It’s strange how a theme will keep popping up in conversations over the course of days or weeks. This phenomenon has occurred several times on this trip, and the best example of it is the one I’ve made the title of this post: “creativity vs conformity.” Before I explain this concept in more detail, let me provide an example. Yesterday, I was standing in one of the labs here at the field station.
I used to be terrified of bees and wasps. If I was playing in the yard and I saw a wasp in the neighbor’s bushes, I would run inside. And yet, now I am considering a career in entomology. Quite a lot has changed between my childhood fears and now. A lot had to be overcome to go on this trip, hiking into thick rain forest brush and trees. I remember once screaming at the top of my lungs at what I thought was something with a stinger, which turned out to be a crane fly, a fly that many call a giant mosquito but is harmless.
Writing blog posts by flashlight isn’t ideal, but I’d better start this post if I’m going to finish by the time the power shuts off at 9:30 p.m. The past two days have been a blur. We went from Lima to the field station yesterday, a journey with 3 legs: a flight to Puerto Maldinado, a van trip to the Madre de Dios river, and a 4-hour boat trip to the field station.
Today was our first couple of hikes on the trails at CICRA. Going into this experience, I really had no idea what to expect. I had a cartoon illustration with monkeys swinging on vines and colorful beetles surrounding us, but I was not far off. We walked through a rainforest full of life: everything was alive! The birds and the monkeys could be seen jumping around on the trees, filling the jungle with their calls. It didn’t take long to train my eyes to see smaller details. Uncovering a plant to reveal miniature ecosystems. Life depending on life.
By Jeff Miller
By Kelsey Murrell
By Reed Niemack
By Riley Wertenberger
Human interaction has always been fascinating to me – the way people act the way they do and how they use their resources to create communities, language, and ways of life.
These interests of mine, including the biology opportunites, lead me to study abroad in Peru. I have found that traveling broadens the mind and spirit!
By Joe Jalinsky
Coming to Lima I was determined to speak Spanish as much as possible. My knowledge of the language is a bit lacking but I usually can get my point across using broken sentences accompanied by a variety of hand or body gestures. It has led to some confusion. One night I ordered a bottle of water with ice cream in it when I meant to say ice (helado vs hielo). For the most part exchanges have been successful and I have been gaining confidence in my ability to communicate.