Half Way Done

To Do List:

Meet Stu and Anne

Home visit massage, mani, and pedi

Trip to town for Market Day 

Become a certified open water diver

Snorkel with sea turtle

My week at Granada Beach Resort was better than I could have possibly imagined. After the first dive, Stu and I went on four more over the next couple of days. Each time we strapped our gear on and swam down the sea wall, fish and corals I had never seen before appeared in front of my mask. No dive was the same. Whenever I tilted my head back and peered up at the sun’s rays, the surface seemed so far away. By the 5th dive I could set up and take down all the equipment by myself. I remembered to equalize the pressure in my ears during the descent and breathe with a slow even rhythm. But I never did get used to the beauty under the surface of the water.

Today, Anne’s niece and husband’s family came over for food and a swim in the pool. The husband and family are from Laguna Beach, California but come back for a month or so every year to the Philippines. It was nice to see some fellow Americans on lovely Independence Day. Happy Fourth of July! While everyone was sitting by the pool and drinking some San Miguel’s, I slipped away down to the beach to snorkel one last time. The day had been hot and humid so the ocean water felt cool on my skin.

I swam, or floated, for about 30 minutes before moving back toward shore. The coral under my feet changed back into sand and sea grass. I turned around one last time to see the reef before moving toward land. Out of the corner of my eye, the large green shell and fins waving slowly in the blue water. It was the biggest sea turtle I had ever seen.

The shell was about 2 feet long and blended perfectly with the murky grass. I would have missed the animal completely if it hadn’t decided to come up for air. As the turtle’s giant body moved toward the surface we breathed in unison, making eye contact just above the surface of the water. It was beautiful. Stu knows of a couple turtles in the area, he later told me. I said I would name the turtle Katelyn and he let me.

Just like Atty. Oposa said, appreciation is everything. How can people expect to love and care for beauty they have never seen?   Tomorrow I’ll be on my way to Bantayan Island to visit the field station of LNF and the School of the SEAs. Excited to see the field station but sad to end such a great week.

It’s turtles like these that remind you why the world is worth saving.

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