Wednesday February 20, 2019

2 Corinthians 5:17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!

I realized today how grateful I am that we are only here for 2 weeks, based on the suggestion from the organization that helped us to plan this project. Jeff and I would have been fine to stay for our original plan of 4 weeks, but the kids would have lost their mind (or would have driven me to lose mine)! Outside of the normal morning of burying turtle eggs and then cleaning out the nests, there was nothing else to do unless we had visitors, which means there is a lot of sitting. We made several trips out to the beach to clean up, but it is hard to get the kids engaged in doing this more than 1 time per day. This sitting around and doing nothing while we wait for visitors to come through is very trying for the kids, though I don’t mind the down time at all. But the kids have found a nice reprieve in the pool on the property of the volunteer house. They want to be in it all the time and they take advantage of it after lunch and after dinner, basically whenever we allow them to.

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Jeff and Joeri hoist kids in preparation for a game of chicken

With the weekend fast approaching, we are having some difficulty in planning our activities. We know what we need to do, we just need to work out the logistics and because we need Dudley involved in the planning process, we just can’t make these plans on our own. Our hope was to do a national park to see elephants and go whale watching, but the logistics are not working out so well. This would have previously sent me into a bit of a frenzy or caused me a bit of anxiety–“we need a plan”, but I don’t seem to be bothered. I have confidence that in time all things will work out just as they are supposed to. I have allowed myself to be changed by Christ, to trust in His way and His time. I have learned to turn over my life to Him, which has significantly reduced my anxiety caused by my need to plan everything to the minute. I know this may sound a bit trivial, and maybe it is, but looking at the bigger picture, I have been able to turn over my need to plan every waking minute to Christ. I have learned that when I try to push a plan through it always fails or it doesn’t work very well. But when I let God plan it, it works out perfectly and usually better than expected. He is able to provide us what we need.

Tonight we had a fisherman come to the volunteer house to let us know that a turtle just came up onto the beach to lay her eggs and that we were welcome to go watch. We joined the fisherman on the beach at 10 pm and sat very close to the surf while the turtle crawled up to her spot and began digging her hole. This process took almost an hour so we just sat quietly under the stars listening to the waves coming onto shore. Once she was done digging her hole we were able to join the fisherman behind the turtle to watch her drop her eggs into the hole (and then the fisherman grab the eggs). These fisherman are very protective of the turtles and do their very best to not disturb the process, but in the end they are still taking the eggs from the nest to be sold to the hatchery for 25 rupee per egg. What gives me a bit of comfort is knowing that the alternative is that these eggs would otherwise be sold in the market for food (turtle eggs are still considered a delicacy and though it is illegal, they can still be found). The upside is that because the hatchery and the fisherman are working together the turtles are given a chance to hatch, furthermore the hatchery is also protected, so the eggs have a reduced risk of being dug up and eaten by predators. I believe that the conservation work being done here is making a difference in helping increase the population of these endangered creatures, it was just really difficult to watch this turtle lay her eggs that were being taken from her nest just as she was dropping them.

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