Over the next 4 days, our family volunteered in the turtle conservation program with Biocenosis Marina in Ostional. Another family from London also volunteered and lived next door. The four girls formed a nice bond.
People who open their home to strangers are special and wonderful. The father, Jose, of the
family we stayed with was a Ranger at the wildlife refuge and was home infrequently. Marie, the mother, worked hard cooking for everyone and shared a lot of her recipes with us. She was an incredible cook, and loving mother to their two sons. Their house was warm and inviting. In their back yard they had chickens. Across the street, she showed us a nesting Chompipi (Wild Turkey)
Staying with a local family provides for some unique opportunities. A built in group of instant friend for Alyssa and Kylie.
The pace of travel slowed down here, and I was able to spend a whole afternoon chatting with Marie’s cousin. She wanted to be a nurse, but life among other things happened, and going to the university in the city wasn’t in her cards. “In enjoy this pace of life, although more and more young people are leaving the town for the bigger cities. She see tourists come through, with all they have, and they want that too.” During a conversion, a visitor came to greet us: “Mira, un vecino de la jungla.” I said. She jumped up ran in to the back and came back with a Machete. “Es un terciopelo! Ten cuidado. ” She dispatched it immediately. It looked more like a boa to me, but I trusted her judgement.
Also during our conversation a truck rolled through the neighborhood announcing the sale of fruits, vegetables, and other items. She explained that because the town was so far away, trucks like these served as mobile markets and brought the grocery store to these rural isolated communities. What is more, visitors were always popping in with a handful of yams, potatoes, or platanos, and Marie would buy them or turn them away. It was an interesting way of shopping.
Marie and her cousin explained how good turtle eggs are to eat, but after the rule change, they have seen a major change in their community. The turtles have become a source of pride and income, rather than a food source.
They also pointed us to a local attraction at the north end of Ostional beach: La Punta Indie. Local young lovers like to hike the point. The story goes that a young indigenous man fell in love with the princess of a god. As punishment, the god whisked the maiden away. The young man with a broken heart, looked toward the sea until she returned. When the angle is right, the rock formation looks like the head of a person. The hike went over crab laced beaches and over tide pools and rocks. We climbed to the “eye” of this formation at sunset to see through his eyes.