Communications Officer Blog: 13 Jan 14

The first week on camp is always a period of adjustment, even if like me, you’ve already spent 3 months here last year. The dynamic changes depending on the group; each new arrival brings their own unique personality which changes the character of the camp. Some people struggle to get used to their hammocks, but I had the best night’s sleep I’d had in a long while on my first night back in mine. Most people find after they give it a chance they too find the hammocks comfy but the few who don’t migrate over to tents and swear by them instead.

The January new arrivals came with enthusiasm and, as soon as health and safety was passed, headed out into the forest on surveys. The first otter survey brought with it their first otter sighting – a rare event! Doubtful they’ll be so lucky a second time but everyone will be out with them with their fingers crossed regardless.

The first couple of meals for the newbies have set the bar high for expectations of the food. Unfortunately supplies may interfere with these hopes! But so far we’ve been treated to veggie meatballs with cheese, wraps, veggie burgers and guacamole. Will be interesting how far everyone’s imaginations can go in the coming weeks.

There has also been successes in the butterfly surveys with a brand new sighting (Chloroiptychia arnaca) and a welcome catch of the popular and photogenic morpho butterfly.

Aside from surveys everyone has been busy bonding through yoga sessions, Sudoku, family guy and origami. The first week draws to a close with a party at the local bar – Bijaguel, where over a few drinks the volunteers get to know each other further and get to mingle with the volunteers working for OSA.  

By Jenny Collins, Communications Officer

Find out more about Costa Rica Big Cats, Primates & Turtles Conservation.


Volunteer blog: Shoshana Stanton

While turtles seem to have a hard life and excavating a predated nest is grim, it is worth it for feeling of guiding the few surviving hatchlings into the sea.

Aside from turtles, conservation activities involve hiking through the incredible forest counting primates, birds or butterflies, depending which survey you’re signed up for. Neotropcial otter surveys are extra special because these creatures have rarely been studied before. Everything you record is a genuine contribution of knowledge to humanity. It’s extra special when you actually see the otters. Normally we count their scat, we get very excited about scat here.

Speaking of excitement, we also find plenty of ways to have fun on camp. Movie afternoons and night walks are regular occurrences, and I strongly recommend a visit to Ave Azul (what is that? Not telling…). And let’s face it, when you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere with the same group of people, the banter gets pretty good pretty quickly…

One of my new friends on camp argues that the reason turtles are so defenceless is because they have such slim chances of reproducing, thus evolve mega-slowly. Perhaps. But not so with us volunteers. I can tell you that if you come here, you will find yourself learning, adapting and evolving every day. And I don’t think you’ll ever look back.

By Shoshana Stanton, volunteer (pictured)

Find out more about Costa Rica Big Cats, Primates & Turtles Conservation.

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