Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Internship placement: Week 1 in Drake Bay.

The journey to Drake Bay was just as memorable as our first week. From the rolling hills we saw on the bus to the thick mangroves we navigated through and the choppy waves we crashed across. After lugging our bags for a short time along the beach, we arrived at Elena’s, our house mother’s home, to be greeted by a multitude of house animals, including dogs, cats, roosters, hens and a sheep! After meeting Pablo, whose project we would be assisting on, and his assistant Evelio, we took a stroll down to the beach to admire the stunning shore which Drake Bay has to offer (see photo).

During our first week we have exhausted our bodies with 6-7 hours of hiking a day. In the morning we conducted surveys monitoring frugivore activity and the afternoon were spent checking fruit traps set up under nutmeg trees. We have overloaded our brains attempting to memorise the calls of birds and recall the Spanish we spent the previous 2 weeks learning, in order to practice with Evelio, who only speaks in Spanish to us!

But it has definitely been worth it! In only four days we saw: toucans, scarlet macaws, mealy parrots, red lored parrots, agoutis, slaty tailed trogons, violaceous trogons, spider, howler and capuchin monkeys, yellow headed caracaras, great curassows, squirrels, geckos, tapir tracks, ocelot tracks, and even a humpback whale and her calf!

We are very lucky to have a host mum who is an amazing cook. Breakfasts of pancakes, French toast, scrambled eggs, and fresh fruit always have us ready for the day which awaits us.

Tomorrow we make our first venture into town, and with Sunday to relax before starting all over again – bring it on!

Megs and Sam.