Day 12: Family Day adventures at the beach
Happy Mother’s Day! Mom, I’m sorry that I can’t be with you today to thank you for all that you do for me, but I hope that you and all of our mother’s have a wonderful day!
Today we woke up to such a beautiful, sunny day that the only phrase I heard from my host family all morning was “que bonito el día!”
Today was family day, our one free day for the entire trip. We spent the day enjoying the sun with our host families with many of us heading off with them for some much-needed relaxation time at the beach. As for my roommate, Rose, and I, our family decided to take us to one of the beach wetlands we visited the day we biked to the Wall of Tears.
During a truck ride to the beach that may have been considered illegal in the U.S., with six people in the cab and three in bed, we stopped to shoo a stray marine iguana out of the road. We left the truck at a path that took us wading around puddles and ducking through the mangroves to the secluded beach.
Every time I see the water, I am amazed by its clear, bright turquoise color. After a delicious picnic lunch prepared by our host mother, Monica, we enjoyed an afternoon filled with swimming, monkey in the middle, catch, and laughter. The infectious, toothless smile of my seven-year-old host sister, Ariana, brightens my day every time I see it. It was in full force this afternoon as we began to walk home, searching the beach for small isopods that dig in the sand and roll down the beach with the tide, called sand dwellers.
Monica told us that they eat them, although I think I will have to take a pass on that food adventure.
When the waves crashing into shore receded, Rose, Monica, Ariana, a cousin, and I would franticly dig in the sand in search of the sand dwellers. I knew Rose had dug up her first one when I heard a shriek, either of delight or disgust I wasn’t sure, as she came running with it crawling in her hand to put it in the bucket. I think that hunting for these roly polies was the Galapagonian version of Robert McCloskey’s Blueberries for Sal, with small isopods in place of blueberries.
After a relaxing walk on the beach, and dragging our feet in the cool water, we returned home. Rose and I met Jake lying in a hammock outside of his house on the walk up the road. Like us, he and Brett were planning to spend some time in the water with their host family.
Tomorrow we return to school bright and early to begin our final week where we will participate in a community-engaged learning project about turtle nesting. I can’t wait to see what the next few days have in store for us, but for now I’m excited return to the house to help prepare Mother’s Day dinner for my host mother.