~Saved by the Sea Turtles~

~For the past 3 months or so, I’ve been contemplating how to write this story. Do I write it with the swirling emotions I felt because I finally had a chance to see turtles? Or do I write the cold facts about the grievances those poor creatures endure? Does this story end with a broken heart or a happy little turtle scurrying off into the sea as the sun sets beyond the ocean?

This story is not just about the greatest turtle experience ever in the history of all turtle experiences (biased opinion since this was the first and only turtle experience I’ve had so far), but it’s a story with no real happy ending. I set out to learn about the sea turtles and those tiny turtles taught me so much more than I could have ever imagined.

Arriving in Junquillal, Costa Rica on a hot overcrowded bus was uncomfortable, to say the least, but the sunset that evening made it all worthwhile. You really haven’t savored a sunset until you watch fresh newborn baby turtles pushing their tiny legs through the sand fighting for their freedom. Watching those ambitious little babies swimming their very first strokes towards the depths of the dangerous ocean is beyond any words I can write. It’s an emotional event. I didn’t know if they would make it. And most of them probably didn’t.

13509069_10157119828460444_9055118651432322492_nThe odds are not in the turtles favor, unfortunately, but the biologists and volunteers do everything they can to help save them from poachers and other various threats. I was placed at a small turtle conservation hostel called Verdiazul, which means green/blue in Spanish. In the orientation, I learned a lot about the practices of the project and the harsh realities of the sea turtles demise. The chances of the turtles returning to the beach to nest are slim to none once they are released. If they do happen to survive, the turtles will always come back to the same beach they were born and lay their eggs in the area.

The release is a beautiful thing. It made me feel like I finally had a purpose while traveling and that all of my planning had paid off. My very first night at Verdiazul, we released nearly forty babies.

The three species of turtles that the conservation had interactions with are Black (Negras), Olive Ridley (Loras), and finally the most endangered species on the planet; Leatherback (Baulas).

IMG_20160213_022258

Each night the volunteers patrolled the beach for 3-4 hour shifts. Walking up and down the shoreline searching for nests, tracks or nesting mother turtles. We would spend thirty minutes walking to either the south or north ends of the beach in small groups then we rested and sat in the sand under the stars. During the mild nights, it was so tranquil I could just stare at the moon for hours listening to the waves crashing against the shore.  But when the wind picked up you would have to hide your face from sharp spitting sand in your eyes and mouth. My skin stung from some of those windy patrols. But it was the wonderful people who made those nights fly by with laughter and great conversation. I made some lovely new friends and felt very content in the passing of time.

The bitter-sweet part of this story is where I had my dream come true. My wish to encounter a Leatherback; the largest species of turtle in the entire world and the most critically endangered, finally became real on my 3rd patrol on Playa Junquillal. That was the sweet part. The bitter part is that I experienced this incredible event with someone who is no longer in my life. It’s hard to tell the story without him in it as it was such unbelievable trip. It’s a shame these memories are slightly clouded by pain now when I reminisce.

The siting was magnificent regardless. As the glow of the moon bounced off the water, the seven hundred pound mother slowly slid her way onto the beach that night. From twenty feet away she looked like a huge rock and if it hadn’t been for the slightest of grumbles as she pulled herself through the sand, we probably would’ve walked right by. We came to a sudden halt when we realized the beautiful mama Baula was directly in front of us and then slowly backed away to give her some space.

Some would say she was ugly with her wrinkled scaly face and fishy scent, but I was mesmerized by her enormous beauty. The volunteers who had studied sea turtles told us that she was probably more than fifty years old! They determine the age by the size of the turtle. The older they are the bigger they are. We watched in amazement as the mother moved up the beach towards some nearby grass, looking for the perfect nesting spot. Our group leader called the rest of the volunteers from a cell phone as Baulas are rare and she knew everyone would come running to witness the endangered creatures trek to lay her eggs.

1898003_449591305173189_1683409440_n

Tears of joy welled up in my eyes as I patiently waited to see what would happen. Just as the turtle neared the grassy mound, she started to turn around back towards the sea. At that moment a group of the senior volunteers circled around her to take down some information. I did wonder if she was spooked by the people surrounding her at first, but they started to take measurements and record the markings on her shell. Apparently, this was not the first time the mother had traveled to this beach to nest. I was astonished to learn that the markings on her shell and the irregular shape of her fins matched those of the Leatherback babies we had released from the hatchery earlier that day.

IMG_20160213_022219

Although the mother turtle did not end up nesting that night, I felt privileged to be in her presence none the less. The only images I have of her are in my mind, just for me as I was not able to take any photos. Turtles are very sensitive to light and that’s why they come to nest at night, guided by the moon. But through the darkness, I saw something most people never have a chance to witness. To know that her kind is almost extinct and that I had the chance to see a short part of her journey, well, the feeling is indescribable.

Looking back, I understand that a 2-week en-devour did not have a huge impact on the sea turtles at all, nor can I say that I saved them. My wish to save the sea turtles will only ever be a desire and not a fact. I was merely a small aid to the conservation project in its efforts to improve the chances of the turtles survival and educate the community about the threats to these glorious reptiles. I did, however, learn a great deal about the life of a sea turtle and I will forever be grateful for that.

10431871_489861497868477_1069012161_nSo how did the sea turtles save me you ask? Well, they taught me some very valuable lessons:

Swimming out into the unknown will either kill you or make you stronger.

Letting go is an essential part of life and although it may be the most difficult thing you ever do, it will only pave the way for a new life.

And finally; even though your initial release into the deep waters ahead of you may inevitably end in disaster, the only thing you can do is move forward like those little babies swimming their very first strokes towards the depths of the dangerous ocean in the direction of that fading sun while it sinks away.

It may have taken months to come to these conclusions, but now I am here at the shoreline ready to see what lies ahead. And yes, sadly, my story ended with a broken heart, but my survival odds are greater than the turtles and I am very fortunate for that. In the end, my experience with the sea turtles turned out to be much more rewarding than I expected. I left the conservation full of love, knowledge and admiration for those involved with this remarkable cause. It was worth every second and I will never forget it.

And that’s my story of how I was saved by the sea turtles.

1723356_1696194280662945_1862422288_n

Good Morning Monday ~Why I Travel~

~Just two weeks ago I was coming home from Costa Rica after travelling around for over a month. Now I’m home and back to work just as fast as I when I left. Back to the day job and the regular old routine. But while I was travelling I felt like time stood still. It felt like I was gone forever.

The worst thing about travelling… is the travelling part.

Line-ups to check your bags, then more line-ups to scan your other bags and then the terminal gate-wait. Not to mention, the line up to board the plane, the slow pitter patter of shuffling feet, the immigration cards to fill out and all the bags everywhere. Long hours on flights that can get horribly bumpy and cramped. Headaches and nausea can suddenly hit you. Sometimes your legs or arms fall asleep.

It’s the worst!

So why do I travel?

I travel for the stamp on my rugged, worn out passport at my destination.IMG_20160213_175810

I travel for that first glimpse of a place I’ve never seen before.

I travel for the story, the excitement, and of course, the knowledge.

I travel to feel the earth and sand beneath my feet. I mean; to really feel it.

I travel for the joy of travelling.

I travel for the most amazing experiences I’ll ever have. 🙂

These are the BEST parts about travelling!

Travelling is the best thing I’ve ever done. It’s helped me appreciate everything on such a deeper level. Travelling gives you something to look forward to and memories to remember forever. It’s extremely difficult to put into words how you feel when you have fear, anxiety, exhilaration and wonder all wrapped up in your belly together like a swirl of emotions all fighting to get out.

I always want to keep coming back to that feeling: Pure joy.

With each flight and bus ride I took on my journey, I would have my hands pressed up against the windows of the buses and planes with that silly little smirk on my face.
There’s a whole world out there and I just went and explored it. Well, a small part of it anyway. 🙂

Travelling changes you. It opens your mind to new things and new sensations. It brings out your inner child and taps into the fascination bursting within your deepest core muscles.  We are not meant to stay in one place on this earth. I believe we were meant to explore and learn about our surroundings. How else will we prosper if we know nothing of the greatness that surrounds us?

Do you feel the same? Do you have a burning passion for travelling around the world, like me?

I want to hear your travel stories!

I also want to pursue a career as a Travel Blogger. It’s been on my bucket list for far too long. So here is where I can start; with you.

The Travel Blog will have to start with some stories of course. There’s a lot of research to be done. And there will be an overhaul of all my current content already on this tiny little blog. I’ve looked into more and more travel blogs to get some ideas on how to make money while you travel as that is what I’ve always wanted to do.  The Freedom-Preneur movement is on an overwhelming up-rise because travel is becoming so much more popular among young people these days.

Over the next year, I will be creating an entirely new blog from a different platform. I’m really excited to start a new project. But for now, I will share some stories with you and I would really love your feedback on my newly discovered content as I try to rebuild my tiny blog after a long hiatus from writing.

So I hope you enjoy my travel stories 🙂 as I always love to share them.

Costa Rica was country #11 for me. How many countries have you been to?

Here is my plan… LET’S CHANGE THE WORLD!!

Here is my plan…

~LISTEN UP!~  what has the world come to?CHANGE

It seems that with each scientific breakthrough… everything just gets more confused!

As a whole society what are we to do?

~WHY?~  is there so much madness?? Is there any end to this detrimental sadness??

Well I… I think I have a plan… and it’s gonna consist of every woman and man.Lisa and me!

~WELL!~  there’s one key element you’ve got to know!

It’s absolutely vital for all of us to grow!

You’re probably thinkin this plan isn’t work… but I’ll tell you right now DON’T BE ONE OF THOSE JERKS!

Cuz all it is… is a shift in thought.

Somethin so simple that we’ve ALL been taught!

So I’m gonna say now to every boy and girl…

All we gotta do is CHANGE THE WORLD!!

I SAID LET’S CHANGE THE WORLD!!FEET

~Just stop!~ stop whatever you’re doin!

I might sound like I’ve got the crazies a brewin…

and YES I just might be crazy… but what you have to know is we’ll be pushin up daisies…

if we don’t change something real fast!

I’ll tell ya right now we won’t survive the BLAST! ~NO!!~

No I don’t know why some people still don’t see ~NO!~ Nobody has to live in this poverty!!

~SO!~ what’s on my mind and devouring my thoughts?

Somethin so simple that we’ve ALL been taught!!

All we gotta do is CHANGE THE WORLD!!

I SAID LET’S CHANGE THE WORLD!!

I SAID LET’S CHANGE THE WORLD!!

Bucket List

bucketlist

~London, Paris, Spain and Rome~

~To travel far away from home~

~Walk across the Great Wall of China~

~Travel farther east of Regina~

~Save a child’s life who needs saving~

~Brave a deeper sea worth braving~

~Float above the clouds so high~

~Jump out of another plane 40,000 feet in the sky this time~

~Touch a pyramid and gaze at the mighty sphinx~

~Clean up a beach that really stinks~

~Help a helpless animal live out its life~

~Carve a wooden sculpture with a really sharp knife~

~Convince a group to follow my efforts to save humanity~

~To experience health, freedom and longevity~

~Aid the poor and hungry by any possible means~

~Live a life fulfilled by my desires, hopes and endless dreams~

Good Morning Monday :) Smiles all smiles :)

Good morning Monday 🙂

Smiles all smiles
What is a day worth living without a smile?
Smiles bring good mornings
The sun has already kissed my skin
Garden seeds germinate and bears come out from once they did hibernate
Bugs and more bugs and little bites when they come out at night
Sow the seeds of life
Sustain all that can be sustained
Breathe the blossoms’ sweet scents and all the rest

elf-596155_1280Smiles all smiles 🙂

Smile and get a smile back just for you
A laugh, a chuckle
I can’t wait to pick blackberries and fill the bucket
The summer breeze makes me want to be outside all day
A seat up front to watch the veggies grow
Hydrate and pollinate
A big hug for a tree
A mindfulness of what is oh so green
Smile with nature

Smiles all smiles 🙂

Happy Monday 🙂

Humanity. Where are we?

What do these words mean to you?

Freedom
Peace
Health
Justice
War
Police
Resource
Corruption
Privacy
Lie

Humanity. Where are we?

anonymous-275868_1280Where are we right now? That’s a scary question. Looking at all the advances, technologies, leaps and bounds we have made, we should be proud… right? We should be safe. We should see hope for the future.

How do you feel?

These words tell a story. A story of how we came to be at this very moment. This moment when our food is being tainted and our water is being wasted. Places that are drying up into a clump of dust where there should be water. People who are dying at a young age with a rifle strapped to their back and all the while the small percentage of all the richest people in the world become even richer in a single swoop and then a family dies of starvation. Then another, and another.

Justice? What is justice?

When people who are meant to keep us safe start killing the innocent when he clearly told everyone that he could not breathe. How can we feel safe? When secret police are knocking at our doors because we love the environment and do not support pipelines that destroy our lands. There is no such thing as fresh clean air and chem-trails line our skies all the while the drug lines pile high as the rippers rage.

Is there a way for us to save ourselves from this?

man-438076_1280 protest-438095_1280

When the words that are meant to keep us content are the words that scare us most.

So what that we have exceeded expectations. How many consequences will we all have to face when it all goes down? Riots fill streets and the activists speak up and finally more people are reached.

But is it enough? We still need support.

So stand up and let it be real. Be proud of that sign and hold it up high for we are NOT going down without a fight. Together we are united and if a letter or a vote or a high pitched note reaches just one more ear let us all cheer.

Take any action you can whether it be a post, a conversation, a scream or a simple recommendation to your fellow man. Let freedom and peace mean what they mean and then maybe we can please ask for our sacred vocabulary back!

protest-464616_1280

The weather is changing and the earth is crying out her cries that we are all taking too much and we all know what that means for us. Volcanos exploding and snow covered mountains that kill because the ground begins to shake. Will this island survive the big quake?

These are all questions I ask myself when I think about the definitions we live by. By and by the rivers rise and cars are swept away and our human rights lie in the hands of a madman.

11205988_10155528565875444_3187121624483464130_n

Can you please help me stop this nonsense today? Share. Unite. Stand together.

I want those words to make sense again and be able to share the wonderful stories with my family and friends and even someday; my children. I want to tell them of the battles we won when we rose together and fought for each other as if we were one.

The lies and corruption and the police and the wars will unravel into nothingness and we will be healthy and whole once more.

Stop Harper. Stop Monsanto. Stop BIG PHARMA. Stop the pipelines. Stop the pollution. Stop the chemicals. Stop the killing. Stop the wars. Stop them all.

We live here and I for one am sick of this sh*@T!!

New ECOBC Website Premiere :)

leaves-160960_1280~I am very excited and happy to announce a new project I’m so grateful to be a part of. Introducing BC’s very first Eco-Directory: ECOBC!

I will be working alongside my friend Mr. Christoph Ravin Cook as the content writer for this wonderful new website which is now under construction. ECOBC aims to promote Eco-friendly, green sustainable living through organizations geared towards this way of life. Please check out the Facebook page and like, share OR send us a message if you would like to be included in this amazing directory.

Help us spread the word!

Whether it be an organic food market, an all natural product, a service you offer to promote health and wellness we want to include all green local businesses and other green businesses around BC. Go green!!

Thank you friends!

fblogoblack

About us:

ECOBC is British Columbia’s première online business directory dedicated to a vision of providing its community with a user-friendly, one stop resource for companies, products and services that are dedicated to environmental sustainability and responsibility.

Whether you are looking for an Eco-friendly cleaning product, a LEED certified contractor, Eco-friendly clothing or employment within the environmental protection industry, you will find it here at ECOBC.

If you do not see a product or service or would like to recommend a business or initiative and feel they would be a great addition to our directory, please fill out our “request a service” form and we will be sure to add them to our pages.

ECOBC cares…

http://ecobc.ca/

Happy Earth Day!

~Happy Earth Day to this glorious planet we live on and to every soul that inhabits our mother earth 🙂 Each and everyday I shall share my gratitude and love for the ground I walk on, the air that I breathe and the trees that share oxygen and life.

nature-670025_1280

Thank you beautiful earth for having me as a guest. You have shown me the great beauty you hold and the wonderful powers you posses. Thank you for the privileges I have each day and thank you for spinning on an axis where I am blessed with the sun, the moon and the stars.

THANK YOU MOTHER EARTH!

Let us all show our mother earth how much we love her. Plant some seeds and grow something beautiful. Hug a tree and show that tree some love. Start a compost. Pick up some garbage. Send out positive loving vibes to this grand planet we are so fortunate to have.

If only for a moment, cherish this earth. Cherish this life xox

Happy Earth Day 😀

 

International Business Paper #1- The Conservation Controversy

~This week I am finishing the last part of my business program in International Business. My last course. I have three papers to write and here is my first one:

Write a 2-3 page paper on International Business of any kind. 

The Conservation Controversy

There is an overwhelming amount of poverty, animal decline, and other serious problems in different countries all over the world. There are also many conservation efforts being made and a large amount of travelers either teach English abroad or volunteer at some point on their journey. After some research I’ve realized that there is a controversy hidden within the concepts of volunteering and working in these sorts of international establishments.

There are a number of different ways to get involved in a conservation or volunteer project. You can work by teaching English, rescuing trapped sea animals from the ocean, cleaning beaches or even collecting sea turtle eggs that could potentially be snatched up by poachers. Sometimes you get paid really well and sometimes you just get free accommodations while you work. In some cases you have to pay to volunteer. There is a conservation project for every endangered animal on the planet. The argument is that some of these conservation projects are no more than a glorified travel experience for a backpacker. Young travelers can handle wild animals and go home to tell their friends what an amazing experience they had while making a difference at the same time. As for teaching English, it is said to be a modern, Western-style education system that is taking away from ancient cultures and creating a worldwide mono-culture.

In either case, the Eco tourism and ESL industries are booming. The tourism industry itself is heavily relied on to generate revenues for many communities and travelers rely on these types of projects and jobs to fund their travels. Rosaleen Duffy, a world expert on wildlife conservation, wrote a book called:
Nature Crime: How we’re getting conservation wrong. The book talks about western-style conservation projects harming wildlife and damaging the environment. There is also a compelling documentary called: Schooling the world, which explains the westernized ideals being carried over into other cultures and diluting traditional societies.

With travel becoming more and more popular in developing countries, communities have come to depend on these associations within the tourism industry. International politics surrounding this means of travel have critics extremely concerned. The loss of wildlife and the lack of education around the world is disheartening to say the least. Is there any way to continue these multicultural practices in an ethical way? The social benefits that are coupled with Eco-tourism and teaching English as a second language are essential for many economies. Is there a better way to carry out these practices?

Every year thousands of Canadians with good intentions venture out into foreign countries as overseas ‘Voluntours’ to help build houses and schools, improve communities and educate small children. How could this be such a bad thing? Some environmental and humanitarian activists say that for-profit entities put poverty on display and exploit the people in the families that are involved. It’s hard to make sure the best practices and knowledge when so many of us want to be included in the rejuvenation of our environment and our people. How can unskilled workers who want to make a real difference succeed if time or money is a problem? The short term programs don’t seem to be the best solution in providing to the needs of those overseas communities.

Volunteers need experience, awareness and on-the-ground expertise when it comes to any conservation project. The volunteer travel industry is advancing at a rapid pace and with the concerns around this trade it is difficult to foresee the future and where it will lead us. It goes without saying that there is a lot of good that goes into these programs and the genuine relationships that develop in these subcultures are commendable. With corrupt political systems in place, astonishing poverty rates and the ever growing population, what else are we to do to protect those who are less fortunate and in need?

I handed this in this morning 🙂 Hope my prof likes it!

Good Morning Monday!

A good morning Monday to you!

hand-302802_1280Change is in the cool winter air and I know that change must start with me
There is so much good in the world I want everyone to see
I won’t focus on the negative because that will drive me mad

I don’t want to feel angry, hurt or sad

When an adorable little girl dances in a subway station and others join in
When a young student pushes herself so hard she can’t feel her legs but she still wins!
An elephant sees the ocean for the first time and is filled with joy
A sea creature on a dinner plate is mourned by one loving little boy

There is so much good in the world to see
We must be the change we have to be
When a man leaves his career behind to feed and care for the poor
All a dying girl wants are Christmas cards for her last Christmas… she wants nothing more
A mother dies and leaves behind a beautiful baby
A father is tragically killed but his son is saved and his mother thinks, “Just maybe…”

She will thank and honor those who were there
She will cherish each person who cared
Cared enough to not think twice… they did what they had to do and finally someone came through to say, “Thank you.”

If you look hard enough you will see that we are the change the world needs us to be xox

Have a wonderful week full of change and hope 🙂

woman-433982_1280