Waking up at 6 AM is not fun, but the reason for waking up so early was completely worth it. Our professor, Sarah, has a stomach bug so we obtained instructions and our guide supervised us on our journey. We walked to the water and took a water taxi past many boats with sea lions lunging on their back platforms.
Jacqueline De Roy lives in a very secluded and quiet area that is tucked away, but still has an ocean view. Walking up to her house (after getting lost) is magical and it feels as thought you have stepped into Alice in Wonderland. A green mossy path leads you past trees with bright yellow, purple, and red flowers. She also has many other plants with vivid colors. Her home is an amazing open air bungalow type with many personal touches such as photos, albums, and collectibles.
Jacqueline and her husband built the home themselves and one of the albums is full of pictures following the journey as their tent on a platform morphed into a home. The house has some lava rock walls, and an indoor pond with many tropical plants. Her window in the dining room is made completely out of opuntia leaves.
Jacqueline is a very calm person and she is dedicated to feeding the finches. Every day for several years she has provided them with food. They gather early in the morning, just before feeding time. This is actually how we found her house when we were lost- just follow the finches. She gave us each a palm full of food and the finches flew over to eat from our hands. Many times a larger finch would fly over and they would fight over who gets to eat from the hand. As they fought you could feel the displacement of air due to their flapping wings. It was an awesome experience and the birds enjoyed it also.
Jacqueline then spread different types of seeds and grains all over her patio and table. The finches ate vigorously as we sat on the steps and watched. After the majority of the food was gone, she placed a tray of water out so they could drink and bathe in it. This woman has a huge heart and it is obvious that she loves her finches. She then invited us into her home so we could look through her books, photo albums, and jewelry that she sells. I ended up spending more than I intended to, but her work is so beautiful and she is no longer able to make it because of her arthritis. Once she sells her entire display, that will be the end of it. You can tell that she is passionate about her current life and that she is very at peace with her surroundings and her life. Since she spoke English we were able to hear many stories about the finches from many years ago. Jacqueline is one of my new heroes. She is passionate about her finches, was able to build an amazing house, and creates the best sterling silver jewelry- all in the shapes of different species endemic to the Galapagos. She is one of those people who have lived here for a while, but have not succumb to the pressures of tourists. Hardly any would be able to make it up to her house since it is so far tucked away on the island. She is definitely an impressive woman for her age and I can only hope she continues to do amazing things.