Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A 6 Month Intern’s Perspective

After 2 weeks of Spanish school in amazing and vibrant Estelí, Nicaragua, several days in Granada and Christmas and New Year on Little Corn Island, I am now delighted to be back on base for our second phase as returning interns for our placement at the GVI Jalova station. It was my desire right from the beginning of last phase to return as staff for the second part of our internship so I couldn’t wait to get started.

We had a challenging start with a broken generator and boat but the candle lit evenings have been nice! We had been asked to prepare presentations to give to the new volunteers and I had already started scribbling notes for mine on the subject of amphibians and reptiles. This is a subject which fascinates me. We have such a diversity of species both on base and surrounding forest. Everyone seemed inspired afterwards and has been taking photos of frogs in order to identify them.

I also lead my first bird survey yesterday down Sirena, which is a beautiful, narrow canal with forest either side. I have longed to lead a bird survey since the beginning of last phase when I was a volunteer. We saw two ringed kingfishers, male and female, which everyone agreed were much larger than they imagined. We also saw parrots fly over, two pale billed woodpeckers, a gray-necked woodrail and a female green kingfisher. Everyone enjoyed themselves and the fantastic survey weather!

You see a very different side to base when you are ‘behind the scenes’, I have very much enjoyed being involved and contributing to staff meetings and enthusing the volunteers. It is a great feeling to watch the volunteers seeing monkeys and snakes for the first time in the forest and helping them ID bird species and amphibians and reptiles. I am really excited to see what the rest of the phase will bring.

To quote Forest Gump – The forest is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are gonna get.

Melissa Errington