A turn for the worst


Just heard some bad news.  Chad just heard from the airline that our tickets got messed up, and somehow they processed them for Thursday, April 15th rather than Thursday, April 8th.  He’s been trying to get things switched around, but the airline is being uncooperative, and alternative options are very expensive.  Couple that with the local strike by the Bean Growers Guild (BGG) and things are getting very frustrating.  You may laugh, but that’s a big deal down here.  Marc said we’ll probably end up having to just stay the extra week in a cheap hotel in Panama City somewhere and return on the 15th, because it’s looking like too much of a hassle to switch the dates.
 
Wish I could offer some good news but not a whole lot has gone right recently.  The local herp populations have been recently decimated by a virus that has been sweeping through Central America for the past 3 years and so it has been difficult to collect enough data for many of the groups.  One groups study organism, Norops lionatus, has gone locally extinct due to poaching, so they have had to shift their research focus to studying the effects of adding human feces to the water supply for the biological station.  The frog people discovered upon arrival that frogs haven’t been invented yet in Panama, which threw a big wrench into their plans.  In addition, radiation from the local Twinkie factory has mutated the local aquatic organisms.  Ethan and Nancy’s crabs begun to grow modified claws that double as radio antennas broadcasting Phil Collins.  I’m a big fan of Genesis, but not everyone here seems to appreciate musical genius.
 
My research project has been getting steadily better as my sample collection techniques have improved.  I’ve discovered that dead leaves only come out during the daytime to sun themselves, and if I’m quiet I can sneak up on entire packs of them at once and cleverly capture them in my trashbags.  A word from the wise- don’t even try to get them during the nighttime, they are much too agile and good at swimming.  If you let them get to the river you’ll never catch them!
 
Nobody has seen Andrea in awhile.  We were joking on the bus with this old Panamanian man, laughing a lot, having a good time, not really understanding anything he was saying.  I’ve found that nodding my head and repeating “si!” over and over is a good way to make people think you speak Spanish.  Anyway, once we got off the bus, the man handed me 5 bucks, plopped poor Andrea in a wedding dress and rode off with her into the sunset on his horse, a silvery steed named Tonto.  Sometimes I wonder what their children will look like.
 
In other news, Cameron will be offering an informational seminar upon our arrival on how not to let your crap get stolen in a foreign country, open to all who are interested.
Right now I’m in Bocas Del Toro.  That part isn’t a lie.
  1. #1 by Chandler Ballentine on April 4, 2010 - 3:57 am

    LOL paul this was awesome. Thanks for a great story man. I hope to see u soon and perhaps i have a certain ticket for a certain fellow related to science waiting for you.

    Peace out brother!!!

  2. #2 by Audrey on April 11, 2010 - 10:19 am

    ooo Man Peaches, that was a rough week! Darn poaches, I had to study poop for the whole trip! Glad you figured out how to catch your tricky study organism… I know it was rough at the get go. I found Andrea by the way, she seems very happy. I think she said she was just going to stay. I heard the man from El Valle is working on inventing frogs. I hope that works out, they would be a great addition to Panama considering all the herps are gone. Can’t wait to get home thursday, its only the 11th so just a few more days! 🙂

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