I was very fortunate to travel to South America recently, and more specifically, to the Galapagos Islands. This chain of islands reminds me of what Hawaii must have been like in its infancy. To compare, the Hawaiian islands chain ranges in age from 80 to 5 (Kauai) million years old, while the Galapagos Islands range from approximately 4.2 to 3.2 million years old. What struck me was the peaceful calm of the animals. We were strictly advised not to approach them. When we saw animals, they did not act as though we humans were threats. They treated us with indifference. It was a strange and awesome feeling. They do not view humans as aggressive because none of the interactions have taught them differently. This principle applied to the sea lion on the bench at the bus stop in San Cristobal, the abundant fish I saw while snorkeling, the marine iguana launching his morning swim in the bay, the hawk resting on the small cliff above my backpack, and even the flamingoes in the brackish water let us gaze upon them without alarm. It was the trip of a lifetime. My wish is for these islands to retain their majesty and to remain as undisturbed as possible by humans. Truly an Eden.
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