Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Day 5: Shirts and Shamans

We started our day, and headed to the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Center at 7:45 in the morning. It was a little colder than the past couple of days but we braced ourselves and headed out.

Once at the Sea Turtle Hospital, we divided into groups. Jess, Dahlia, and I (Zach) got to work in the Sea turtle sickbay while Anna W. and Mitch worked in the Isolation room. The rest of the group( the Annas, Nicoles, Shannon, Boots, and Ben) worked in Sea Turtle Bay. It was interesting to work in sick bay for the second time. The volunteers allowed us to clean the tanks and feed the turtles one by one. It was cool to be in the sick bay again because Dorothy, one of the volunteers, told us more about each turtle this time. We were also able to watch the volunteers put honey on flip-flop, one of the Green Sea turtles with a puncture wound through the carapace and  plastron (the shell and the underside of the turtle). 

After an adventure filled morning, Jean opened up the gift shop for us to buy t-shirts and sweatshirts from the hospital. They had so many cool things that we were allowed to buy at the gift shop. Prepare for the rainbow shirts on Friday! After perusing the gift shop, we were allowed to attend the Team leader meeting. It was really cool to see the administrative side of the turtle hospital.

Photocredit to Shannon Kirby
Then we had our normal lunch of PB&J and turkey sandwiches. Boots suggested that we go to serenity point, the most southern part of the island. We walked about a mile on the beach around serenity point looking for shark teeth and sea glass. As expected we weren't able to find any, but we did wander through the tide pools and find fish and crabs. After we realized it was later than expected, we had to run back across the sand to make it to the turtle hospital in time.

In our afternoon visit to the hospital we all were able to experience something new. Jean invited a shaman named David Key to come to the turtle hospital and play music for the turtles. The idea behind this was to clear the negative energy from the hospital and to get a sense for what the turtles were feeling. With the backdrop of running water we listened to David play several traditional Native American instruments including drums and three different flutes. Now I (Ben) have never been one to believe in the supernatural and I would go so far as to say I still don’t, but that music definitely had an effect on both the turtles and us. The sound flowed across the room, lulling us into a relaxed state. The turtles stirred in their tanks almost as if they were dancing to the music, providing a spectacular sight to those of us who still had our eyes open. When we left the room, I felt a distinct sense of calm and I feel as though many of the others in our group felt it as well. 

Photocredit to Nicole Moy
Returning back to our house Nicole S. and Dahlia prepared a delicious meal of spinach salad with walnuts dried fruit and chicken followed by what I would argue was our most fun reflection yet.  After we went though roses, buds and thorns we had each group practice presenting the information that we would be giving to the school children.  Everyone definitely knew their information but the real fun came in when we had to ask each other questions that the may have to answer on Friday. 
Would a second grader really ask why partisan gridlock in the local government impedes environmental conservation efforts? Probably not. Do the daddy turtles not help with the eggs because the mommy turtles are strong independent women? Its certainly a possibility. 

Peace, love and turtles,

Zach and Ben

Clearly the most attractive AB team (Photocredit to Boots)

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