Now that things have gotten rolling, I wanted to take this opportunity to really explain what exactly has been happening over the past few weeks. I like to take a TON of pictures so I’ll be telling my story through various photographs with captions explaining them.
As the biology team this semester, Austin, Aaron, and I have our work cut us! We’re recording observations like crazy in a collaborative long-term effort to identity the flora and fauna that surround us in the Valley. We’re compiling our notes in order that the future interns and eventually the residents of Kalu Yala will know what this tropical jungle has to offer in terms of food to eat, resources to use, and critters to look out for.
This past stint, Aaron and I worked together to make net for us to use for butterflies, insects, and small lizards. It’s actually a surprisingly good net considering that it was made using only a small piece of strange mesh fabric , a stick, and some wire that was lying around basecamp. This is a picture of Aaron and me frolicking with it, celebrating our accomplishment.
The biggest project I’ve worked on so far is the installation of a system for running water at Base Camp. This is a picture of Jill and me positioning a rope in a nearby tributary in order to measure the flow rate of a possible location for our water pump. I’ve also been calculating the volumes of each pool in order to figure out whether there is enough water for the pump to function without draining the pool.
I don’t really consider myself an artist by any means, but I do enjoy painting and decided to take it upon myself to decorate the cabana a bit in my spare time. I finished this little side project this past stint. There’s a similar tree on the opposite side. Both trees now have leaves and there is a quote along the top beam that says “A society grows when wise men plant trees whose shade they will never sit in.”
The current interns and those who have contributed in the past may never get to see the full fruits of their efforts here in Panama, but I think I speak for everyone when I say that by the end of this internship, I will be more than happy to say that I’ve been here contributing to something bigger than myself, not solely for my own benefit, but for the benefit of those to come.