Friday, June 7, 2013

Intern Voice: A Guide to Walking in the Rainforest

-Written by Amy, 6 month intern

When living in Tortoguero National Park certain things become easier with practice but may come as something of a challenge to begin with. And of course some things are just necessary to know for life in this environment.  Despite the challenges, you soon adjust and approaching everything with good humour means that the adventures you have are a lot of fun and all part of the experience. Here are a few hints for surviving life in the rainforest.

Volunteers trying not to get stuck in the mud on one of our forest trails
1.       Some of the trails can be very muddy after a lot of rain, which makes it all the more the adventure. Those with short legs especially may need to be pulled free. Just always remember to twist your feet and you won’t get stuck!
2.       Wading through the stream at the end of a Biological Assessment Survey is always fun and something to look forward to, but when you have short legs you are going to get very wet, and quite possibly your fellow team members are going to find it very funny.
3.       On the other-hand short legs can be useful for not having to duck under spiderwebs.
4.       When climbing over the fallen trees having long legs is extremely useful, but failing this having a friend who is willing to fall in mud in order to help you out is a good alternative.
5.       Always mind your head when walking in the forest, monkeys may be above and may decide that is the perfect time to go to the toilet. 
6.       A good rule for living in the jungle (or life in general) – don’t lick anything you find in the forest!
7.       Don’t let anything in the forest lick you (especially the cows!).
8.       If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a Sungrebe.
9.       The frogs don’t croak they squawk and the birds don’t squawk they croak.
10.       Be careful when asking if there is anything you can do for someone, they may take you up on it and expect to be carried!

GVI participants giving each other a helping hand (or wellie!)