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martes, 20 de marzo de 2012

A house full of wonderful people, St Paddy’s day and here’s to another great year!

It’s all go again here at PLT. We have had an influx of new volunteers. First to arrive were Emma, Yvonne and Laura from Ireland who are stopping off with us during their trip around South America. They had planned to come for 3 days but having been here for a week they have now booked on for another 2! (Be warned readers, Laguna Blanca has this effect on people!). Shortly after the girls arrival, Maria joined us, coincidently also from Ireland. Maria is here on one of the volunteerships and will be assisting Jonny in studying the capuchins in the Atlantic Forest. And our 3rd arrivals were Dave and Jess from Australia who are also touring South America. They have been here a couple of days and already have done wonders with my garden (and know what they are doing too which is more than I can say for myself!)

Everyone’s arrival could not have been better timed as they were all here for St Patrick’s Day. Needless to say with Paddy’s day being so big in Ireland it wasn’t long before a table of events had been drawn up for the day which included a “donkey” derby, the inaugural Laguna Blanca St Paddies Day Parade and a enactment of the banishing of snakes from Ireland! The president of Ireland was invited to participate in a Skype link up but due to other commitments on this very important day was unable to accept our offer. But, according to his secretary, he thanked us for the invitation and wished us well for the day.

We had a real turn up for the books a few days ago too. While I was off site Karina and JP were handed a rattlesnake in a bag by one of the local people. This may not sound like much (and probably isn’t everyone’s idea of a gift!) but the point is it was alive and unscathed. Normally these docile snakes are killed at first sight due to the fear they instil in the local people here (which, let’s face it is not unreasonable as they do have an extremely potent venom). However this one had been brought to us so we could release it back into the reserve. This is such a great achievement and if we can turn this into the norm we could save a lot of snakes here in this area.

And finally today is the 1year anniversary of me leaving the UK to come to Laguna Blanca. It has been such an amazing experience I don’t know if it is possible to even begin to list the highlights. I have met so many wonderful volunteers, learned so many new skills and watched this project develop so much over the last 12 months. Thank you to all the amazing volunteers who have made it what it was. I am really so proud to be part of this fantastic project and can’t wait to see what the next 12 months have in store!

Until next time

Helen