As of last Saturday, I am back from my sabbatical in Belize (the neighborhood where I lived in Belize City is pictured below). The last six months there were life-changing and paradoxical, as there were some extreme ups and extreme downs during that time. I hope to write more a more elaborate account of my time there and give a few presentations, but for now I'm just relieved to be at my home base in KC and back to Rockhurst. We started classes Tuesday, and it's been great to get back into the swing of things and see all of the students and colleagues I've missed. It is, however, way too cold here for my taste. :)
Saturday, October 4, 2014
Today, Ms. Godoy and I, along with our awesome Lab Manager, Rasheed (in the white shirt, below), took 30 Ecology students to Guanacaste National Park in Belmopan, Belize. They were able to study the flora and fauna of rainforest and riparian ecosystems, starting with some Emballonurid (sac-winged) bats that were roosting in one of the picnic shelters. On the trail they observed forest zonation, epiphytes, and various species of medicinal plants. They then collected soil and water samples and analyzed them on site (pictured). The only issue was that the bus repeatedly overheated on the way home due to a hole in the radiator hose, but our trusty driver just pulled over and added water (below) as needed. It was a fun and productive day, and I hope the students thought so too!
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
As of this weekend, I have now visited the Holy Trinity of Belize Mayan ruins, as depicted on the back of the $2 bill (pictured below). The holiday weekend, which celebrated Belize's Independence Day, also marked my first real trip to Guatemala and another enjoyable time in San Ignacio.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Monday, September 8, 2014
Usually the only pictures in which I am featured are those where I am using some part of my body for scale (see "Enormous Fungus," "Giant Cane Toad," and "Yummy Vegan Meal" below), but I agreed to be in the last pic with an old friend (Richard, far right) and two new friends I met in Belize (Nuria and Ahmed). This picture was taken at a place called Pier One, out on a pier in the Caribbean, in the dark because the electricity had gone out. All we could hear was each other and the waves crashing next to us. Great night.