Muy mal, muy mal…Abelardo kept repeating that the whole night, apart from no, Seh Ling, no, no… Por que? Putting one non-Spanish speaker (me) and one non-English speaker (Abelardo) on a night patrol together was indeed interesting! When we walked to the beach, it was really dark and I wanted to tell him let’s wait for a bit until we can see better but I did not know how to say that in Spanish. Cata and Bernardo walked up behind us so I asked Cata the word dark in Spanish. So I turned to Abelardo and said “Abelardo, esta oscuro! (Abelardo, it is dark!)” but it must had sounded “Abelardo esta oscuro! (Abelardo is dark!)” because everyone was laughing.
Once again I was amazed that we worked pretty good together. We both tried really hard to have a proper converstaion but it always ended up with one of us saying “muy mal (very bad)” or “no entiendo (I don’t understand)”! There were moments where there was just silence and all I heard was the sound of the waves on the beach! He probably told me more but all I understood was he is 20, single and works on the beach in Panama.
Since we were on the 8pm-12am patrol, we came across spotters and tourists but we did not work around the tourists. Ever since I came back from San Jose, I had not have the chance to tag new turtles. When it was my turn to work with one, she had tags. However, yesterday night I had two new turtles!! YAY! The first one was really sensitive. She was moving her flippers crazily and I had sand all over my face, some even flew into my nostril! I had to use the bandanas to cover up my face (like a ninja in the dark). When I got back, I realised I had sand in my pants, underwear, shirt, bra, shoes…EVERYWHERE!
Despite of the communication breakdown between us and mistaken two logs as turtles, we measured five turtles. Cata and Bernardo (the Colombian Team) came back with a record of ten turtles but they did not hold that record for long when Andy and Ani came back with a new record of eleven turtles! Everyone is trying their very best to work with as many turtles as possible on one shift. Starting from this week, it will be the crazy tagging patrols as we are also going to patrol from mile 5 to 7 to tag more turtles!
After patrolling for four nights consecutively and two 5-hours morning surveys in a row, I finally have my night off today! More like a day off to be exact as I did not have morning survey or cleaning or shift at the visitor center. Nice to relax and have some personal time, recharge myself for the next day!