Wayan Geria, 45, from Serangan Island, is the head of The Turtle Conservation and Education Centre (TCEC) in Serangan, which was developed in 2005 to eradicate illegal turtle trading on the island. He shared his day with Carla Albertí de la Rosa.
I usually wake up very early in the morning, around 5am, and the first thing I think of is my turtles: how can we progress improving our centre and what we can do to help endangered turtles. I jump in the shower and then get in my bike to go to the turtle centre. It takes me just under 10 minutes to get there.
I don’t normally have time for breakfast at home so I wait until I get to work and eat at the little restaurant right by the turtle centre. I will drink some Bali coffee with milk and sugar and I will have some traditional Balinese-style bread with fried banana on top. I like to have warm bread in the morning.
It’s nice coming in to work before the sun has risen. Everything is so quiet. There is so much to do before we open to the public at 8. We clean the small pools every day and the big one every two days. I help feeding the turtles in the morning. They eat twice a day, in the morning and at night. Sometimes we also feed them in the afternoon because the tourists like to see them eat. We feed them small fish and seaweed and it only costs Rp50,000 (US$4.90) every day to feed the 26 turtles we have right now.
People in Bali slaughtered turtles to do their rituals and then cooked them. Now it’s not legal anymore; they are protected by the government. But the black market is still there. I’ve always loved turtles and it’s satisfying to know we are giving endangered turtles a chance.
Lunch is usually at 12. I have some rice with fish or chicken. A meal without rice isn’t really a meal for me. But I think it’s the same for many Balinese people. My favourite is rice with chicken, so I often just eat that. After lunch I speak with people who come to see the turtles, I explain what we do to help them and try to raise some money. We also have a turtle conservation educational program and students come here to lean about them. I go to different schools to educate young children about what we do and why it’s important that we try to help these endangered reptiles.
We bring eggs from the beach to our centre for hatchery and we incubate them for a month and a half. After they are born we release them into the ocean after two weeks. We have three older, bigger turtles for exhibition as we have permission from the police. They have a tag so police control them and can check that we have them for show and won’t kill them. The big turtles will be here for around two years and after that we will release them and replace them with other turtles.
I finish work at 5 and then I go home. I like spending time with my family and I read for a few hours with my 13-year-old son. We sometimes go fishing on our small fishing boat, and my wife will cook what we have caught. On the weekends we like going to Bedugul because the temperature is a lot cooler than down here in Serangan, and we just spend the day walking around and looking at the beautiful scenery.
We usually have dinner at 8; my wife makes something different every day. At night I prefer to have rice with vegetables or fish because it’s not too heavy on my stomach. I sometimes have a Bintang (beer) because it relaxes me. I turn the TV on and watch the news. I like TV One and Global TV best. I lie in bed at 11 thinking about what I have to do the next day, before I fall fast asleep.Filed under: One Day