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I live in Brooklyn, NY and I love it here.  I came here for my career in 2009 and haven't once looked back. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Nicaragua day 1, pt. 3: a moonlit beach...

I held a baby sea turtle in my hand last night.

This was the most incredible, amazing thing I have ever done.  A few beaches to the south is a preserve of sorts I guess where they save the sea turtle eggs from poachers and predators, hatch them and then let people come and set them free on the beach near the waves.  

I assumed when we set off in the Land Rover that we were going to just watch them hatch and walk in to the water.  But when we arrived at the house in the middle of a dark forest, Gonzalo explained that they were going to bring us baskets full of them and we were to walk them out to the beach and set them free one by one. I was ecstatic. I held one of the baskets and we headed toward the beach.  It was wholly surreal walking down a moonlit path holding a basket of tiny moving creatures.  We must have had over a hundred of them in total between the three baskets we were all handed.   To see them all populate the beach, and all of us coaxing them along, pointing them in the right direction, was very moving. I exclaimed several times that this was the most amazing thing I have ever done.  

I felt like a shepherd of sorts with my flashlight pointed at them, herding them along, in a way.  Unfortunately, there were a few that didn't make it, having either been trampled in the basket by their friends or perhaps already dead before we got there.  It was sad but discussions about natural selection were had and the beauty of it all seeped in.  The point was made, as well, that we were mainly saving them from poachers so it was, in a way, fitting that we were canceling out the human element by being the ones to help them on their way.  Saving them from predators was also a concern but I only saw one black shape fly past us while we stood on the beach.  Some kind of bird.  We found ourselves also discussing whether or not we should help them to the water or just leave them be.   Some said they needed that walk to strengthen themselves for the swim.  Not so much that we were interfering with natural selection by helping them evade predators.   The weaker ones would probably still get eaten in the water and thus not pass on their genes.  

All in all, I was awestruck. The moonlight was almost enough to see everything without flashlights and I can't remember the last time I was able to see so many stars when the moon was almost full.  Again, the most amazing night.  And this is only day 2 as I type this.  

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