Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Critical events and crises

     Today was our second day with Desiree, the new volunteer from Toscana. She is the absolute kindest person, and is a nature tour guide and train hostess. She has beautiful tattoos (never thought I would say that), and such a nice, easygoing personality.
    Sadly, Daniela's car was damaged in an accident, but in the Sicilian way she and the other party dealt with it under the law's nose as to avoid bureaucracy. She was in the right, but it is still a pain to deal with, especially since she has just one little beat up (yet adorable) car. On the way home, she saw the truck driver who parked and blocked her view, partially causing the accident, and yelled at him in a somewhat composed and very logical manner, if that's possible (Daniela is a very sassy woman who stands up for what she believes is right).
     The other crisis of the day happened when a group of five or so tourists came to the center reporting that they had seen a sea turtle at Cala Creta that was seemingly not moving much in the water. Of course the Rescue Center is on alert at all times, so the other volunteers started gathering supplies to go fetch it. As one of them called Daniela for approval, we were shocked to hear her shoot us down and tell us not to waste our time. She usually is enthusiastic about bringing in as many turtles as possible. However, she had a good point to make. "It's like saying that there is a stray dog in the piazza... what are we supposed to do? Dogs walk away, just like turtles swim away..." It was true, when Alessandro went to look for it with one of the tourists, it was gone. Also, who would have been responsible for swimming out to get the turtle that could have just been taking a rest?
     She said it would be very different if the tourists had seen one close enough to physically bring it to the center, then it would have been very easy to take it in. The Rescue Center usually relies solely on fishermen and locals that find injured turtles and bring it to the center unless there is a very clear emergency that is handled correctly.
     I also learned about the trajedy of a young Costa Rican man named Jairo who was killed by poachers, allegedly also involved in drugs, for having stood up for sea turtle conservation and spoke out against corruption in his home country. Other volunteers were kidnapped, but this young conservationist was murdered for doing what Daniela and other volunteers do here. The cultural differences are evident of course, but it is still scary and sad to think that people have the guts to commit a crime like this against someone who is only trying to improve a little part of nature and his world.

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