Turtle Hatchery

So that’s really it. Here we are: can Mom and Steve join me at Angkor Wat in late December and early January while I take a break from my work in SL, or will I be back in the lower 48 for the end of year holidays? Will MSF be able to meet our mandate and take care of populations here in SL whose access to medical care is severely reduced, or will we sadly have to leave, and redirect our teams to other areas? Will Paul have access to salsa and tortilla chips, and bagels and jalapeno cream cheese, in 2006? Or only in 2007? Stay tuned to the MSF websites, stay tuned to So Much World Turning, So Little Time, and maybe you’ll find out!

Down the coast a piece from Induruwa (between Balapitya and Induruwa, in fact) is a turtle hatchery that was destroyed in the tsunami. Yes, the tsuanmi affected the west coast as well as the east coast of Sri Lanka: think of it not as a wave, but as a succession of risings and fallings of the water, and think of that risen Indian Ocean wrapping itself around the island. The southwestern coast was pretty badly hit, though not as badly as the eastern coast. In any case, this area is unique in that five species of turtle lay their eggs there, and the guy who runs this hatchery pays local folks to bring him the eggs rather than selling them at market (he pays more), then he buries them, and keeps the hatchlings for three days in tanks before releasing them to the waves at midnight. It’s very cool. I thought of Howard, of course, and his Zuni turtle fetishes. He gets donations, and derives some income from tourist buses that visit and buy things from the gift shop – but the large restaurant where he fed them was destroyed in the tsunami, and all what little was left was looted in the aftermath. Eek.

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