My time in ARCHELON I will never forget!
I have been in the project of Zakynthos for two months and it feels as if I am writing about a dream I had. But no, it was all reality. My time was full of sparkle, made of magical moments and people who touched me and led me to my true self. After ARCHELON my heart is filled with all those moments and I feel complete like I have never felt before.
The work in conservation ARCHELON does is amazing and I feel so proud of being part of this great community now. It is a full-time job and it definitely never gets boring- how can it possibly be boring with 50-60 shiny characters around you? Being honest, the hours of sleep are few, but the spirit in ARCHELON is so energizing and intense, that it keeps you going, happy and smiling every day. I could tell about many things which will stick to my mind forever, for example about my first Morning Survey when I hyperventilated spotting my first turtle track; Or about my first Night Survey watching a Caretta Caretta mum laying her eggs in the moonlight while my heart was beating so loudly and strongly I was afraid she might notice it ;-) Also I could tell about shining children’s eyes when I was explaining and showing them how turtles dig their egg chambers and flick the sand around our heads. But actually the most wonderful happened to me on my very last Morning Survey, which was on the beautiful beach called Gerakas.
In my last week in Zakynthos we had our first hatchlings of the season and as they hatch during night-time I really hoped to see some little turtle tracks before I leave to go back home. But instead, on my very last Morning Survey, I saw a hatchling. First we thought he might be dead, as he did not move and was really dry already. He did not face the sea, so he was looking in the complete wrong direction. We shaded him with a shirt and suddenly his flipper started twitching and we reacted immediately. After a phone call I knew what to do and carefully picked him up with a layer of sand in my hands. Suddenly he began to move and my heart jumped. I put him down 10 meters in front of the water, because this first walk to the sea is the most vital for the hatchlings as they need it to develop their muscles for swimming. I was kneeling next to him, shading him the entire way to the water and as he reached it his little flippers began to move faster and he started to swim. This moment was incredible and I still can't believe we saved a little hatchlings life. One of the best moments of my life, for sure.
ARCHELON fills your heart with the great spirit of seeing, loving, caring and saving all the living and nonliving things surrounding you: not only turtles, but also people, other species of animals, the marine life, the beaches and every little but precious thing that makes up our world we are living in.
*Nothing is stronger than a heart of a volunteer*