*insert pointer sisters music here*
i've been taking spanish lessons for the past month now. i have a really nice teacher named maria eugenia. she's 40, venezolana, single mother of two girls. i really like her. she's been coming to ed's place every wednesday night but now the house is in disarray (ed's remodeling) so last week i took her out for margaritas. this week i went to her house, which is close to my work. she made me arepas
her daughters have two turtles that came to her by chance. one basically wandered onto her patio and another was found by her daughter. she's had them for a couple of years now.
like this, but very small.
despite her best intentions, her turtles are not healthy. she's kept them alive and they're eating, but the larger of the two has definite shell issues going on - it seems to be pyramiding. they're live in what amounts to a 12-inch plastic dish that has inch-deep water for them to wade in. no uvb light, no way to bask. no way to swim.
i sat and felt bad the whole time i was there, not wanting to insult her or the care she was giving the tortuguitas
. at the same time, i couldn't help but feel awful for them. i mentioned something to her daughter at one point that, when they grew up, she would have to let them go. the 11-year-old iriana didn't seem to mind the idea too much. she wants a fish anyway.
so when we were finished with our arepas and our lesson, i asked to speak with her outside. in the gentlest spanish i could excavate, i told her that she was taking good care of them but that turtles are hard to care for. as a gift to show my appreciation, i had thought about buying her a nice big container for them. but even with that -- even with a basking light and a uvb light and a platform to sit on -- in a couple of years, she would have to let them go. and maybe at that point they wouldn't be healthy enough to live on their own.
so my proposition was to buy a fishtank as a thank-you regalo
and i would take the turtles. give them a week or two in a nice deep enclosure with access to basking and live-fish food. once they seemed to be swimming and hunting well, i could bring them back and we could go with her daughters to the park down the block and let them go.
she agreed! i beamed the whole way home! these turtles are honestly the cutest little things - very friendly too. they're native to the area... and now i've looked up their care and it seems they need a minimum 90-gallon tank. for one
this is so the best thing. i'll post pics of them after next week! happiness!