you loved so big will open up different parts of you. In that sense, I believe it is important to return to the places that you travel to. It´s like a puzzle... the best kind. I´m so happy to be back and create more radical adventures.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Jungle Days

     The beauty in the Osa Peninsula is astounding. I´ve only been invovled with the sea turtle conservation program for 2 weeks but it is the most beautiful place I´ve been too. So far during my stay I´ve seen Green Turtles, Olive Ridleys, an ocelot, squirrels, howler monkeys, crocodiles and an assortment of other amazing wildlife. That´s not even mentioning how beautiful the beach is during the day and even more so at night. Walking the beach at night is breathtaking at times; look up and the sky is riddled with stars, look down and you can see the sand light up as you walk. Regardless of time or day, the crash of waves is a constant sound that pushes out any silence.
     What has made this experience even more special is the people I´ve met. I´ve met many locals, volunteers and research assistants who are amazing people and after my trip is through parting with them and this great place will be difficult.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Han pasado cinco días desde que me embarqué en esta maravillosa aventura, y por más que lo intente no podría expresar con palabras todo lo que siento. Desde el primer momento que llegué siento que estoy en mi casa. La naturaleza, las personas, los animales....todo pura vida!!

Estoy viviendo con una familia local, algo que recomiendo incondicionalmente. Son personas agradecidas, generosas, siempre pendientes de que todo esté bien y de que no me falte de nada. Estoy teniendo la oportunidad de conocer mucho acerca de su cultura, de su pasión por las pequeñas cosas. Todo ello te cambia y te hace plantearte mucho acerca del estilo de vida tan diferente que tenemos.

Por aquí todo el mundo se interesa en que podamos aprender más acerca de la naturaleza que nos rodea, conocer más acerca del curioso mundo de las tortugas, lo importantes que son para mantener en línea el ecosistema. La fundación junto con la asociación local, todos unidos para lograr un mismo objetivo.

Todavía me quedan muchas cosas por descubrir, cada día hay algo nuevo, nuevas sensaciones, nuevos sentimientos...

Sin duda una experiencia recomendable que espero muchas personas puedan llegar a conocer, porque la mejor manera de entenderlo es vivirlo.

Ich bin jetzt seit fast einer Woche hier und die Zeit vergeht so schnell! Die Gastfamilie ist super nett:) Es ist nur ein bisschen schade, dass ich mich nicht wirklich mit ihnen unterhalten kann, weil mein spanisch leider nicht gut genug dafuer ist.
Es sind gerade echt viele Freiwillige hier, fast 20. Die meisten sind aus den USA, Kanada oder England, also reden wir untereinander eigentlich die ganze Zeit englisch. Aber es ist schwierig, zwei Fremdsprachen gleichzeitig zu lernen. Ich mische spanisch und englisch oft ausversehen;)
Aber die Tiere hier sind super interessant und ich habe schon viele schoene Voegel, aber auch Schlangen und Krokodile gesehen und beim schnorcheln konnten wir viele schoene Fische, Delfine und Schildkroeten beobachten.
Aber leider habe ich noch keine kleinen Schildkroeten oder Eier gesehen.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Una experiencia diferente!

Diferente es la mejor palabra que encuentro para describir esta experiencia que estoy viviendo, pasar de vivir en una gran ciudad a este pequeño pueblo fue un gran cambio para mi. La primera semana fue la mas difícil, pero al pasar los días uno se va acostumbrando al estilo de vida y al ritmo de trabajo de las patrullas nocturnas y las otras actividades que se realizan en el hostel.

En este momento estoy siendo hospedado por una familia local del pueblo. No tengo de que quejarme ya que me tratan muy bien y son muy buenas personas, hasta me tratan como uno mas de la familia.

Una de las cosas que mas me gusto de esta experiencia es que logre conocer a gente de diferentes países y aprender de otras culturas.

Para concluir el post voy a decir que es una muy linda experiencia y que se la recomendaría a cualquiera! 


A nest hatched the other day. Some people are going to do the exhumation in just a few minutes, to examine the nests and see how many eggs made it, which ones didn´t, and if there are still babies digging their way out. If there are still babies, they´ll collect them and release them later, once it´s dark out and there´s a little less danger out on the beach for tiny turtles. There´s never no danger out there, not for something that small.

So this is my fifth week here with the program, my fourth in Drake Bay. Honestly, I´m not sure what I was expecting when I got here, but I´m loving every day, and I´m definitely not looking forward to leaving next week. Everyone here - staff, locals, and volunteers - are passionate about what they´re doing. When we aren´t on patrol, we´re learning about each other´s home countries, playing cards, helping around the hostel... There´s never a dull moment here.

It´s the most fun I´ve had in a long time.

I have been here 3 weeks now and today is my last day. I was nervous to come as first but I am so glad that I did. I was shocked at my host families house though. I have never lived in such a run down house before without basic necessities such as a shower head or doors. It was so nice that they make the best of it and think nothing of it. I feel extreemly blessed that I was able to experience life outside of my american bubble. I am so glad I came and loved the experience :)

Monday, 7 September 2015

Taking it all in

Blogging from within the charmingly rustic confides of the Backpackers Hostel in Drake Bay is almost surreal. Although I've been here for only a little over two weeks, the 'Pura Vida' lifestyle has seamlessly settled in and I've quickly become accustomed this simple way of life.

My first week, spent at Rio Oro, ensured that, with the complete lack of electricity, I made the most out of my time here. This lack of modernity did not however have any effect on our day as we were always too busy to notice that it'd been hours since we'd last checked our phones. On our arrival we were taken around the premises that almost felt irresponsibly luxurious. In addition to our en-suite tent, we were treated to hammocks, candle-lit paths and jungle gardens illuminated at night by, what seemed like, hundreds of fireflies. Every day has been different, we've swum in waterfalls, lassoed cows, fished in lakes and strolled picturesque, completely deserted beaches. There really has not been a dull moment. In the same manner, every patrol has brought with it something new. Some nights so busy we were running back and forth between nests, trying our best to tag and measure the turtles. Work that you can't help but feel passionate about after spending time with the people here, immersed in the local culture. Some 'uneventful' patrols spent walking the moonlit beach, gazing at the impossibly clear sky whilst having conversations about things you'd never expect to be able to, with people you've known for such a short amount of time. If technology was ever missed, it was soon forgotten by the magnitude of everything around you, and if anything it has begun to feel almost like a hindrance to experiencing real life. Would we had paid as much attention to the sound of the jungle had we been able to watch movies in our down time? Or been as impressed by the sheer volume of water that can suddenly erupt from the sky?

Any person coming to Drake Bay will undoubtedly have a good time; the people are welcoming and understanding, the surroundings are beautiful and there's a never-ending list of things to do. Experiences like these allow you to take away whatever you put into it, you can come and have a great time, and for some people it can be just that. But if you crave more, this place has a wealth of intelligent, passionate people, scenes of sheer beauty that leave you in awe and 'things-to-do' that will inspire you and encourage you to reflect on more than just the superficial.

Thankyou for everything

Saturday, 5 September 2015

The Drake Bay Rookie

The second I arrived at Drake Bay Backpackers I instantly felt welcome by all the volunteers as they played card games, music and learned about each others home countries in their spare time. It was an incredible scene and a fantastic way to start my trip as unlike many of the other volunteers here, this is my first travelling experience. I was extremely nervous at first as I didn't know what to expect from the local culture, people and environment but I can happily say that I can think of no better way to introduce yourself to backpacking. Being surrounded by people from all over the globe with vast knowledge and tales of travelling, I quickly settled into the way of life over here.

I arrived in Drake Bay expecting to be working with the local community and turtles 24/7 due to the nature of the program, but quickly realized its so much more than that. At the hostel you spend every minute of every day alongside other people with similar passions and consequently develop very close relationships with interesting people from all over the world who make every day even better as you always have someone to share all the incredible moments with. I spent my first week in Rio Oro Beach where most of the work is done at night time when the turtles come on to nest, leaving 12 hours of glorious sunshine to take part in a huge range of activities to do. In the space of 6 days we went horse riding, fishing, climbed waterfalls, hiked through the jungle, swam and body-boarded the 6ft pacific waves, learnt how to lasso cattle on the local ranch, went to see live music at the local bar and of course, every evening we helped collect data on countless turtles. Being able to head back to camp after all these mind blowing experiences and share stories with fellow backpackers made every day and night that little bit more special.

Of course if you come to Drake Bay with an intention of seeing as many turtles as possible or helping out in the local community everyday then that would be encouraged, but for me the one thing that is left out in the information sheets is just how welcoming and friendly the volunteers are here and I strongly believe that is what I will remember most of all about this place. 

Friday, 4 September 2015

An Unexpected Journey

When I started my Masters in Sustainable Development it was always with the intention of being able to start a career in conservation.  My first trip to Costa Rica in September 2013 only helped to cement this desire. However as my degree went on and lectures were more about creating sustainable business solutions than conserving wildlife I began to lose hope that I would end up qualified to do my dream job.

When it finally came to doing my dissertation I thought that this at last would be my opportunity to really focus on conservation and do something that I was truly passionate about.  I contacted Rob at the Corcovado Foundation to see if it might be possible to conduct my research in Costa Rica, all the time at the back of my mind thinking it would probably not be possible, but I was in luck...and so here I am!

This is day two of what I know is going to be a life changing experience. This morning was spent on the beautiful beach, keeping a close eye on the hatchery where volunteers help to relocate turtle nests to protect the eggs from poachers and predators. Tomorrow night I´ll be heading out on a night time patrol looking for nesting turtles under the Milky Way (hopefully! It´s not called the rainy season for nothing!)

 Over the next few weeks I will be interviewing members of the local community about their involvement in the project and the difference it has made to both them and the incredible wildlife it was design to protect. I can´t wait!