Yesterday we arrived in Gandoca, where we will be working with the sea turtles. The bus ride here was possibly the most beautiful (and hot) bus ride I’ve ever taken. On both sides all we could see was jungles for miles. We also drove through several banana plantations, which were really cool looking.

Unfortunately, later I found out that the banana plantations contribute to the demise of the sea turtle population. Surrounding each of the banana bunches is a blue bag used as a pesticide. During harvest time nobody assures that all of the bags make it into the garbage, so a lot of bags end up in the nearby rivers and are washed into the ocean. Once they arrive in the ocean the sea turtles mistake them, and other plastics, for jelly fish, which is the  main food source for sea turtles. The turtles eat them and choke on them because they can’t properly digest plastic.

I’m super sad because I’m a huge banana fan. I even bought banana paper when I first got here because it was made from recycled banana peels and leaves. The cover said 17 to 20 trees are saved when so and so tons of banana paper is made. They also had coffee paper. But now I’m stuck in a conundrum, save the turtles or the trees? I guess there’s always a trade off somewhere along the way, but I’d love if there was just someone to regulate the plantations.

Each plantation we passed boasted either Del Monte, Dole or Chiquita. I bet if enough people wrote to them about these concerns it would do something. But then, maybe it would do nothing. Nobody knows because there aren’t enough people here for anyone to notice. Seriously, this town we’re in has about 20 houses and that’s it. There’s not even a store.

Well, enough about that. I should be talking about happy things. I SAW MY FIRST BABY SEA TURTLES TODAY! I took some pictures but I still can’t download pictures, so you’ll have to wait til I get to a better computer or get home. The turtles are adorable though and only about the size of my hand.

I can’t wait to go out tonight on patrol and look for the mommy turtles. It’s nearing the end of the season though so they say we’ll mostly only see babies and very few mommies, if any at all.

Kay, I’ll write again soon when I have more to say or pictures to post. Miss you all tons!

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