News and updates from our outreach events as well as journal entries from Katie's fieldwork seasons.


Updates - Field Weeks 2-4

Collection is continuing well, and the rain has slowed down significantly. Apparently, there are more tropical storms headed this way so the break in the rain may be temporary, but I'm enjoying the lack of flooding and muddy water coming out the faucet.

A few days ago I saw my first deer in the forest thanks to a field assistant helping out on another project. The monkeys have been visiting areas of their territory which I've never seen before. It's nice to have a better idea of the border areas of the territory, but I also end up in places like the one pictured below.


After enjoying a day and a half of rest, I'm back to the field tomorrow. It's very tiring to be on my feet for 10 hours a day, but the truth is, because I have so little time to do anything else, the days pass pretty quickly. I can't believe it's been a month already.



Updates - Field Week 1

Tropical storms are passing through the area so it floods in the area every night. It's very impressive how quickly the water rises and falls. Luckily, most of the rain falls at night and not when I'm in the field.

I brushed up against this caterpillar. It was not a pleasant experience. I do think it's beautiful though.



I got my first round of fecal samples yesterday, which was great. Today the monkeys slept a lot so the day was more relaxed. On the way back to my cabana from the forest, the collective van I hopped into was playing peppy, stereotypical Mexican music. There were three people squeezed in the front, one with a blue bandana tied around his neck. The man sitting next to me in the back had a giant basket of gum and candy and cigarettes for sale. The driver had looped a rosary around the rear-view mirror. In the middle of the windshield there was a small rubber chicken, a Jesus medallion, and an orange pine tree air freshener all attached with suction cups. A Virgin of Guadalupe sticker was up in the righthand corner of the windshield as well. All of this reminded me that I am in Mexico, and it put me in a good mood.


Things are going well in the field so far. I collected my first round of fecal samples today. It also rained like you would think it rains in the rainforest. The monkeys started howling at the same time. That combined with the thunder and the flooding trail made for quite a scene.

I had a few visa issues coming in since they marked my status incorrectly, but those are hopefully fixed now after hours of waiting in the immigration office. Now my biggest concerns are how to get to internet often enough to keep up with business and where to find the monkeys every morning.

Pictures to follow (depending on internet speed): 1) Villahermosa does flood. Drawing and photo of drawing by Meli (8 years old) of me flying over the pyramids in Palenque. 200 years of Mexican independence Palenque style. Monkeys and monkeys in binoculars.







Leaving for the field on September 12, 2010.

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