Wednesday, April 06, 2005
  *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 turtle.

this is so the best thing. i'll post pics of them after next week! happiness!
Ooh! I love this story! Picspicspics!

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I'm Stacey. I'm a 31(!)-year-old Wisconsin girl living in sunny South Florida. The highlights in my life are my lovely boyfriend, my aloof cats, my adorable/adoring stepdogs, my two lumbering tortoises, select family members, being outside, being underwater, taking pictures, yadda yadda. Stay tuned for lots of babbling!

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States


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Making a difference

A small boy lived by the ocean. He loved the creatures of the sea, especially the starfish, and he spent much of his time exploring the seashore.

One day the boy learned there would be a minus tide that would leave the starfish stranded on the sand.

When the tide went out, he went down to the beach, began picking up the stranded starfish, and tossing them back into the ocean.

An elderly man who lived next door came down to the beach to see what the boy was doing. Seeing the man's quizzical expression, the boy paused as he approached. "I'm saving the starfish!" the boy proudly declared.

When the neighbor saw all of the stranded starfish he shook his head and said: "I'm sorry to disappoint you, young man, but if you look down the beach, there are stranded starfish as far as the eye can see. And if you look up the beach the other way, it's the same. One little boy like you isn't going to make much of a difference."

The boy thought about this for a moment. Then he reached his small hand down to the sand, picked up another starfish, tossed it out into the ocean, and said: "Well, I sure made a difference for that one!"

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