Monday, April 25, 2011

“Things lurk not only in the dark”

I’m sharing a dorm with a Scotsman, an Aussie, and three juvenile green iguanas, and occasionally a bat and I´m having the time of my life.

To say that life here at base-camp is simple is almost an understatement. The buildings (4 small ones) are made of wood (with gaps between several boards contributing to beautiful light seeping through, some fresh air, and bugs), with mosquito nets for windows.

I’ve felt so good these past days. It’s awesome sleeping in my little wooden bed under my mosquito net, hearing and sometimes seeing the bat flutter around (the walls don’t reach the tin roof properly), or seeing the beautiful iguanas perching on the beams in the early morning hours. I love waking up to the sound of frogs, howler monkeys and cicadas, and the distant sound of the ocean. We are right by the beach but unfortunately we can’t go for a swim as there are sharks, crocs, and rip tides…

There hasn’t been much time for photography as the days are filled with studies and surveys. A few nights I’ve taken my head torch and camera, and gone exploring just around the base camp. We have amazing plants and trees, lots of amazing flowers of which I don’t know the name, and there’s a gorgeous frangipani tree (my favorite) with pink flowers with a scent of bright sugar coated rainbow sprinkles with honey dipped in sugar marinated in syrup with a caramelized cherry on top… SWEET! Some flowers only show their magnificent beauty at night, mysterious little things trying to be all enigmatic (and succeeding). (photo below: franginpani flower)

So heading out at night, torch lit up, you see so much eye-shine! It’s MAGICAL! You can find the tiniest little spider just by his eyes reflecting the light. You can also find big ones too… Tree frogs and other beautiful and strange little critters’ eyes twinkle like stars in a deep dark night sky. And above you, the real stars do just that in a very real Caribbean sky. (photo below: red eyed tree frog)

Besides really longing for a big juicy steak now or a “tuducken” (turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken…or we could get carried away: an ostrich stuffed with a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken stuffed with a purple gallinule stuffed with a northern jacana stuffed with an Amazon kingfisher stuffed with a hummingbird stuffed with a bee stuffed with an ant. I got to show off some of my new bird knowledge there too hehe…), I am absolutely loving this.

Tina Andreasson