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Portraits of America – Midwifing a turtle

?Уровень B2 (Выше среднего – Upper-Intermediate)
“Принимая роды у черепахи”
♦approach = consider/think – рассматривать
♦genuinely = sincerely – искренне / истинно
♦purely = simply – чисто (безо всяких примесей)
♦freshman year = the 1st year in college
♦remote = distant / located far away
♦a host = people who invite you
♦have the time of your life
♦distinctly = clearly – отчетливо
♦nest (turtles)
♦hatchery = a place where people control the hatching of eggs – садок / инкубатор
♦poachers = a person who hunts or catches game or fish illegally – браконьер
♦to sweat – потеть
♦to stumble across – споткнуться
♦to aid = help = assist
♦a midwife – акушерка
to midwife – assist (a woman) during childbirth
♦utterly = totally
♦frustrated = devastated = depressed
♦roundabout – кольцевая автотранспортная развязка

“So much of my life has been centered on achieving the next step for future success. That’s the way I approached and got through school. As I get older, I realize the importance of having those moments when I feel genuinely, purely alive. It’s something that I felt very few times in my life.

My best friend and I took a four-week trip to Costa Rica last summer after our freshman year in college, and it was absolutely disastrous.

We were volunteering on a remote Caribbean island with sea turtles before moving on to helping out on a coffee plantation. At least that was the plan. Once we got to the island, my friend caught a virus, strep throat, and bronchitis, all at the same time. The symptoms could easily have been mistaken for something more serious. So, she is lying in our host family’s bedroom while ♦I’m having the time of my life♦ doing volunteer work.

I distinctly remember going on a nighttime beach walk. It was the day before she and I were leaving the island, so I could take her to the capital and find a hospital. I was walking along this beach at 2am. The walk was part of our volunteer work where we would walk miles and miles along a dune-covered beach, and our job was to find nesting sea turtles, snatch their eggs, and take them back to a hatchery, so we could protect them from poachers.

We are walking along this beach. We couldn’t use headlamps because that would scare the turtles away. I’m completely disoriented, I can’t see a thing, my feet are slipping out from under me, I’m sweating and mosquitos are biting. All of a sudden, we stop and we stumble across this six-foot sea turtle laying legs, crying as she does so because, apparently, the salt secretion in her tears aids in the nesting process.

Because it was my last day on the island, they gave me the job of lying underneath the sea turtle, sticking my upper body under her as she laid her eggs, and probing a three-foot hole with my hand to take out the eggs as she flaps sand on me. It’s the coolest thing I’ve ever done. I’m wedged under this turtle, essentially midwifing her.

Then it starts thundering and lightning.

I complete the job, and I’m covered in sand. This reptile is the most mystical, amazing creature I’ve ever seen. We watch it go back into the ocean illuminated in a purple light, and I feel terrified of what the next week will bring. My friend is recovering from an unidentifiable illness, and I’m frustrated that I have to leave this place. At the same time, I’m utterly content in the moment — alive in the sense that I felt extreme emotions.

I guess this is a roundabout way of saying that I want to live life where I feel those extremes—in a balanced way.”

Выражение ‘have the time of one’s life’

‘have the time of one’s life’ – experience something that IS really significant for you, and you are totally aware of it.
= enjoy yourself very much




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