Originally when asked to write a blog for this week at Romelia, I was going to title it “Work Hard, Play Hard” and it was going to be about all the fun activities that we do when we are not saving sea turtles. But things around here change so suddenly and some bad news from back home in Australia has forced me to say good-bye to Romelia in a few short weeks. This has left me to sit here and reflect over my time here at Romelia.
When I arrive back home, I am sure to have people ask that big question… “How was your trip?” However, I am starting to realize that it is impossible to sum up my experience in a few words. Although I have only just reached the intended half way point (3 1/2 months) of my Costa Rica experience, I can safely say that I have had some incredible experiences that I am never going to forget.
Like the first time I saw a sea turtle lay a nest, releasing hatchlings into the ocean, the fun times here with friends, having both a beach and a jungle almost all to ourselves, visa runs to Nicaragua, the nicknames, great food, long crazy nights, and sun-filled chilled out days.
It is crazy for me to think that right now I am laying in a hammock in a hatchery that I helped build, watching over sea turtle eggs that we all have worked so hard to protect during countless long nights with intense amounts of coffee, which we then release to the ocean like proud parents.
Of course there are times and things that you miss about home while you are here like family or friends or even more importantly…. A huge barbecue, cold beers, and hot showers. Coming from an Australian who has an indescribable love for barbecues and spends half his time thinking or talking about how much I want a steak with cheese, it is pretty obvious that Costa Rica and Romelia must be pretty special if I am willing to sacrifice it all to be here.
My time here at Romelia might be ending early but there is not a thing that I would change (apart from waiting until my plane ride to Costa Rica to begin learning Spanish). As with anything, it’s not so much about what you are doing but who you are doing it with. The volunteers, field assistants, managers, staff and the various other people that I have met on this trip are responsible for my amazing time here.
I want to say a huge thank you to everyone and I look forward to having you all visit me for a barbecue on my houseboat in Australia. Also to anyone reading this thinking about joining the family at Romelia, just do it. You will not regret it.
Luke (Also known as Kinka or Mowgli)