Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Começo me apresentando: meu nome é Lorena, tenho 24 anos e sou uma brasileira que, atualmente, vive em uma das maiores e mais populosas cidades do mundo, Sao Paulo. Sempre fui uma dessas pessoas que cresceu escutando a respeito das maravilhas da natureza e da vida selvagem; fosse fauna, fosse flora. Mas nunca tinha, de fato, vivenciado seu funcionamento, sua harmonia e equilíbrio. Há nao tanto tempo atrás, aprendi sobre a riqueza da vida simples. Mas nunca consegui me aprofundar dentro dos meus mínimos detalhes para viver de com o meu "mínimo suficiente". E recentemente emergiu, em mim, o questionamento a repeito de como seria conviver em comunidade com a natureza, sem disputas e sem conflitos. Dentro de tantos outros pensamentos, estes foram os principais combustíveis que me movimentaram e tanto me transformaram durante minha vivência na Bahia Drake, fosse com: as pessoas, o trabalho, as plantas, os animais,... o ecossistema. Em tao pouco tempo, aprendi liçoes tao imensas, intensas e profundas a respeito da vida, que nenhum curso, mestre ou professor poderiam me propiciar, pois esta é uma dessas experiências que precisamos encarar por conta própria para compreender.
Foi observando e acompanhando o nascimento de inúmeras tartarugas, desde a desova até a libertaçao. Foi trabalhando em prol de manter funcionando uma ideia, um ambiente e uma comunidade. Foi aprendendo que podemos fazer grandes transformaçoes, movimentando pequenas atitudes - como a de ajudar um simples besouro a se levantar todas as manhas, pois ele sempre se cai de costas durante a noite e nao pode mais sair de seu lugar. Foi, também, observando o dia, a tarde, a noite e a chuva. Foi, e com muita ênfase nesta parte, observando as pessoas que trabalham duro todos os dias para manter vivo o espìrito em comunidade que existe na vila e na fundaçao. A experiência é completa em cada mínimo detalhe, aqui, e sem dúvidas posso dizer que carrego, agora, comigo, aprendizados que fazem parte de quem sou.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Time in Rio Oro changes you as an individual. I have never encountered a place that has altered my perception of the world so much. When I arrived, I saw the glamping aspect of the camp that everyone had talked about. All the people in Drake Bay mentioned the amazing cooking and long days spent free from technology in Rio Oro. But after my first patrol, my perception of the entire place changed. Instead of farm, isolated and stuck in time, I saw a piece of paradise. 
And if the camp impressed me, I was absolutely hypnotized the first time I saw a mother turtle. I could not believe that anything so primitive could be so beautiful. When our guide went to run his hand across the top of the shell, the trail of his hand left glowed a brilliant blue. I noticed the glow in the sand for the first time. When you disturbed the sand, it created a shower of stars where you walked. I tried to look up and down at the same time (allowing me almost faceplant over a coconut) because the stars were so bright and the sand was so beautiful. Luckily, we walked with no light so I could observe my surroundings as they were meant to be seen. I wa
s fortunate enough to encounter a turtle who was nesting too close to the high tide line on my first night. We had to move the eggs in order to save the babies from destruction from the waves. With gentle encouragement from my guide, I caught the eggs before they touched the sand. My blood was pounding against the walls of my ears and I knew that I was grinning from ear to ear. My movements became automatic for a minute while I fantasized about being a vet. I snapped myself back to reality quickly because I knew this was something I needed to remember forever. The entire week away from reality is an experience of a lifetime and I cannot wait for my next trip to the isolated paradise that I called home. 

Saturday, 17 October 2015


When thinking back over our cuatro weeks with the Corcovado Foundation nosotros find it hard to put words to our experience.  Every day was a new adventure. From tortugias with three flippers to elusive mammals eating mangos and chips on our front porch, you can never guess what’s going to happen next!
Over the tres semanas we spent in Rio Oro we saw almost cien olive ridley turtles(lora), tres Tortuga negro y muchos tortugitas. The rugged and remote location of Rio Oro [plus lack of wifi] really made us feel closer to nature. The local ninos(Oscar y Wilson y loco Wilber) that came with us on our patrols helped us to learn some basic Spanish [as you can see throughout our blog post it has expanded immensely]. We learnt about the tides, marea alta/ marea baja and le mar, la luna, le cielo y actividad por el tortugas.
Some activities we got to partake in at Rio Oro included,  ordenar sacar leche con vacas and making queso from said leche, washing the water buffalo, a ver monos y VAMOS A MONTAR A CABALLO, leading Costa Rican jungle treks (without Muñeco), playa clean up and so much more. One of our personal highlights was to see the guapa roseate spoonbills, a bird that we never thought we would see.
In Drake Bay our favourite job was relaxing in the hammocks at the hatchery. Taking part in exhumations allowed us to see underdeveloped tortugitas and other factors that effect and impede the growth of a turtle.
Overall, this experience has changed us for the better, allowing us to expand our knowledge of tortugas, tico culture and leadership skills. We have blossomed throughout our Tortuga journey and we will now forever glistening and sparkle like the bioluminescence that twinkles in the arena between our toes, like the Estrella fugaz above our heads (a glitter sandwich if you will) and the glow of the Tortuga carapace will forever be in our hearts.

And who is the elusive WE that we speak of, that’s for us to know and for you to find out.  xoxo gossip goat.

Con Mucho Gusto,

Lucia, Karla, Flash y Muñeco (not Cocoa).

Friday, 16 October 2015

I have just spent a week in Rio Oro and it was definitely one of the best weeks of my life! The rustic setting surrounded by monkeys and scarlet macaws followed by night patrols on the beach made my week an unforgettable experience. Before coming here I had never seen a turtle up close before and just ten minutes into my first patrol we saw an Olive Ridley! We measured her and tagged her for future identification, a process of which we do for all turtles we see. Each night I saw at least three turtles and one night we saw fifteen! Communicating with the locals who we patrolled with was really fun even with my broken Spanish who were very patient and lovely and I was able to learn all new turtle and beach related vocabulary. During the day when we were not patrolling we had time to make coconut carvings of turtles and the like and relax and read in a hammock in the shade. Also doing monkey censo in the mountains and horse riding which consisted of galloping through fields and ending with lunch in an idealic stream. One evening we were even lucky enough to go to a Costa Rican baby shower which was an enjoyable experience and gave us a taster of the locals' lifestyle. All week, although we had seen many turtles we hadn't yet seen any 'tortugitas', yet on  our last night we saw two nests hatch and I finally saw some babies! I am really looking forward to this week in Drake Bay and having the experience of a home stay with a local family. Pura Vida!

Monday, 12 October 2015

I have only been in Drake Bay for a week now and it has easily been one of the best weeks of my life. The sheer diversity of Fauna and Flora is mind blowing. Every day is a new adventure, I have already experience so much. We went scuba diving a few days ago and it was so unbelievably beautiful. We saw a Green sea turtle, sharks, stingrays, more ray eels, an abundant amount of fish and colorful coral. I think it was one of the best days of my life.

 Another really special moment was when I was woken up by my host family screaming ´´Peresozo!´´ I jumped out of bed as quickly as I could and ran across the road to find a three toed sloth slowly crawling along the ground and eventually make his way to a tree. Everyone was so excited, it was a really special moment.

Yesterday I had a hatchery shift in the morning, at around 8am two baby turtles hatched from a nest that had hatched the day before. It was the first time I´ve ever seen a baby turtle so as you can imagine I was ecstatic. I whipped on a glove and carefully grabbed them and put them into the bucket. We walked them down to the beach and then released them. It warmed my heart watching them make their way to the ocean. It really made me feel at peace.

Even just going down to the beach is awesome. We either ride or walk down and will take the boat across the lake or walk through the lagoon. I especially enjoy the walk through the lagoon. Sometimes you can see monkeys and birds up in the trees and small fish as you walk through. The bridge is my favorite part, I feel like I´m in Inindiana jones!

Costa Rica is the most beautiful place I have ever seen and having the opportunity to do this project has really brought be so much joy. I can´t wait to see what the coming weeks will bring! 

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Es ist wirklich schoen hier. Heute haben wir einen Ausritt durch den Wald zu einem Wasserfall gemacht und das war einfach nur super schoen und aufregend.
Letzte Woche war ich in Rio Oro. In einer Patroullie haben wir zehn Schildkroeten gesehen und ganz viele kleine Babys. Wenn ihr hier ins Projekt kommen solltet, muesst ihr auf jeden Fall auch nach Rio Oro gehen.
Aber Costa Rica an sich ist wunderschoen und hat so viel zu bieten. Es ist super spannend, die vielen Tiere zu beobachten und die Umgebung zu erkunden.
Viele Gruesse

Friday, 2 October 2015

During our stay in Rio Oro many things were eye opening. First off, working with sea turtles is an amazing thing that has to be expirienced first hand. During night patroll one may be very tired but as soon as a turtle or nest is spotted the long walk on the beach is well worth it. Secound, being educated about the hardships the turtle population is facing is devestating. Poaching and over fishing is leaving these creatures with many problems. Working alongside the people in Rio Oro was very satisfying in knowing that we were helping atleast some of the population. This location is very remote so be prepared for quiet days in order to save your energy for the night time.
Greetings from Drake Bay, Costa Rica!

It is ABSOLUTELY STUNNING here. There is life everywhere... monkeys, snakes, crocodiles, butterflies, birds, AND of course... sea turtles!

For the next couple of weeks, I will be volunteering with the Corcovado Foundation in Drake Bay. The foundation has a few programs, but I am specifically volunteering with the Sea Turtle Conservation Program.

I am so happy to be in this place. It is so clear that Drake Bay is an incredibly special and life-altering corner of the world--hidden from the hustle and bustle of non-sustainable and urbanized societies.I think it´s best to explain how incredible Drake Bay is via a typical night on patrol...


I met Alberto, my local leader for the night, at the hostel at 7:30PM; we grabbed our gear, hopped on our bikes, and made our way to beach. The bike ride takes about 15 minutes and we have to cross the local airstrip, take a boat across the crocodile lagoon, and then we’re on our way.

Even with a pretty intense series of sea turtle conservation crash courses, I was a little nervous for my first patrol. The entire night, there was an unbelievable lightning storm that lit up the entire beach every minute or so… it was beautiful, but really disorienting. We don't use white lights on the beach so as to not disturb any turtles, so as soon as I would get somewhat used to trying to walk in a straight line in the dark, the lightning would throw me off again. My poor leader must have thought I was the most uncoordinated human… I had to grab onto him more than once to keep from falling over and even still I ended up in the sand more than five or six times; it was quite comical. We can use red lights (sea turtles cannot sense red light) every now and then, which is really helpful. It was quite an adventure.

As I mentioned before, on patrol we walk up and down Drake beach looking for turtles, tracks, nests, etc.

A picture of our beach that we patrol...

In total, we walked something like 5-6k last night. At this particular site, you’re lucky if you see one turtle if any on your patrol, so I didn’t get my hopes up just in case.

After about two or three falls in the sand and maybe three or four laps on the beach, Alberto looked at his watch and said it was just about time to check on some nests. None of the leaders speak English, so the four-hour patrol doubles as a four hour Spanish lesson… I can really feel my Spanish improving; it’s amazing.

So, we headed towards the nests not knowing what to expect. As soon as we came on the scene, we turned on our red lights and there they were!

¡TORTUGUITAS! Baby turtles all squirming about trying to escape the nest! It was amazing. So much new life… it was unbelievable.

We grabbed our relocation equipment and went to work. Overjoyed, I pulled on some latex gloves and carefully started counting the baby turtles by picking up each one and putting them carefully into a bin with some ocean water at the bottom. There were a whopping eighty-three, beautifully healthy baby turtles in the nest!

We then carried the bin closer to the ocean shore and gently tipped the bucket over. Immediately the baby turtles started squirming their way to the ocean. It took them all about 15 minutes to get to the ocean and even then I had to pick up some stragglers heading back towards the nest to point them in the right direction.

For most of the process though we just sat on the sand and watched as they made their way. I’d be lying if I said the entire process didn't cause me to tear up a bit… it’s impossible to describe witnessing and being a part of such a natural process.

I am so lucky.

I have censo duty tomorrow morning from 5AM-12PM and I am so excited. For censo, we wake up at around 4:30AM in order to be on the beach at 5AM. We walk up and down the beach once or twice to check and see if the patrols missed anything, and then go and watch over the hatchery for the rest of the day. Some nests are supposed to hatch pretty soon, so maybe I’ll see some more babies!

Looking forward to tomorrow and everyday after.
Elegí Bahia Drake por ser el lugar que menos había oído hablar de Costa Rica, porque cuando preguntaba a alguien en mi país siempre me recomendaron otros lugares por desconocimiento de éste y cuando me puse a investigar vi que aquí se escondía un paraíso que necesitaba explorar. En general toda la Península Osa, quizás con un acceso algo más complicado pero sin duda una parada obligada para todo aquel que decida conocer este país.
En esta zona muchas personas se dedican al turismo y siempre estarán dispuestas a enseñar acerca de los "rinconcitos" que aquí se esconden. Desde el Parque Corcovado, con la gran cantidad de fauna que alberga hasta el bosque primario de Drake con sus cascadas, sus playas vírgenes. Aquí se ofrecen tours para conocer los distintos tipos de aves, ranitas, tortugas, la práctica de snorkeling o buceo en sus aguas cristalinas, paseos en bote donde poder avistar ballenas, delfines... aquí no hay tiempo para el aburrimiento!
La magia que transmite este lugar, el sonido, el aire puro, todo... sinceramente no lo he sentido en ningún otro sitio.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

I´m Maya and I´ve been here for almost a month. Tomorrow I´m going to Rio Oro for a week for the first time and I´m excited to see a ton of turtles. The first day I got here we had orientation. In this orientation we discussed patrols, shifts, and a way of transportation throughout town: biking. I never learned to ride a bike so this was a moment of anxiety. As I started to tell people that I couldnt ride a bike they all looked at me in astonishment like I had just grown a third eye. One of my friends, Molly, started teaching me how to ride a bike. It was not easy. I fell a lot and have the cuts and bruises to prove it. As the weeks went on others from the hostel started to help me. They would hold the bike so I could balance or give me tips. Then the locals started getting involved. First two girls around age ten started trying to teach me, at this point I could last a few seconds before comming face to face with the ground. One of the girls, Wendy, was my host sister so she told that I should bring a bike home the next day so she could teach me how to ride a bike. I came prepared, bike and all. to my surprise it wasn´t just her helping it was her Aunt Angy aswell. They held onto the seat of my bike and ran next to me as we biked down the road. It was a rush! I was biking!!! it was so exciting! They would let go without me knowing and I would keep going by myslef. I was exstatic. However, getting started as a whole nother story. I tried to do it myself and failed most of the time. Now, about a week later I am briking to and from my host family´s house from the hostel. It still takes me a few tries to get started and I can almost bike in a straight line. Learning how to bike was such an unexpected accomplishment from being here. I am so excited to take this skill wherever I go. Thank you Drake Bay!