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The adventures of Fe & Chris

Our new home

We are now in Cusuco National Park in north-west Honduras. We shall be here for two months working for Operation Wallacea, so our map marker is unlikely to move for a while. We arrived here two days ago after enjoying a very scenic, if bumpy, ride up the mountain in the back of a pick-up truck.

I have been getting up at 0500 to go out birding. I am rapidly learning the bird songs of the forest with the aid of an iPod. On Tuesday I am going to a field camp to count birds for a couple of weeks. It was sold to me as being some of the finest forest in the park so I happily agreed - I have since found out it is also the wettest and inhospitable camp!

Fiona is just polishing her PhD before she magically submits it remotely. She spent all yesterday meeting with the different science groups so she can ensure the project database is correctly set up for their needs. There are about 50 scientists here and 50 university students. Next week they shall all disperse around the forest to the different field camps, but then school kids will arrive!

Our living conditions are thus:

We are living in a little tent and get force-fed corn tortillas. A diesel generator provides power during part of the day and a satellite dish provides a sluggish internet connection. It rains every evening (so far). We have been given copious instructions in how to deal with snake bites. The showers are very cold and only mildly alarming. Fiona calmly endured her cold shower whilst chuckling at the girlie screams of a man in the next cubicle. 


  Keir wrote @ July 1st, 2007 at 4:59 am

So was the screaming man Chris?

  Lynne wrote @ July 1st, 2007 at 2:53 pm

You’re lucky that it only rains at night, 2 weeks in Brittany and it rained every day too!!

  El Grouse wrote @ July 2nd, 2007 at 4:52 am

Rain - as indeed it has in Edinburgh
Showers - stand in the rain as it is frequently warmer than shower water.
more on showers - if the water is cold, do not shower.
more on not showering - you will smell though, but hey, in the field, no one can smell you anyway.

  Keir wrote @ July 2nd, 2007 at 5:04 am

El Grouse, with regards your last point. that sounds very like a horror movies title. but we would have to make the scratch and sniff version - and that is what I recon Chris and Fee will be doing a lot of if they don;t wash

  Chris’s Mum and Dad wrote @ July 2nd, 2007 at 7:44 am

El Grouse - come to York! The rain here is terrific, Edinburgh’s is gentle in comparison! You could have a really good wash in the rain here. However our nearby manmade lake (not quite the standard of Dunsapie, Duddingston or Linlithgow lochs) coped very well with the excessive rainfall.

  Alex wrote @ July 4th, 2007 at 1:02 am

Have you seen any leeches yet?

  Fiona wrote @ July 4th, 2007 at 8:16 pm

Funny you should ask that - on the first day here one of the birders (who has spent previous years in Indonesia) spotted a ‘leech’ on the side of a tent, I went to inspect and was pretty certain it was in fact a small black caterpillar, but he was determined it was a leech and although I didn’t think they occurred here I wasn’t confident enough to say. He then proceeded to squish the poor thing :-(. I am still certain that it was a caterpillar as I haven’t seen any leeches and we haven’t been warned about them, so I guess they prob exist, just not as a particular threat. Lovely. Aren’t you glad you asked?!

  Margaret & Andrew wrote @ July 7th, 2007 at 1:13 am

How are you getting on, Fiona?
Best wishes
Margaret & Andrew

  Lorna (Lil’ sis) wrote @ July 10th, 2007 at 2:06 pm

Once again, sorry for the delayed reaction - reports, new intake, and general end of school year stuff.

I can beat Mum and Dad on the rain. The large dorma village outside grimsby in which I work (still thinking pupil confidentiality - but no tales about ‘bob’ though) was flooded. Had to ring some parents that I was doing home visits for to find out if they were under water. There was about four foot of water outside some of the houses in the village and various bits of grimsby and cleethorpes were badly flooded too. Not where i live though, and school sadly was not closed.

Now, Graeme. Please do not encourage my brother not to wash. He smells bad enough at the best of times, as you should know having lived with the boy and I am sure michael will confirm this. Do you not remember how badly his bedroom used to smell?

Fiona, for your sake, please make sure his personal hygiene is maintained. It was bad enough enduring his lack of hair washing when he came home from university as well as his smelly bedroom. URGH!. It was rank!

Fiona, I beg you, please make sure he is clean and sparkly. Otherwise will have to tell of the lack of personal hygiene of this countries infant children (apologise to Lachlan and Lynne, I am sure Freya is being taught impecable personal hygine), it is not good. Not sure what that has to do with him but hey ho.


  Fiona wrote @ July 11th, 2007 at 2:17 pm

Luckily he is in a different camp to me, so don;t have to smell him. Am slightly concerned about the smelly room at uni - I hat that minging boy smell which I presume was the case with him!! I am currently more concerned at the potential for pig smell - see soon to appear post…!

  Lorna (Lil’ sis) wrote @ July 15th, 2007 at 7:54 am

His room at 6VT was smelly too! Mum says it never quite lost the smell!

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