What a special event to witness! Look, expat life is far from perfect or easy or glamorous most of the time but some days are just lightning in a bottle. Some days you go from Cinderella scrubbing floors and toilets and doing 7 loads of laundry (my actual life as a little hotelier) to Cinderella at the Ball- witnessing magic happen. Our day was just that yesterday when I got a text message from my friend, Anna, telling us about a turtle nest that was hatching in Maya Beach and to bring the kids to see. Whoohoo! Mitch and his best bud, Louis, had just got home from school when I was swooping them up without so much as a “hi, how was your day?” and bustling them up to Maya Beach before the sunset.
We made it in time to watch a little pack of turtle make their way to the sea. I always thought sea turtle nests were laid at a specific time of year and hatched at a specific time but I was wrong, nests can hatch throughout the year but mostly over the summer months. Belize is home to 3 types of sea turtles: Green, Loggerhead, and Hawksbill. I think these little guys (or gals) were Hawksbills. Something else I didn’t know- it can take days for a nest to complete its hatchings. This one was already on it’s second day of spewing babies.
It is a special and rare thing to witness and we must remember to protect nature; protect it from ourselves mainly, which means not interfering with the process. No touching! No touching, Megan! Gosh, was it hard to contain myself! They’re just so CUTE, right?!? I want to pick them up like little slider hamburgers and kiss kiss kiss those little heads. Also, the urge to assist is overwhelming. My motherly instinct is to help those struggling little infants- when they get hung up on a twig, I want to help them overcome that obstacle. They were running the gamut to the water and the ants were swarming at a particular place. My sweet boy, Mitch, was nearly brought to tears when he saw the assault. He knows the sting of an ant bite and was fretting over the scene saying, “they’re just newborns.” I know! I know! My baby barfly that had the bombastic personality of a drunk frat boy has grown in to an empathic young man, concerned for the well being of these tiny creatures. But we held ourselves back and cheered them to crawl faster, FASTER and they did it! They all made it to the sea to begin the real challenge. Estimates say only one in a thousand hatchlings will make it to adulthood.