The first thing I should say about life in the jungle is that there is not much internet! I enjoy cutting myself off from society, but sometimes business needs to get taken care of. The internet here is very limited, so my posts may not be so frequent.
I am not quite sure what to talk about next, because so much has happened! The two week program (Tropical Woods and Fungi Who Love Them) has already kicked my ass, grabbed some lunch, and then came back to kick my ass again. It was a very difficult class, mainly because it's a graduate level class, but I have survived! I would not have been able to do it if it wasn't for the other people struggling right next to me. Everyone was always so willing to help each other out whether they were working on something else or not. Thanks Amy, Sonya, Leon, Amanda, and Conner!
I also have to thank my amazing professor and empathetic TA, Seri, I couldn't have asked for any better professor to take me on this adventure. You are an incredible teacher, and I think me and all of my classmates can agree that we have never learned so much in such a short time before. Sarath, I know deep down inside you love my hugs, despite your cringe. You taught me well,, I know how ID a crap ton of Peruvian hardwoods and I know to always cautiously approach you, so you don't shove me into a tangarana tree.
Anyway, let's get back to life in the jungle! I would have definitely already been dead if it wasn't for my amazing guide, Yasmani. He knows these forests better than anyone could imagine. He has a sharp eye that is perfect for spotting fungi 10 yards away, beautiful birds in the canopy, and any other living organism in a 100 ft. radius.
Some things we do in the jungle include:
-Fishing for piranhas (and Seri catches a huge electric eel)
-Swimming in the same water we just fished in
-Macheteing through rotten wood as far as the eye can see
-Waking up at 5AM to go watch birds on the canopy bridges
-Visiting native communities and supporting their art crafts
-Taking a boat to get to any other place besides the field station
-Taking night walks to see glow worms, fireflies, and other magical creatures
My battery is starting to die, so I'm afraid I must wrap this up.
I am now here on my own, and everyone from Oregon is now gone. I am very comfortable with all of the staff here and feel at home!
Another blog post will be sooner than this last one!
Salutations from the jungle!