Caribbean accent on Utila

A lady came to drop off some parakeet eggs, why I don’t really know, but after speaking Spanish for a bit, she produced one of the most Caribbean accents I’ve ever heard. Sounded like Calypso from Pirates of the Caribbean, which I guess would make sense because this place used to be an old hideout/base for the notorious pirate Henry Morgan.

Apologies for the video orientation.

First day working at the sanctuary

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Iguana selfie, as requested by Helen Webber.

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One of the one year old iguana hatchlings. This afternoon we caught them all for measurement and re-habiting in cages based on size.

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Clever girl… They remind me of velociraptors.

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Bite from a big one.

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Tarantula. Not poisonous, but apparently also not pleasant to stand on. A crunch then explosion under your foot as its abdomen explodes.

Today we fed iguanas early in the morning, then I was tasked with chopping down some annoying reeds with a machete. After that me and another volunteer went and caught crabs down by the beach – not an easy task. After lunch, which was brought up from the town, we got working on measuring the iguanas, collecting termite nests and building a new t-shirt and postcard building.

Iguana station , Utila

I took the 9:30am ferry this morning, crowded mostly with tourists , to the island of Utila, the smallest of the Bay islands. When we arrived, a maelstrom of tuk-tuk taxis and Diveschool advertisers awaited us. I was quickly whisked away on a tuk-tuk up winding paths to the iguana statio , a little way from the main town (10 mins walk or so).
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The iguana station is non-profit and not in particularly good shape. The directors recently walked out, and it is now primarily run by local and more long standing Honduran volunteers. One of them, Jose, a student from the capital city on the mainland, is my roommate. There’s also another volunteer named David, from Hull, but he’s leaving on Friday.

As for my responsibilities, they mainly revolve around feeding the iguanas, touring visitors (can also take them around the island) and catching and tagging more iguanas in the mangroves in the north of the island.

Anyway, there seems to be a lot to do, and on top of that I want to fit in 4 hours of Spanish a day at the school in town, and some diving lessons!
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Hello Honduras

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After a 2 hour flight and 3 hour drive, I have arrived in La Ceiba, on the east coast of Honduras. On the way, my American driver Peter described the US orchestrated coup in 2009 that brought about a new, less stable government. It is for this reason that Honduras is now one of the poorest, most dangerous countries in Central and South America.

The beautiful jungle scenery is contrasted by shacks, huge pot holes in the road and gun-wielding police.

Drug trafficking has come to Honduras, which has the 2nd biggest rainforest in the world (which means easy undercover transport) from cartels in Columbia. This is the reason for the high death toll, which is the world’s highest, and draws in many young people disillusioned with the poverty of normal employment.

In the evening I was taken to a restaurant (evidently owned by a friend of Peter’s, but the service was pretty awful) with two other travelers. Security for the place was a pump-action shotgun.

The others were far more experienced than I am, one 7 months in, the other 3 months. Their Spanish was excellent, and they’d visited various other central American countries before arriving here. They were also puzzled by my decision to volunteer on Utila. They were there to relax on the beaches of the Bay Islands and party. As if showing off, one told me to take a shot of tequila after every meal, supposedly to kill the bacteria.

Anyway, off to Utila and the iguanas tomorrow!