The Value of Context

By Jeff Elkin

Today we started late in the morning and returned to the ARCAS turtle sanctuary to help paint the new hatcheries that they built with $20,000 that was donated to them by Busch Gardens and SeaWorld. We all worked together to paint the inside and outside of the low walls and pillars with white paint to protect the cement, which turned out to actually be fun and even satisfying, and although the volunteers at ARCAS will still have to add a second coat over our work they told us that the twenty of us painting saved them a week of work. We ended up leaving a “CCS” painted on one of the pillars of the sanctuary, which like the coffee trees we planted at the Menesses, will serve as a future reminder of where we have been.

Afterwards, we ate lunch at a seaside restaurant where we ordered most of what was on the menu, and all of the food was good; then we went back to the house and spent the rest of the day there, either relaxing in the hammocks, swimming in the pool, or trying to bodysurf the waves (many of which were at least 8 feet high at their biggest). I like to think that we used this time to give us a perspective on what your typical vacation in Guatemala would look like, which would give us a good idea of what we are “supposed” to see so we can compare today’s experience to future experiences.

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