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domingo, 21 de octubre de 2012

Time Flies

It’s amazing how time flies. Our fearless leader Karina has been on vacation for 3 weeks already and it feels like just yesterday that she was handing over the keys to her office, the master list of arrival and departure dates and telling me with complete seriousness to be careful not to burn the whole place down. The first few days of her being gone definitely felt a bit weird; everything stayed the same, Ruby was still catching bats, Georgia still chasing her monkeys but there was just something missing from the place. It’s just not the same without her, however miraculously we have managed to keep PLT from completely imploding. I have to admit that the thing I disliked the most about Karina not being here was that I had to take over the weekly shopping. Thankfully Helen has recently returned from England and I immediately thrust that responsibility into her lap. She, having had a slightly overextended holiday in England, has come back full of enthusiasm and new ideas. She’s been tilling our garden and we’ve already got a beautiful bench of seedlings popping up out of recycled egg crates and milk cartons. In terms of the scientific progress, Ruby’s bat project has reached its halfway point and she’s caught an amazing amount of bats across 5 different genera and an estimated 8 species since we’ve started. Georgia is less than halfway through her project but has already completed an entire transect line of vegetation sampling and found at least one of the capuchins sleeping sites (The capuchins announced their displeasure of being awoken in the middle of their sleep by throwing their feces down from the tree tops to display that even monkeys can wake up on the wrong side of the bed/tree). Airell has been integral to both projects, helping Georgia on her late night forest treks and helping Ruby with preparing the bats that have been caught. He’s also spent a lot of time macheteing in the Atlantic Forest and trapping for opossums in the Transitional forest. On another note, I’m sure that the majority of you were aware that October 1st was International Bat Conservation Day and to celebrate such an important day Ruby, the forest guards and I went to teach a lesson in the local elementary school. We prepared a “A to Z, of Bat Facts,” powerpoint and Jorge did a fantastic job presenting it in a mixture of Spanish and Guarani. We finished the lesson with a craft where the students traced their hands on a piece of paper and cut and pasted them onto paper bat bodies. The lesson ended with the whole class flapping their paper bats about the room making high pitched squeaking noises. Happy International Bat Conservation Day to everyone. Joe

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