Today marks the 30 days left for our program in Panama and it’s so weird to think how much I am excited to go home but sad to know that I will be leaving this place and these people so soon. I can’t believe that at the start of this blog we had 30 days counting down to our arrival and now there is only 30 days til our departure back to the beloved States. Time certainly has flown but I have learned and experienced so much in these last 9 weeks.
Here’s what we have been up to and what’s to come this week:
1. First off, last week was the School for Field Studies version of Hell Week, otherwise known to science majors as the week before finals in which the most projects are due. We found ourselves frantically working on an MPA zoning plan, socio-ecological reflections, turtle species posters, excel “fun,” and last but not least a 10 page research paper on tourism effects in Panama. Ask us anything about the tourism effects here and we’ll oblige with “95,000” (Shout out to our favorite program adviser Marta!) literature reviews and management plans!
2. Our favorite time of year at Loma: REGISTRATION. And finally for once, things went our way. Yes, there was still stress, timing issues, and lack of internet but we made it through and Megan and I are fully registered for the Spring. I can tell you are just itching to have us back in your lives ASAP And speaking of itching…
3. Just thought I’d throw in their that Megan and I are still getting eaten alive by the chitras, otherwise known as sand flies. These things are way more prevalent now that the rain has increased during the wet season. Yes, the rain helps with our climate control but it does nothing to help my poor arms and legs!
4. Just because we are in Panama doesn’t mean we can’t catch the elections! No matter who you support, it is a very interesting experience witnessing the elections from abroad. Ask anyone here what my Tuesday, Nov. 6th consisted of and they’ll just laugh in your face at my obsession with electoral maps!
5. It’s finals week! Can you imagine, finals in NOVEMBER? 2/3 are done and tomorrow’s final is sure to be the easiest! No, we are not done with the semester yet either we are just making room for…
6. Directed research projects! It actually begins directly following our last exam. This class will last the rest of the semester and Megan and I are so excited about our respective projects! Megan will be working this semester on researching the invasive species known as the red lionfish and I will be researching the socio-ecological effects of tourism on the national marine park in BDT. You will be sure to find pics of dissections and town surveys shortly!
That’s it for life as of yet! If your still reading this blog, we want to take the time to thank you for sticking with us through the slow posts lately. As school has gotten crazy and field trips have increased, blogging time has been hard to come by. Keep in mind that as finals end and research begins our available time will increase and amazing stories will come full throttle!
P.S. If you’d like to read more about the trip to Boquete we took awhile back that Megan mentioned in her last post here is a link to a post I wrote for the SFS News From the Field Blog equipped with more pictures and in depth stories of our week in the Chiriqui cloudforest!
P.P.S Enjoy a few pics from our Halloween baking extravaganza, lionfish research introduction, and our “Watching People Watching Dolphins” and Red Frog Marina and Resort field exercises!