After 77 amazing days with the bio team I feel like I’m leaving half of my heart in Panama. Having such a small group of people consistently working together allowed us to become extremely close, particularly my fellow water girls – Hillary and Lyniesha. After we got our supplies for water quality testing in Panama City around mid June we became an inseparable team. Together we tested 7 different spots around Trez Brazos every Monday, and counted the number of E.coli and coliform colonies on Wednesday. Through good times and bad (waiting for Hillary every morning and climbing suicide hill stand out in particular) we always ended the day with a tired smile and a hug. Up until week 4 we had unremarkable results; 3-5 E.coli colonies in our drinking water. Then, after a heavy rain we counted 58 colonies of E.coli! It was almost like a cow had defecated in our water holding tank. Luckily, us valley folk are of the hardy variety and only a few upset stomachs were reported. Our fifth and final week of testing ended on a healthier note, as the count was back down to 4 colonies of E.coli. Water quality testing has been an interesting and rewarding project. Hopefully a future intern will continue our work and have as much fun as we did!
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