I am not a writer. I think I have never kept a diary or a journal. I cannot explain properly my thoughts, and even worse is describing my feelings, my emotions and all what is going on in my mind. I am an engineer. I write about test protocols and test results: something clear and objective, results that can be passed or failed, acceptance criteria that can be met or not.
When I am asked how my experience at La Tortuga Feliz was, my first answer is that those 10 days were undescribable! And that’s actually how they were indeed… amazingly undescribable. As long as someone is not experiencing a similar reality, describing it, it’s really difficult for me. Because emotions are so personal, so intense, so subjective that bringing them on paper, black on white, feels to me I am diminishing them.
How can I explain the effort and the struggle of walking 10km every night, gasping in the darkness, thinking: “why?” and “who made me do so?”. But mostly, how can I describe that all this gets completely cancelled in a blink of an eye, in the exact moment when you finally see a mother turtle shining in the moon, coming out of the water, hearing her breathing through the ocean’s waves which are like a lullaby that never leaves you?
How would I be able to make the reader understand that all the sweating, the muscle soreness, the blisters pain immediately become happiness, joy and gratitude? Watching her finding her way on the beach, crawling to get the perfect spot where she would eventually start digging her nest: still to me one of the most meticulous and harmonious dance I have ever seen.
How can I even try to explain how it was such a truly honor for me to assist all of this?
How can I tell how small I felt in front of the immensity and vastness of mother nature?
And then collecting her eggs, perfect spheres, wondering if she had noticed anything and desiring to be able to make her understand that we will take care of her babies, that they are safe. But also conscious that at the same time a poacher could have been doing exactly the same but for the opposite reasons. Realizing how defenseless and vulnerable turtles are (all wild animals indeed), literally broke my heart and that is the force that pulled me to head back to the project for a second time. And likely a third or a forth time more.
As said at the beginning, I am not a writer and I can hardly speak about my emotions and feelings. What I know is that this whole experience changed my life, my way of looking at the world and other living beings. It sincerely made me aware of how much impact our actions and choices have on nature, on animals and on the entire environment.
I found happiness and nourishment for my soul in the middle of the nowhere called Pacuare.