Sunday, March 15, 2015

Day 2: Magical Honey

We had a great first day at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center. Everyone was very involved with interacting directly with the turtles and the volunteers. We are excited to learn tons about both the environment and the turtles, and what we learn will be used to teach around 400 school children on Friday. We can’t wait to spread awareness and give back to the community that has welcomed us so warmly!

Boots and Anna Day cooked a really delicious soup for dinner, which was a great hit, especially after some of the girls ran into the freezing water!

Here are some of our thoughts about today:

“The new hospital is so beautiful and serves the turtles so well. I went with the group that worked with the turtles in sick bay along with the wonderful, and as always, interesting volunteers. The most interesting part was how they are now using honey to treat wounds on the turtles.” ~Boots

“I was again incredibly impressed by the dedication of both Jean and all the volunteers. They really devote 110% to the turtles and their passion and positive energy creates such a loving environment. Jean was talking to our team about how people often wonder why it’s important to protect certain animals and ask ‘What do they do?’ She brought up the point that humans really cause the most harm to the ecosystem and are considered the sea turtles greatest predators. All life should be respected and valued just for existing.” ~Nicole Moy

“I think that it’s just so surreal that we’re working with these endangered creatures at such a personal level. Today, I got to wash a Kemps Ridley with a washcloth, which is something I never thought I would get to do. We’re really experiencing conservation of a species at a hands-on level, which is so much more real than donating to the World Wildlife Foundation or something similar.” ~Anna Wooten

“It was really amazing to see how passionate all the volunteers are. Each one of them is more passionate about these sea turtles then I have ever been about anything in my entire life. I hope that one day I can find my sea turtle. Also, I now plan on bathing in honey to embrace its curative powers.” ~Ben Akman

“It’s amazing that we get the opportunity to work in this hospital with such dedicated and inspiring people. We even get to feed and even touch some of these endangered species. The sea turtles are such beautiful creatures and actually seeing them and hearing their stories really puts their plight into perspective.” ~ Anna Duh

“Today, I learned that humans are the apex predators for turtles, so in order to save them from becoming endangered or even extinct, it is up to us to make the necessary changes.” ~Nicole Scott

“Today was an incredible experience starting to work with our participants, the amazing volunteers at the center, and the beautiful turtles that are all healing and recovering so well. The volunteers all shared their experiences that led them to the hospital, which was truly inspiring, in addition to Jean’s talk with us. We heard about the history of the hospital and “plastivores”- how we all are exposed to microplastic in everyday life. I am excited to continue learning as a group. One thing that really stuck out to me was how dedicated all of the volunteers are, and we discussed in reflection how we hope to find our own ‘sea turtles’ one day – something we can get so motivated and inspired about.” ~Shannon Kirby

“Today we learned about the founding of the sea turtle rehabilitation center. I found the story about how Jean was thrusted into the world of sea turtles to honor her daughter inspiring. Her journey to become a self-taught citizen scientist proves that we can do whatever we want in life, and everyone can make a difference.” ~ Mitch Rock

“I was amazed at the attention to detail the volunteers give the turtles, continuously cleaning them and helping to heal them. I also thought it was amazing how knowledgeable Jean is and how she is an expert after teaching herself everything. I also thought it was really interesting to hear about her views of plastivores and how plastic has begun to pollute everything.” ~Zach Bolten
“Today I learned how pervasive plastic is in the lives of sea turtles and people after hearing how sea turtles can mistake plastic bags for jellyfish.” ~Anna Day

“It's crazy how much of a difference the passion of a group of people can make. Meeting Jean and the volunteers and seeing how much they cared about the turtles was heart-warming and inspiring. The volunteers give up hours and hours each week, rubbing honey on turtle wounds, bathing them, sterilizing and cleaning their tanks. And the difference these volunteers make is huge. Jean told us that the Turtle Hospital has about a 90% success rate at returning turtles to the wild. That can apply to basically any environmental group in general. It can be hard to see how one person's efforts make a difference, but they truly can!” ~Jess MacGregor

“I saw so much today that makes me so excited for the rest of the week. Jean was especially inspiring with her dedication to the environment and helping all creatures – turtles and humans. It really puts things in perspective and makes us think about out own purposes in life – like Jean said, ‘What good am I doing?’” ~Dahlia Kronfli

Some Additional Pictures from our day:

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