Welcome to the Adventure

Living in Mexico is often indescribable...you just have to live here. I have been journaling experiences for a while, and I hope you can get a feel for stupid-ass gringos trying to get it. But I am still here, and that says a lot for those of us sticking it out, as the payback is what makes life so good here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Turtles and Valentine’s Day

In Mexico Valentine’s Day is a very romantic day, but it is also a day of friendship, when friends shamelessly express love for dear friends.. Amistad (friendship) is mentioned often on this day -- encompassing more than amigo -- a deeper connection, and is said with such heartfulness. This is also the season of the sea turtle hatchings on our beaches, and Valentine’s Day warns us to be careful when we go to the special beaches that still host these magnificent females. Those little ones will be hatching and heading for the sea any day now.

A few months ago, word among the people living south of us on the beaches had spotted a leatherback turtle. Old timers have said they haven’t seen the likes in 35+ years. Friends out on a boat at the same time, spotted a leatherback as well. She was spotted waddling up the beach and laying eggs in front our friends house. It was such an event that they notified the environmental guys immediately, and now the hatchings are imminent. We are waiting for the phone call. This is almost as exciting as when I was with my sister when she gave birth to her sons. Almost.

The leatherback is the 4th largest modern reptile, and largest sea turtle out there (thank you wikipedia, a forum I once banned from research papers as a source), and is on the endangered species list. Like really endangered. The environmental guys will be there when they hatch as well as the community around the area, to ensure the babies make it back to the ocean. This has to be the most reverent experience I have almost ever witnessed here in Mexico. When you speak of the leatherbacks being back, people get a look in their eye, and a shift of mood occurs, a spiritualness if you will, because everyone knows this is a grand and blessed happening.

We will be kicking our own butts if we miss this. Larry and I head up to Mexico City next week for the big adventure. I haven’t been to Mexico City since I was 18...let’s not count those years... For Larry it has been about 35 years. We are meeting our dear friends, Karen and Ed, for a week of exploring. They have not been to Mexico City for 35+ years as well. I expect we will have a grand time. We have researched the museums, archaeological sites, murals, and nearly the most important thing of all, the restaurants (and Costco). We’re ready.

But I will be thinking of those turtles, and hope they can hold off until we get back. It would be so amazing to share this with friends. And that is what Valentine’s Day feels like here. Sharing those incredible days when the possibilities are limitless, friends abound, and we are helping the leatherback babies make it back to the ocean. And one day, 35-50 years from now, another will waddle up, lay eggs, and bring friends together once again, to help those babies back to the sea. Amistad.

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