Saturday, January 29, 2011

We can still be friends, though, right? Hello?

Remember when Jon and I were on our way to the island for the VERY first time? And how we stopped at Corinne's place in NYC for a couple of days before our final leg of the journey to Statia? I’m sure you recall with perfect clarity our ill-fated layover in Chicago, but here's an excerpt from that blog post, just in case:

Getting here was not easy. That isn't an allusion to the trials we overcame while Jon was completing his undergrad, I mean that we missed our connection in Chicago. I don’t really want to talk about it, I’ll just say it involved an incorrect assessment of the time, two hot dogs, and a broken flip-flop.

Luckily we had five entire hours to find me a new pair of shoes, because the pickings were slim. In the entire terminal I was only able to dig up a couple pairs of shearling-lined slippers, and some ugly overpriced sandals from that nauseatingly sanguine "Life is Good" brand. Considering I was on my way to a Caribbean island, I settled on the sandals, covered my face in shame, and burst into tears.

But! As it turned out, my shoe disintegrating in the Chicago Midway airport was a horrible blessing in disguise because those dumb 'Life is Good' flip-flops ended up being the most comfortable shoes I've ever owned. I wore them exclusively for our first eight months on the island. And I walk like crazy. And these roads are not friendly.

They sure didn't hold up well, though. What was grotesque to begin with quickly became faded and irreversibly stained. The canvas wore away and the fabric straps frayed. Still, they were perfectly molded to my feet and never gave me a single blister - NOT A SINGLE BLISTER (miraculous, considering that I walk at least 10 miles a week in them).

By about 4 months, they looked so horrible I wouldn't have considered giving them to a homeless, barefooted child. By 8 months, they were unfit for even a coin-operated campground shower. Jon's break between semesters was coming up, so I hopped online to have another pair mailed to my mom's house in Idaho.

BUT THEY WERE DISCONTINUED!!! I spent three minutes fending off impending panic before I was inspired to look on Ebay, where I snatched up the only available pair in my size despite the fact that they were in the most garish color combination imaginable. Orange and pink. A complete eyesore. But, my standards having been sufficiently lowered, I went for it.

That pair quickly went the way of the first, so for Christmas Jon gifted me my third generation, which brings me to the point of this post - comparison photos of old versus new.

Besides a size difference (they're becoming more and more scarce), these are the exact same shoes:

It's really quite incredible how rapidly they go downhill. The older pair in these photos lasted four months. FOUR MONTHS. Just think of what the first pair looked like after eight. Or, better yet, don't.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Cross this one off the bucket list

If you weren't hoping to see 30 pictures of adorable baby hawksbill sea turtles hatching on Zeelandia beach, then you came to the wrong place! This happened today, and it was one of the coolest things I've ever experienced.

Video to come, eventually. I may or may not have thrown away our camera's software CD, which may or may not be essential to uploading videos to my computer. We're still looking into it :/

The nest site - lucky number 17.

Digging them out...

Wake up, little turtles. At this point we could only see a sandy mass that occasionally moved.

Gradually they became more active and others made their way to the surface...

First little guy making a break for it.

Baby turtle faces.

ur doin it wrong

Turtle sandwich

Once the first turtles had reached the water, most of the onlookers stood out where the waves wash up. Each time the water rushed in there were cries of, "Nobody move, nobody move!" because each wave deposited several turtles back on land, often right near (or on) people's feet. Seaweed bumping into your feet in the ocean is disgusting. Baby sea turtles bumping into your feet in the ocean is adorable.

Some were able to flip themselves back over, but the less-agile ones had to wait for a fresh wave.

Tiny turtle tracks

Would now be a terrible time to mention that only one in a thousand reaches adulthood?

Thursday, January 20, 2011


A few pictures from since we've been back:

Lianna and me at the first term party.

Jon and Alivia dancing.

The beach. There's SO MUCH SAND!!!!! (I could go on and on with the exclamation points)

First person to figure out what that creature is (bottom right) wins.

Big puffer fish by an old cannon.

Pearl frolicking in the sand:

CRAZY caterpillar! These things are HUGE. I've seen a few and finally had my camera on me this time:

(hand for size reference)

Today at the park:

(Check out the great mural of children's cartoons in the background. Simpsons, Family Guy, and South Park.)

Love this sequence of photos:

Walking stick. I'm sort of proud of this picture:

The end. Perhaps someday soon a post with less than ten pictures and greater than fifty words. I said PERHAPS.