Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Look forward to ...

- Flying to Peru
- Not being in 10 degree weather
- Meeting the other research assistants
- Monkeys
- Not being in 10 degree weather
- Taking a boat up the Madre de Dios river
- Having a legitimate excuse for carrying around my Venom Extractor
- Trapping monkeys
- Watching monkeys
- Extracting genetic data from monkeys
- Tramping around the rainforest
- Improving my Spanish
- Using my undergrad education practically
- Seeing a capybara
- Other monkeys
- Not being in 10 degree weather

Saturday, December 19, 2009

As a newly minted non-undergraduate, I've been enjoying my freedom and the real world. Napping. Napping on radiators. Napping with cats on my head. Napping with dogs on my feet. I'm looking forward to whenever the potential blizzard gets here so that I can nap while it's snowing! Excitement indeed. I'm also remembering how to read books to enjoy them. I got an armful at the library this afternoon, and I anticipate even more books tomorrow at a different library! In addition to the normal complement of books in English, I got a few books in Spanish to try to read - including "Asi es Josefina." This is particularly exciting because I had Josefina!

I leave for the Amazon two weeks from Monday! I turn 22 three weeks from today! The future is exciting.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Moving on

My last weekend as a real live undergraduate approaches! I just sent in my final graduate school application! I've had my last Wash U Swing Society event! In five weeks, I'll be in a boat heading up the Madre de Dios River! Preparing to leave St. Louis is ... odd. I really need to legitimately start saying goodbye to people, but I don't really feel like it. I had my last class with my advisor yesterday, and I admit to tearing up slightly at the prospect. I'm such a sap!

Our last few days in Turkana were huge whirlwinds. Two days before leaving, we went out to prepare TOP 1 for eroding out nicely between then and next year, and we did some minor screening in the vicinity, but headed back to camp in the afternoon. I helped Tab wrap up cataloging and preparing some of the leftover fossils, and we started taking down bits and pieces around camp. Packing up the Purple Chicken windsock, sorting through the things in the kitchen, etc. Martin left two days early - he went into Lokichar with us to get our last allotment of water and then stayed. John Mark left the next day - he went into Loperot with Tab to pay our laundry and water bill and stayed.

The morning of The Move, pretty much every Turkana within walking distance from our camp began gathering in our general vicinity. I had my camera out to document the craziness that was
packing up 8 weeks of life and the Turkana coming to take the things we didn't want, so I became everyone's favorite person as women and kids posed for pictures and then looked at them on the back of my digital camera.

After about a half hour of crazed picture taking/posing, Martin's brother (in charge at Nakwai, the man in the middle with the white wrap around his shoulders) told me "Arumor" - enough. Everyone had to leave, and we had to pile into the trucks and drive off. Our huge accumulation of THINGS:

had been stuffed in a truck. And with that ... we headed off. It's very strange thinking I'll probably never see most of these people again - but what a pivotal couple of months of my life.