Service In The Galapagos
Posted: Sat, Jul 23, 2016
Location: The Galapagos Islands
We awoke for our first full day in the Galapagos Islands at 6:30 a.m., and I think I can speak for everyone when I say we had great expectations for today. Breakfast consisted of rolls and eggs, and once everyone was fed and ready for the day, we headed out with brooms and dustpans in hand. However, not everyone had something to carry, and we all had to go on a wild goose chase for the missing broom. We checked everybodys room, the kitchen, the lounge area and anywhere else it could possibly be. It was nowhere to be found so we made a pit stop and bought one more broom to make it a 1:1 ratio between dustpans and brooms.
Our task for the morning was to sweep up the sand, debris and leaves on the 2.5-kilometer trail that led to the Tortuga Bay. We partnered up so each broom had a dustpan with it and got pretty far along on the path. Finally, when we were done, we made the trek back to the beginning of the path, where another worker, Marcia, was very happy with our work and even asked us all to get a picture with her for Facebook!
We went to lunch in town and then headed back out to another trail after taking a water taxi to the other side of the island of Santa Cruz. We walked along the path, gathering foreign material, and admiring the salt lakes that were there. The star trash pickers were Will, Orlando, Tom, Devin and Skylar. They went into places I didnt think were possible to get to and had a full trash bag when they finally met up with us at the end of the trail, where there was a special reward: a swimming hole, called Las Gaitas. It was beautiful, natural and very fun to swim in. Some of the swimmers even climbed some of the rocks and jumped into the cold depths very brave. I think the only downside to the swimming hole was that Faris dropped his GoPro into the very deep water, and despite everyones, best efforts to get it back, the swimming hole wouldnt part with it. While everyone was enjoying the water, Rob, Soo and I had a nice chill time, discussing magnet schools, his beautiful wife, and music.
After everyone had enjoyed the swimming hole, we returned to the hotel and we were allowed to go out to dinner wherever we wanted, but in pairs or groups. Isis and I decided to pass on the pizza group and look for something more local. We ended up at the same restaurant as last night and had delicious shrimp. Our waitress remembered us and asked us about our group, and what we were doing, so Isis explained what we had learned in the Amazon about the horrifying oil deposits popping up in peoples backyards. They had a debate of sorts where it was made clear to me that not enough people knew about the horrors that were occurring in the Amazon, and this was in her own country! How much worse would the ignorance level be for someone who was far removed from the whole situation? It was eye-opening to say the least. We headed back to the hotel for our nighttime meeting (Lifeworks forum) where we discussed what makes something meaningful, and the things in our lives with meaning. There were many insightful answers, and I think everyone had a lot to think about at the end of this very full day.