Most things we write come out of a moment of enthusiasm
While working on a sea turtle conservation project as a volunteer for two weeks, I had a lot of time to debate and consider why we work so hard in conservation efforts. When I found out I was going to work with sea turtles, I was excited, mostly for superficial reasons like being excited to see a baby turtle. I have never considered how my actions at home may or may not affect marine wildlife, beyond trying to ensure my rubbish doesn’t end up in the ocean.
The following is taken from my 6 February 2012 entry in the journal I kept while in Ostional….
And tomorrow, finally and already, we leave Ostional. We take the 5:30am bus to Santa Cruz and then public coach to San Jose again. These two weeks have gone so fast and I don’t know how I feel about leaving. I have learnt so much. About turtles, their biology and ecology, and how we can help conserve them even when not at Ostional. I have also learnt about the kinds of people it takes to try and make difference in the world. They are inspired, determined and hopeful. They love what they do and are driven by something I can’t explain to always do their best in their duties here. Maybe it is a moral thing, maybe they can’t stand to look at themselves in a mirror if they don’t give it their all. While I have not been inspired to do better in marine conservation, I have been inspired to work harder, be more determined and have more hope in what I do want to accomplish. That is the last thing I have leant, I have discovered new things about myself. I have found myself to be cynical, over-critical and a little negative. But I have also attempted to always remain outwardly positive and amicable to my fellow volunteers, even thouse who frustrate or irritate me for various reasons. The friends I have made, be they Aussie or Kiwi or Costa Rican, have been a valuable part of my experience here. Nick and I have already agreed that we want to backpack Central and South America, hopefully with partners in tow. I want to roadtrip the Great Ocean Road next Summer and visit Nick in his hometown, meet Moya, visit Penny and maybe a few others. I would like to return to Ostional some time, bring Peter, see if it has changed at all.
This entire trip has been about sustainability , which is achieved through the balance of economic, social and environmental factors. I think this same principle can easily be applied to live a life well lived as a global citizen. Without friends the world would be a lonely and unbearable place. Without the environment, there would be nothing to see, nothing to experience, nothing to admire. And without money the world would crumble both locally and globally, as it already is to some degree. It is important to keep a balance, it is important to sustain human life and the natural world we inhabit so we can continue to marvel at it as we have done for centuries.
This book is finished, the two weeks are done and I am better person because of it.
With determination and hope, J