Life as a falconer, insect systematist, and double Masters Student (or a look into the mind of someone who is questionably sane).
08 April 2007
02 April 2007
One of the last places we collected
Asleep in a hammock getting bit by black flies. They transmit river blindness, but I wasnt in the endimic area. Aubrey however did manage to get big in the endimic area and now we have to check her eyes for flecks occasionally to make sure shes not coming down with it.
15 February 2007
Lab has been going fine also, they had their first lab pratical also. It went ok, I wish I had gotten to be tricky with the specimens and put out some not typicals, but o well.
01 February 2007
26 January 2007
The original plan had been to go to AZ the weekend after school started to pick up the bird. JAC was going to come with me since he didn't want me driving all the way by myself, but most of the route was suppose to get snow, so we decided to postpone to the following weekend. I talked to Ralph and he said they were suppose to get a bad storm through and since the ground was frozen it would probabily stick pretty good, and he basicly forbid me from going. At that point I was already quesitoning going anyway, if it had been just me i would have gone, but I wouldn't put JAC at risk due to my own stubronness. So thrusday night rather than packing we went over to Stephen and Dasiys for dinner. Daisy, Maria, and Annaliese watched Grays anatomy then we all watched Monster Truck Rally. After watching that and then some hunting shows on the outdoor network we decided we should go try and shoot some birds. So me, JAC, Maria, and Stephen loaded up in stephens truck with a couple pellet guns and took off for tcwc, followed by annaliese and will. We got to TCTW and parked the truck. THere was a truck near the herbearium enterance, but we didnt see anyone so we walked over to the nature trail. Stephen heard a bird in the grass but none of us could find it, so we took off again. We walked a good ways through the trail but no luck, so we started just playing aournd out there. we came to a gully with a pipe across it so JAC the showoff walked across it. I decided to stick to the ground and ran across the gully. We made it back to the fence and this time rather than walking the extra 200yrds to the gate decided to go though the locked gate. We all made it through without too mcuh problem, ecept for will who climbed over the fence. As we made it across we realized that the truck had its lights on now so we all ran across the grass hiding our guns and dove behind various objects. Me, JAC, and maria ended up behind one of the trailers. Stephen ran to the truck and jumped inside and was going to come pick us up. We jumped in and threw the guns under the seat and out of view. The truck started looping around into the parking lot we were in and we elected annalise to go talk to the guy since everyone likes her. So she went over there and we all stayed in the trucks. They talked for a bit and then he drove off. She came back and told us hed asked what we were doing and she told him we were doing our ornitholgy project and listening for owls. It wasnt anyone from our dept. so they didnt know any better. It was great fun.
11 January 2007
10 January 2007
09 January 2007
08 January 2007
07 January 2007
Now this is an A+ set up- all pannels taut, nice placement- flyway with brush around
House near the river we collected at the day we headed north and almost got to Mexico
This is a cool catipillar we found
This is the village in the river blindness endemic area.
Here are a couple pictures of the kids up in the village everyone wanted their pictures taken so we spent a good 15 min doing so.
This is the view driving down the street in Antiqua.
This is the second place we stopped to collect at on our trip. There were a ton of leafhoppers in this small patch of grass. The mountian in the background is a volcano that erupted periodically.
This was the first Malaise Trap that AMC and I put up. Note the use of leaves and vines to get it possitioned correctly. The trap wasn't quite an A+ but I figure we made up for it in creativity.
The Computer store in one of the towns we drove through. You could tell what brands and products were sold inside a store by looking at what logos were painted on the walls such as Cannon, Intel, and HP in this case
Our 1st site was a small river flowing under the highway. There were quite a few leafhoppers here including quite a few id never collected. Our next site was similar as was the 3rd site. One thing that was really cool was that at the 2nd site there was a huge swarming group of Cicadellinae. The red and white ones- they were everywhere. I collected a huge series of them including some probable nymphs of the species and also the food plant they were feeding on. Maybe it could make a small paper. We then headed down the road a piece and passed through some small towns. We stopped in one and got some pepsi for dave and jose bought us all lime chips. I also got a coke. The chips were pretty tasty. Just the right amount of tangy lime and salt. We kept going and stopped in at a river under the highway. This site was pretty trashy looking but I got quite a number of bugs including some Tingids. I was all proud of my 2 tingids until AMC reached up while we were driving down the road and grabbed one off the ceiling in the truck. O well. It was nice while it lasted. We got to a larger city and I remined Jose we needed a fish for the malaise trap. He drove though the town looking for the open market then asked for a booth selling fish. He got some directions but we couldn’t find it. Saw a place selling raw chicken and live bunnies. Jose said we could always get a bunny. Dave said predead was better, but AMC and I are like live bunnies are fine. Jose found a parking spot and said hed be back with a fish in a min. Sure enough he showed back up with a small fish in a bag. We took off again down a dirt road that headed back to the reserve. Apparently it was the original highway. Jose wasn’t totally sure which fork to take so we stopped and asked some girls who didn’t know so he asked a guy on a horse with a dog. We got some directions after explaining what finca it was by since he didn’t know road names. We headed back down the road into some very different habitat. This area is in the rain shadow from the mountains the reserve is in. It was very dry with cactus, suclients, and small bushes. The whole area was also very flat. We came upto some cropland and Jose pointed out a tree that was part white and part brown. He said he thought some sort of homoptera did it but he wasn’t sure which. He said we could check it out if anyone was interested, so he stopped and got permission to check it out. We walked out there across this huge bone dry field that looked like it had been used to grow corn but had been plowed up. We got to this huge tree (related to an acacia) and jose jumped up and grabbed a branch. Sure enough it was wax that covered the branches. We couldn’t find any evidence of what type of bug it was though until Jose spotted a Flatid wing in a crevase in the bark. He proceded to tear out some chunks uncovering quite a few flatid wings. They were huge- 2 in long or so and white with dark spots. We poked around for a few more min before deciding there were no whole bugs. We all walked back to the truck and drove a bit further until we got to a small stream. There were some kids playing in it and dave gave them a bag of m&ms. We swept the area pretty good and I got some additional leafhoppers. This trip has been very productive for me as far as hoppers go. We drove down the road and started gaining altitude. We passed some long dead cows and some really cool scenery. Our last stop was a small stream up in the mountains. It was in a very dry area and there were some really cool bugs including some lavender cicadellids. On the way back to the reserve we passed through the oak forest were we will go tomorrow and an abandoned farm. Apaprently the farm managers had been aiding the army and some guerrillas came in and killed them then burnt the buildings during the revolution. The revolution sounds pretty terrible- the army rounded up a bunch of men in one of the towns near hear put them all in the churches then burnt them down. Back at the truck AMC and I collected some rocks for our geology buddies. On the way back to to reserve joses said dinner was chicken or steak if we wanted it. He was eating that and having a beer. This set off a drinking discussion and he asked dave if he drank. Apparently he only has a beer or 2 a year- basicly after getting a tattoo. That’s a little back wards. The he asked jrj who also said he didn’t drink. Jose must think tx people are strange- the women drink, are on time, and ride in the bed of the truck while the men are pretty much worthless. We got back to the reserve and Dave and JRJ promptly discover they locked the room key in the room. Shocking. We got back to our room and unloaded. Dave came by to say he was eating dinner at the main house so me and AMC went over there after checking the light. We went in and the woman said something in Spanish. We caught sit down and that was it. So we went outside and sat. after a while AMC went back to the room for a bit while I waited to see how this was going to work. Jose came down after a bit looked at me and said is there a communication issue? Im like yeah pretty much. Hes like what do you want? I said both me and AMC want steak and the best I could come up with was carne de vaca. He said that would have worked or just carne was fine too. And I got beef right even though AMC though I was making it up. Guess I do remember something from Spanish class. So he ordered it up then some random dude showed up ands like can you understand it? Im like not really but jose can translate if you need it. So jose ordered the random guy (who was from germany) dinner too. We stood around in the shop then Jose got him and me beers. The german guy didn’t want one. AMC showed back up and I told her id been right about how to say beef. I still don’t think she belives me. O well. Dinner was ready pretty quickly and she went off to get dave. I went inside and grabbed her an orange coke. The little girls like narania I said si then she said orange and I said si again. Then the woman appeared and im like por my hermana and she said si. I went out and put the coke at AMCs spot then when she appeared told her about the exchange. She was like hermana means sister. Id forgotten that but o well it convayed the meaning of this if for the other girl. That’s all that matters. We all ate- it was quite good. Steak, beans, rice, plantain, and some cheese. We ate with the german dude who was pretty fascinated with the whole insect collecting thing. I never though so many people would find it so interesting- comparing us to national geographic and all. After we were done eating we called JRJ to eat the scraps which he did. Daves like you feel like the family pet and he said yeah so im like at least we don’t make you do tricks for it and everyone but him got a good laugh. Hes going to try fogging again. Well see how that goes- its become the running joke of the trip really. After dinner we went over to the sheets with the german and he took some pictures. On the way over jose took the bag o fish and tied it to some kite string then threw it over a tree limb in hopes that the ringtailed cats etc would leave it alone. He asked for a knife and both me and jrj said we had one. We both grabbed for them (I went for the assist opening one). Unsuprisingly I won- I had mine open and in joses hand before jrj had even gotten his out of his pocket. I love the way it springs open when flicked. Jrj made some comment about how I carry around 3 and so it shouldn't be suprising and im like I have 4 don’t short change me a knife. He didn’t seem to understand the beauty of the knife and made some comment about people from texas. Whatever. I went up to grab the head lamps then back downstairs. My hopper catchers starting to break along the joint and I asked jose if he had any epoxy. He didn’t have any of that but he did have some strong electrical tape so we fixed it right up with that. Then the 3 of us went to check the malaise traps. Neither of them had very much but there was some stuff. We checked the other light and he gave me a Chrisina he caught and I also got a click beetle. It was raining a bit by now and then the fog rolled in. It was amazing how fast it came up. Jose went to bed and AMC and I went and checked the other sheet. I killed a couple of leps using the ammonia syringe then we called it a night also. I worked on my notes then typed this up while listening to music- it's become my tradition to listen to Bowling for Soups "Come Back to Texas" each night as I'm getting ready for bed. I love it down here, but nothing beats home. At 1120 AMC woke up and said she was having a bad dream where shes collecting on a cliff and got the label data wrong. Then she caught a silver beetle and though it was the coolest thing before waking up and realizing she was dreaming. I too dream of collecting while im collecting but mine have more to deal with bugs I really want (that actually exist) or ones ive already caught. Most of this trip its been dreams of catching leafhoppers in huge malaise traps that run for miles. Wish we actually had traps like that. Cammacks been in all my dreams usually as the other person on the trip. I keep wishing we could swap him out for JRJ. Life would be so much more fun. Jose made a comment about the 3 of us terrestrial people being collecting buddies and im like no our real 3rd member is back in tx then told him about the musketeers and the ets. The musketeers are the 1st time ive truly been part of a group where we all talk and hang out all the time. Now the 1st of the musketeers is in the real world and while the other 2 of us wont be joining if for a long time (really if ever) our time in the same school is rapidly ending. I really hope jac, me and tff (as AMC is known to JAC) take a trip down to this area. Itd be so much fun.
06 January 2007
AMC and I were up by 615. I packed and got ready then the 2 of us rolled malaise traps. I showed her how to roll them the way i do since Wharton isn’t a competent malaise trap packer. We had everything ready and packed by 7 when we were suppose to leave. Jose told us to go sign the guest book so the 2 of us went over and did so. We got back to the truck as JRJ showed up and started loading his stuff. We were on the road by 720. None of us were particularly hungry so we didn’t stop for anything. Eventually we stopped for gas in a town and while jose got gas we went over and grabbed some food. Aubrey and I got gummy bears, pork skins, and juice. I also got a small block of cheddar cheese. The juice was bitter and gritty tasting but it was cold so that was exciting AMC claims you can buy it in the states, but I've never seen this brand. I then fell asleep for a while as I tend to do these days on car trips. Our 1st stop was at about 1030 at a bridge over a stream. The bridge was very small and getting down to the water was kinda tricky so I stayed up on top and swept in the trees and grass. I got some cool membracids and a few new leafhoppers though. We only stopped for 20 min or so then back to the truck. Driving down the road we spotted a cop truck parked. All the cops here drive trucks. They signaled for us to stop and they looked at joses license and registration before allowing us to pass. Apparently that’s illeagal but the do it anyway and as jose puts it wastes everyones time. Dave said when he was down here 5 years ago theyed gotten pulled over by the military complete with guns. Jose said the military and police often work together to do that since the military cant pull people over by themselves. They search for drugs this way. By now Dave was needing a pepsi (I think hes addicted to them) so we found a good size town and looked for a pepsi sign. We finally found one and parked the truck. He got out and started heading for the bakery back down the street. We all followed and I kept tripping on the sidewalk. It was pretty sad. The bakery didn’t have much so me, AMC, and Jose headed back towards the truck. Jose pointed out the piñata shop and said I should get one since id told them about my 8year old birthday piñata experience. We stopped at a coke store and I got a can of coke for 3.5 Q I was very proud of the fact I knew what the cashier told me the total was. JRJ and David caught up with us and we loaded back up and took off. David handed out sweet bread so I ate a piece of that. We stopped a piece down the road at a bridge over a river near the town of San Antonio. The river was pretty wide and people were bathing and doing laundry. AMC and JRJ took off across the river while I worked the banks on the side we parked on. There was a small pond parallel to the river with some trees growing along it so I hit that pretty hard. I got a Chalcid one of the yellow ones with expanded hind femora it was quite exciting. There were also some cool membracids and a leafhopper or 2. Back in the truck where we made JRJ sit in the middle. The plan had been not to stop anymore and we drove on for quite a while. We went through the dry part of the country which was quite hilly. We then started climbing back up into the mountains and came across some small streams that went under the road. After passing the 1st one dave got all excited and said we should stop at the next one we saw. We drove for awhile before jose spotted one as we drove past. He turned the truck around and dropped dave off. The rest of us kept going until there was a spot to turn around at. We went back to the site and I swept a bit. We were only there 10 min or so before continuing on. At one point we went through a town and got stuck in a funeral procession. There was a truck full of flowers leading it followed by the casket carried by some pallbearers. One of them had recently had his right hand amputated and was carrying the casket on his bandaged stump. It looked rather painful. Following the body was a large group of mourners then lastly the band composed of a few trumpets.
We arrived at the Quetzal reserve at about 450 and got checked in. AMC and I are in room 2. We couldn’t figure out how to get the door open and decided apparently 2 BS weren’t enough you needed an MS. JRJ was able to get it open so this confirmed out theory. However he promptly locked his keys in his room so guess a MS means you can open the door once but then your screwed. We started packaging our malaise traps samples into worrle packs. The 1st trap with only 12 bugs we just hand packed and saved the alcohol for rinsing with. The next traps all had a lot of bugs in them is we just poured as much as we could into a woorlpack then decanted the alcohol off the top through the fishnet then into the grass. We continued packing up samples until Jose came up and said he was going to town to check his mail. He asked if we wanted to go and I said the only reason I could think of was to get beer. He got all excited and said lets go. So me and AMC finished up what we were doing and headed down to the truck. Jose had 3 beers (Gallo) and we climbed in the truck and took off down the mountain. I love no open container laws its like driving around on the ranch. We got down to town and went to the internet café. Jose got us each a computer and I dealt with my e-mail while drinking my beer. Gallo is definatly an experience. Its not the worst beer I've had but its also not exactly the best. We were down there for probably 30 min or so before heading back up to the reserve. We pulled up and turned in our bottles. David and JRJ were collecting at the bottom light and some people were watching them. We went to check it out and AMC reached for a beetle which apparently JRJ was taking a picture of. He freaked out and the 2 of us decided to grab our dinner (spam, crackers, and peanut butter) and go to the other sheet further up the hill to eat. We collected a bit then sat down to feed. After eating we went back to check out the other light. I put the left over spam in the fridge. There was an American couple watching David and JRJ. They’re from Washington and took 6 months off to explore Central America. Apparently they saw us drive up and unload and the guys like I know what they are ive seen similar stuff on the discovery channel and after we had everything running came to check it out. We heard ring tailed cats which brought up pumas. Apparently they’re all over the reserve but are rarely seen. They also have ocelots and jacarundies. Jose spotted a rare lep and caught it. He was holding onto it walking towards his box and I asked if he ever killed them by injecting alochol straight into the body. Just as I said this he pulled out a syringe and shot the lep up with clear liquid which turned out to be ammonia. Apparently this works better since you need less than a drop to kill your bug instantly. Between that and the snake last night AMC and I decided Jose is the master at perfect timing. We went back to the top sheet and I caught a large weevil. AMC called it a night for now at about 915 and we went back to our room after checking the bottom sheet. I decided to take a shower which was quite an adventure since the hot water heater was on the showerhead. I couldn’t get the water hot at all. AMC asked me how cold it was when I got done and I told her at no point did I think I was going to freeze to death but it defiantly wasn’t even remotely warm. She though this was funny and kept saying at no point did I think I was going to freeze to death. Todays major amusement was the total role reversal between the sexes on this trip. Who are we always waiting on? JRJ. Who rides in the back of the truck? AMC and I. Whos like lets get some beer? TAC and AMC. So apparently its us girls who drink beer, eat spam, and ride in the truck bed. Figures. Yeah were living the good life the guys just don’t know what theyre missing.
05 January 2007
We left the hotel a bit after 7am and drove northwest. We were heading up CA2 almost all the way to the Mexican boarder. I fell asleep pretty soon after leaving and didn’t wake up until we got to the town where we wre stoping for breakfast. We went to a chicken fastfood place but it was so packed in there we couldn’t find a place to sit so we went next door to burger king. I ordered bacon and orange juice in spansih with minimal help, not bad. It cost 10.25Q, so not even 2 bucks. Not bad. We ate and AMC decided she wanted a BK crown so JRJ got her one which she wore outside. On TV GWB was appointing a new head of the CIA or something, guess well find out what happened when we get back to the states. Next stop was the grocery store which strangely enough was inside a mall. On the way in we passed at least 6 different shoe stores including payless. This store was quite a bit larger and actually had a lot of food. I got peanut butter (jif), a can of spam, 2 apple juice and 2 mango orange juices both kenrs. I also got a pigma pen like I was using in dominica. All for a total of 82Q. We walked back to the truck when JRJ decided he needed to go to the restroom. So as usual we were standing around waiting on JRJ to get his act together. We headed off back down the road then stopped for gas at Esso aka Exxon, complete with a tigermart. It was a full service gas station so the attendant came out pumped our gas, cleaned the windows etc. It was my 1st experience with that since even in dominica you had to pump your own gas which was quite amusing to watch since neither JBW or Lacher could figure out how to open up the gas tank- how many phds does it take to pump gas? Then it was back on the road. I fell asleep again and woke up as we were coming up to our 1st collecting spot. It was a bridge off the highway over a large fast flowing river. The area was sandy but had a lot of trash. We jumped out and I started sweeping. Got some cool things considering how disturbed it was including some Flattids, cool looking membracids, and some new cicadellids. I chased down an ascilid also. Dave and jose found some ant lion pits and sifted out a few 3rd instars. We were all waiting on JRJ as usual who was off who knows where. Dave suggested we but a leash on him and take turns being the josh keeper. Back on the road we pulled off at a second bridge. This one was near a town and a bunch of people were bathing and doing laundry. The area was very disturbed but Dave got some good mayflies. I went and swept alittle but didn’t get anything of interest and only a couple leafhoppers at that. It was totally reminiscent of the little brazos as far as appearance, diversity, and set up. Strange. So AMC and I sat on the tailgate and drank juice (me) and boxochoclate milk (AMC) and talked about collecting methods. After a while everyone else was ready to go so we loaded back up into the truck and drove north. We went through a goodsize town looking for a place to buy pesticides for JRJs fogger. We couldn’t see anything (we were looking for buildings with syngenta or bayer logos) and jose figured itd be further down so we kept driving. The streets were packed with trycilce jeep deals called toktoks or something like that since that’s the brand. We eventually made it most of the way down the road with no luck. Jose stopped and asked someone walking down the street and he said it was just a few building down. Of course they were closed. So we asked someone else who pointed us to a pet shop so that was a no go. We kept heading out of town and found a place to collect near this huge fast river. We parked in someones dirt garden and climbed out. The dog on the roof of the house started barking at us and jose yelled something at the woman who appeared. Apparently we got permission and we started collecting. This site was really good for hoppers. Some cool looking membracids and a couple species of leafhopper I hadn’t collected yet. I also caught a green lacewing. After 30 min or so dave said we needed to get going so we all climbed back up to the truck. JRJ was of course nowhere to be seen so we got all our stuff loaded up and then he appeared saying hed found somemore pits and he needed a shovel. So he took AMCs trowel and went to dig some up. After a while he said he had enough and we headed back down the hill. There were tons of kids running around I think school had just gotten out. We got back on the main road and started going south a different way then we came. We went over a road that had gotten totally destroyed by a hurricane. It got washed out and the water must have been 10-20ft deep. It moved around some huge rocks also. Very impressive. We made it back to the road wed came in on and after a bit went through a town with a circus tent. As we drove past Jose spotted a chemical store and circled back around to check it out. It was mainly a feed store and as david pointed out contained pictures of happy dogs, cats, sheep, and chickens along with a pissed off looking cow. Jose and JRJ got out and bought the pesticide to try in the fogger. Sortly after that we stopped at a shell station to buy some snacks. I got AMC and I some peanut M&Ms. JRJ got some sugar covered peanuts then tried to explain them by saying the were like what you eat at Christmas which made all the rest of us deiced he was crazy. Then it was back in the truck where conversation rapidly degraded into making fun of josh for trying to tell us fables. AMCs like your boring and im not listening anymore. Dave started telling stories of things hed seen in the philipeans. We made it back to the hotel after dark- thered been a ton of traffic and some accidents along the way which made the going really slow. It also started raining toward the end and we had to get out and move our stuff into the cab. We got back to the hotel and honked to get let into the compound. There wasn’t a guard within hearing distance apparently so jose got out and got one to let us in. We stopped to see if the office was still open and luckily it was. We paid 82 US for 3 nites plus 3 meals. Not cheep but not too bad. I used up all my extra money on that so hopefully I can find someplace to get more money. Turns out they have internet in the office so I ran back to the room and got stuff ready to go pull traps and then went back to use the internet. Eventually it was my turn and I e-mailed grandpa, mom, and JAC. I told JAC about my morpho but not about the cool ant mimics since AMC and I decided to suprise him with those.Once we were done with the net AMC and I went back to the rooms and found jose to go pick up our traps. We told JRJ wed pick up his trap also. We had a good time driving up there talking about the differences in collecting styles. That’s been a big issue me and AMC like lots of stops short duration while JRJ and dave prefer staying in one spot for an extended period. This caused some headbutting for planning tomorrow since we could either go south and hit some new places or head east and go the the reserve right away. I really wanted to go south as did jose and AMC. JRJ never really said which he wanted and dave didn’t want to go south. We eventually decided to head south but make only 2 stops and try to get to the reserve by 3. Jose got the 1st 2 malasie traps along with JRJs fogging sheet which shockingly enough had virtually no bugs while AMC and I picked up pan traps. We got somemore ant mimic membracids and a good number of cicadellids. I think we left a couple traps out though since when it was all said and done I only counted 26 eventhough I though id put out 30. o well. It was rather amusing since AMC was just telling me she hated snakes after hearing a rustling noise she though was either a snake or a puma when jose showed up with a small snake. It was brown and grey with a faint pattern. Lookeds similar to a garder snake in body shape. AMC was rather amused. Back at the truck we were talking about how annoying the jars were to deal with and Jose said he uses woorl packs straight on the head. This makes a ton of sence and I think were going to give this a try. Next stop was the malaise trap set across the path by a stream a bit further up the road. This trap had a ton of bugs and was much easier to take down than putting it up had been, or maybe since I couldn’t see the fact I was hanging over the edge of the embankment I didn’t think about falling down into the stream. We then went all the way up to the top turned around and collected the one in the bamboo patch. It also had a pretty good sample for only being out 24 hrs or so. The final trap was the one set up along the embankment. There were only a couple bugs in this trap it was kinda an experimental placement and guess it needs some modification. We loaded everything into the truck and drove down to the rooms. The traps were a bit damp so the 3 of us hung them up on the porch to dry out. Jose went to bed and AMC and I ate dinner of tuna, crackers, and peanut butter. I also had a can of mango apple juice. We turned on some country and had a grand old time singing and feeding as Aubrey called dinner. Then it was time for bed.
Its interesting the differences between here and dominca. Dominica seems much poorer in many ways. Most of the houses there were really run down while these while not the suburbs or anything weren’t in horrible shape. Something that struck me in dominica was that when you were in Roseau there were people everywhere just sitting around not doing any actual work no matter what day or time it was. Here people seem poor but are all working. They are fairly well dressed in the towns and everyone has some form of shoes. Out in the country the workers are all wearing pretty dirty clothes but you go by the houses and everyone has wash hung up. Also the dogs are radically different . Dominica had few dogs and most of those were quite skinny and didn’t look too good coat wise. There are tons of dogs running around but most of them look to be in ok shape. Theyre not fat but theyre not skin and bones either in most cases. Ive only seen a couple mangy dogs also. Many are even identifiable breeds especially rotties and German Shepards. The roads are also in much better shape as are the cars. Most people here have trucks or suvs and many of them are in pretty good shape- still shiny and newish. A lot of them are diesel which is very cheap (18-19Q) vs regular gas (22-23Q). Ive learned a ton on this trip. Dominica was so easy as far as gear since as quartermaster of the expedition I could just assign people to bring any gear I wanted but couldn’t fit. This time I had 2 bags and that was all I had to deal with. Im learning what I actually need for how I collect which ive discovered is about the same stuff as I thought (exciting) but that as far a malaise traps go there are some spacesaving possibilities such as not using jars. AMC agreed that this was a great learning experience. I think it’s the only way to learn since collecting back in the states is a totally different ball game in many respects- you forget something you can find it at walmart. It also helps that I didn’t have woolley telling me everything to bring etc. I had to plan it out and figure out what I needed and what I could do without so I actually learned some.