745am: To the turtle hospital! Juhye, Katie, Rhea, and Nick spent the last day of our excursion in Sick Bay with Dobby, Weasley, Canal, chubby Zazu, and Dune Bug. In Sick Bay, the trio of students took turns scrubbing tanks and bathing turtles. The therapy pool was busy all morning; Canal had two separate trips to the pool to practice swimming on the bottom of the tank, and Pooh and Zazu swam in the current working off the extra calories of generous feedings.
Meanwhile, over in Turtle Bay, the rest of the team gathered around a cart covered in red and blue plastic bowls to select turtles for the 8am feeding. Each bowl included a nametag scrawled with black Sharpie: Minerva, Jenny, E.T., Fuzzy, Hogwart and the others knew it was time for food, and splashed and circled their tanks excitedly. After picking our favorite turtles to feed our last round of squid, vitamins, and fish, we delivered breakfast with reluctance. Nobody wanted to acknowledge this was our last day to feed, sweep, scrub, and mop before heading north back to Maryland.
1030am: We headed back to the house for an early lunch since Jean wouldn't be in until noon. After more sandwiches of turkey, chicken, peanut butter, and/or jelly, and the last of the chili, we trooped back to the hospital with fresh colorful shirts purchased from the giftshop the day before.
Noon: Jean had multiple turtles to treat in Sick Bay, but she went over the rules with us for taking photos with our flippered friends: no picking them out of the tanks, no hands in the water, and no flash. We were all very excited to take some selfies with the sea creatures we have quickly grown affection for. After taking our photos, Jean joined us for a group shot under the Oceans of Memories mural in the education hallway. It took a few tries, but we were finally even and you could see everybody's head!
2pm: We returned to the house for an afternoon break to nap, shower, walk the beach in beautiful sunshine, study, or relax until getting ready for a photo session on the beach at 5pm. It was the most time we've had any day here that wasn't planned or accounted for. The weather was absolutely perfect for Nick and Juhye to walk in, Monica to sleep through, and everyone else to spend cleaning the house like the wonderful people they are!
5pm: The weather was beautiful! Donald once again lent his excellent photography and styling skills to taking group and solo shots of everyone. There will be some gorgeous head shots on LinkedIn and Facebook profiles in the near future! We had tons of fun taking various partner and group shots with everyone and can't wait to share them all on social media soon!
630pm: Time for dinner at Gallagher's sports bar! We feasted on delicious burgers, crispy appetizers, and drank in Jean's stories like water in a desert. Our guest of honor was able to join us to celebrate the week, and all we had done, and encourage us to apply what we had learned. At the conclusion of our dinner, we presented Jean with an acrylic award decorated with a green tribal turtle commemorating five years of UMD ILS trips to Topsail Island and the turtle hospital.