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Published: October 22nd 2007
It's a little difficult to know where to start! So much has taken place in the past two weeks and it certainly feels like longer than that. I suppose that when you take out (most) modern technology and wake up at sunrise and keep busy, you can fit a lot into one day and it feels like weeks. There are certainly some highlights............like when I got stuck in a bathroom stall right before a lecture at the cottage. Someone later pointed out to me that that door didn't even have a handle. That freaked me out but after knocking on the door (I wasn't going to yell like an idiot) for awhile, they eventually realized I was gone and someone came to my rescue. Unfortunately I was starving because we had been in the forest all morning (about 6 hours) and we hadn't eaten very much and I was STILL waiting for my lunch. It was pretty frustrating, but luckily my mom pointed out to me that I think things like that only happen to me when really they happen to everyone else. On that note, one of my group members drank a liter of fanta before bed, woke up in the middle of the night thinking she could barely make it to the bathroom, tripped, and peed on herself. Not only that but later that day she accidentally walked through army ants and decided to live with frequent stings instead of stripping off her pants....and THEN she got peed on by a Colobus. SO. Yes, WORSE things happen to other people. Thank goodness.
I learned how to handle butterflies last week-I also know 7 different butterflies by either their upperside or underside and I can give you their whole scientific name because they don't even have common names. I'd like a pet butterfly. They're funny little things, especially if you can get one to lick you.
We just finished training and testing. I'm allowed to go into the field because I can successfully identify 8 different dolphin species, 5 turtle species, hard coral/soft coral/algae, weather conditions (cloud cover, wind direction, swell size, sea state), and fill out all the subsequent forms. It's pretty cool we will get the opportunity to do turtle surveys by snorkeling along the transect! I love being in the water, except I foolishly got an amazing racer-back sunburn from my bikini.
The forest is disgustingly hot and humid. Luckily turning training it rained all over us and it was deliciously welcome. We had to estimate distances (in meters) in the forest which I was extremely intimidated by and it proves to be quite difficult depending on the foliage. Amazingly, I scored the best on our test and was only off on an average of 2.1 meters or something crazy like that. The behavior survey is fun because you get to splay out on the ground in the middle of the forest and watch one Colobus monkey and record what it is doing. And thus, you come back completely filthy. Trudging through the forest and laying on the ground, especially with intermittent rain makes for some very dirty pants. Especially when your pants are dragging hopelessly on the ground. That's another annoying thing--the island (that's not actually where we are doing our surveying) is made up of coral rag-it sticks out in odd places and it always trips me and catches on my pants and I swear that one of these days I'm going to rip a pant leg straight off (I will probably end up on the ground face first in goat poop, knowing my luck).
That's all for now.........hopefully more to come.
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