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Archive for August 21st, 2015

5 Aug 2015


Chris, Soleni, Mia, and Ryan leave in the morning. As soon as they leave, the day starts becoming interesting. I find a huddled group of 3 birds on the ground. It appears that one of the workers cut a banana tree where the birds’ nest was, causing it to fall to the ground. I fashion a crude nest and place it in a nearby tree. The notion that birds will abandon their young if handled is complete nonsense, and soon the parents, two vociferous clay colored robins, are feeding their babies once again. Shortly thereafter, Luke, one of the other interns comes running up and asks whether I had a first aid kit. I run and grab it and head to the field, where James, one of the workers, has sliced his toes with a machete. The machete cut clean through the boot and nearly to the bone. I don my vinyl gloves and try to stop the bleeding. After about five minutes it coagulates enough to clean the cut with some water and rubbing alcohol. I try to close the wound with some butterfly bandages, gauze, and duct tape. It’s not much, but it ought to get him to the clinic in San Pedro Columbia. Luke and I carry him to the dory and direct the other workers to accompany him to the clinic. James, ever the macho man, wants to walk, but we absolutely forbid him to do so. He’ll have to get it stitched and is probably out of commission for a while. Since we are down the river and completely exhausted from hauling James about 200 meters to the riverside, we jump in. The water is low, but the current is quite strong nonetheless. The turquoise waters are opaque but gorgeous, reflecting the sunlight filtering through the green of the canopy above. That was enough excitement before lunch and we rest.

Leaf-cutter ant trail

Leaf-cutter ant trail

After lunch, more wood chopping and I decide to do some trail maintenance, as it has become markedly wet after last night’s rains. Chopping bamboo seems like a good material for some corduroy, however the little hairs that rub off of the stems of this giant grass quickly cover every inch of us and are extremely irritating. Our skin rises in little red patches similar to an allergic reaction. We run down the river and try to wash them off to some, but not complete, success.

After dinner we discover the source of a smell that has been bothering us at the dining area: a dead and decaying Virginia Possum in the yard. We cover it in ash and dirt, but the chickens are intrigued and start scratching at it to get to the maggots.

My batty friends

My batty friends

I head to bed. A pair of greater-white-lined bats seem to be my new bunkmates. I don’t bother them, as they are insectivorous and may help cut down on the number of biting insects that make their way into my room.

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