Ants plague any fool who leaves their Maryland cookies in a non-airtight container. Swallows fly in and out of the sleepy house emitting piercing cries into your sleep deprived brain. Nightly you are peppered with the various stabby appendages of the native dune flora, accosted by the local strays, and mildly frozen on the exposed point of land known as midpoint on Alagadi beach. Why then would I, a volunteer for the Northern Cyprus Marine Turtle Conservation Project, return to these seemingly hellish conditions for two years in a row? Quite simply, it is because it has been one of the best experiences of my life. There is nothing more majestic than seeing a female turtle haul herself out of the sea, the moon glancing off her shell. There is a flicker of happiness for each hatchling you see reaching the relative safety of the same sea a few weeks later. The landscapes of this country are spectacular, the stars startlingly clear and the people some of the most kind hearted, genuine, tirelessly enthusiastic and hard working people I have ever met. Coming here makes you fully appreciate the positive impact that a few individuals can make. It is unbearably cheesy to state that this project has changed my outlook on the world. However, undoubtedly it is true.
Lots of love and hugs