Friday, November 19

Life in Hawaii, Guatemala

"We buy turtle eggs HERE --> Quetzal/dozen"

I was supposed to cook last night, but instead a North Carolina businessman invited us to his nearby resort, Hotel Casa Bella. We hopped in the back of the ARCAS director's pick up truck, rode to the other side of Hawaii, and had a lovely dinner of fried chicken and beer. I devoured a breast and two legs in under five minutes - mmmm, protein. Johnny, the owner of the hotel, lives and works in North Carolina; he and his family visit Guatemala once or twice a year, and he's currently in the country working on the property. It's such a nice place - really luxurious, especially compared to where we've been staying, but still affordable. It'd be a great place for a family vacation (hint Brown family hint). It's right on the beach, about fifteen feet from the ocean, and there's an awesome crystal blue chlorinated swimming pool. I felt so refreshed and disinfected.

Speaking of disinfection, Danish volunteer Emile has been complaining of a two month old mosquito bite. It seemed infected, despite the round of antibiotics he'd taken, and after lunch today he noticed the wound wiggling. A few minutes later he'd squeezed a full grown maggot out of his leg. It was one of the most disgusting things I've ever seen. Emile's reaction: "I have a tropical DISEASE! I need to update my Facebook status..." Heaven help me if I ever have an insect living under my skin. Eduardo, the park's coordinator, says this particular type of maggot is only found in the most northern part of Guatemala and in Costa Rica, where Emile spent the first two months of his trip. Good.

Emile and I in the hatchery

Tonight I cooked pasta, green beans, cheese toast, and peanut butter honey granola balls for everyone. The no bake dessert was a huge hit. My Dutch friend, Joy, is leaving tomorrow and asked me to write the recipe in her travel notebook. She said, "we call them sweet balls!"

I've taken some good photos and videos of sunsets and baby turtles; as soon as the internet connection is strong enough, I'll share them with you. One night we released over 400 babies at once. It was amazing. Unfortunately, while I was busy with the turtles, sand fleas were busy with me. I've mentioned insect bites before, but these are the worse yet. I worry for my sanity. It's a good mental exercise, though - fighting the urge to scratch when my brain can't focus on anything but the itching.

High tide is at 1:20am tonight. Two groups will patrol - one group at 11pm (I'm thankfully in this group) and another at 3:30am. Until then, some of the volunteers are watching a movie on a laptop, others are reading. I'm catching up on emails and trying to keep one of our six month old puppies, Thunder, from stealing my sugar cookie. Yesterday Thunder and/or his sidekick Flash ate ten of my tomatoes. Our deaf USA-resident English springer spaniel, Lyra, would approve.

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