Nungwi has been extraordinarly beautiful. We are staying at an airbnb that is like a tropical paradise, and every-other day we get to go out and spend a couple hours down at the beach. Our time here has been so elegantly serene and easy-going. We study in the house, watch movies on a TV that actually works (unlike Stone Town), and can go out to dinner or just relax and eat leftovers at the house. Each day we make smoothies, one cup for everyone, and every single day everybody enjoys it. So much space and time to move and think, and so many free choices to interact with the glorious world around me.
Not only does Nungwi have amazing plants, fruits, and people, but also just the marine environment here is stunning. There is a sea turtle sanctuary here in Nungwi, where they harvest eggs off the seashore, incubate and raise the eggs, and then release them back into the wild. They do this becuase of the risk of humans or predators endangering the lives of the little turtles. They raise them until they are about 1 year old, and then release them back into the wild. Only about 45% survive being released again.
We got to visit the turtles that were incubated and raised by these kind people. It made me think about how much humans are destroying the lives of these animals. Why do humans have the right to endanger them? We kill them, as well as many other species of animals around the globe. We also kill them with our pollution and plastic litter. The turtles will get caught or eat the plastic in the ocean, thinking it is food. It is just not right. We kill them for our prosperity, and we don’t even think as to look back on the suffering of these animals. The world would not be natural if we killed all the animals. Sometimes we don’t even know it. We don’t even take into acount that actions can cause harm for animals. Sometimes we think that it won’t make a difference. Some people care about these animals, but many don’t.
The area were they kept the turtles was not fancy. I’m sure it was fancy enough for the turtles, but there were no extra adornments to the scene. There was a tub that housed many tiny, baby turtles. They were only like 3 inches long! They would stay there with their fellow baby and kid turtle friends until they were big enough.
The big pool looked natural. It was kind of like a small, green lake that had plants and rock walls around it. There was a dock going out, from which you could feed the turtles a seaweed snack or admire their turtley heads, beaks, eyes, flippers, shells, and expressions.
In that pond/lake, they have 3 out of the 7 sea turtle types in the world. Zanzibar as a whole has 4 of them. In the sanctuary, they have many many many Green Turtles, 1 Hawksbill Turtle, and 2 Olive Ridley Turtles. The hawksbill turtle and the olive ridleys are not vegetarians/herbivores like the green turtles, so they don’t come to the surface to eat seaweed. That is why we didn’t get to see them.
There are 3 big types of turtles overall. There are sea turtles, which are what we got to see in the sanctuary, who have the big long front flippers and beaks. Tortoises live on land, and have the bigger, domed shells, and the thick feet. Aquatic Turtles live on land and in water, and are usually much smaller, like our pet turtle Zebi. I miss Zebi. I really miss Zebi.
They also had a “turtle hospital.” All the turtles there belonged in the baby tub, meaning that they were little. There were about 6 plastic buckets, each one containing a sick or injured turtle. I felt sorry as I looked down at the turtles and imagined that at least some of it had to be the work of humans. They had a cupboard for the medicine to treat the turtles. Some of them had no visible injuries, probably becasue they were sick. One was missing an eye. One was missing a front flipper. I wanted to help them. But all I could do was look, for I wasn’t a turtle doctor, nor was I allowed to touch the turtles (which makes total sense).
After the both inspiring and heartbreaking experience with the turtles, I assured myself that they would be alright.
We then got to go to yet another new beach in Nungwi. There was a soft, soothing breeze about. I gazed North. Probably somewhere over the horizon was Somalia. So many locations we will visit, but many that I will never see. So many people I will and will not meet. There are just so many experiences and oppurtunities out there.
Below: Sea Turtles and us feeding them
Below: Beaches on the Northern tip of Zanzibar
Below: Baby turtle with damaged shell in turtle hospital
Below: Tropical property of our airbnb
Below: Stork in water. Somewhere out there is the East coast of Africa all the way up to the Arabian Peninsula
Tanzanian Home Depot on the side of the road (not really)