Life as a falconer, insect systematist, and double Masters Student (or a look into the mind of someone who is questionably sane).
10 January 2007
Guatamala Day 8
We woke up about 715 and I quickly got ready. We went over to Jacks shortly before 740 and I ate some oreos for breakfast (breakfast of champions) JRJ showed up just as we needed to leave ands like is it too late for breakfast? AMC sent him upstairs to grab her kill jar shed lent him and we met dave outside. Hes like wheres josh? For once though we actually knew where he was. Jack drives a BMW so we loaded up in it- dave in the back for once and drove a few feet before Jack realized we were making the car ride even lower than normal. He said hed bottom out if we all stayed in the car so everyone but AMC piled out and he drove up the driveway. We got back in but he bottomed out going over the grate so we all got out and he drove up the block until he got to a flat area and we piled back in again. Along the way we set off a ton of dogs including a husky on the roof of the house next door and this ugly shaved thing with bangs. AMC said it had an angry haircut so she didn’t like it. Back in the car we bottomed out going over the joint with the street and slowly made our way to campus- there was a ton of traffic so it took a bit. We arrived at the university (and highschool, grade school, and elementary school) and were let into the parking lot. We walked up to the 3rd floor of a large building where entomology was. The halls and everything were outside and the place had a sort of high school feel to it (complete with lockers). The building was pretty nice as was the landscaping. The ento rooms included a collection, a working area, an applied lab and jacks office for systematics and ecotourism. Jose had told me that ecotourism was a major there and he was actually jacks 1st student in it since he didn’t do so well in chem. etc for biology. We toured collections- there were quite a few cabinets but looking in the drawers made me cringe. There were bugs crammed in, stacked on top of eachother, pieces everywhere, looked like there was a dermested problem at some point, and also a totally nonstandard labling system, pointing, and lines. It was actually painful for me to look at. There were 3 drawers of cicadellids- all unsorted. So I had my work cut out for me. There was also a computer with internet acess which was quite exciting for me the internet junkie that I am. JRJ, AMC, and I walked with jack to find out where the cafeteria was and then AMC and I walked a bit farther towards the parking garage.. Back at collections I checked my e-mail and sent a few to various people. Midway through this a girl came in and said she was the one that use to work on Cicadellids. We talked for a while, turnes out she hasn’t worked on them for about a year since shes now working on mosquitoes. Eventually jrj appeared and started talking to her also. They took off to look at mecoptera and I went back to my e-mail. Once I was done with this I started working on leafhoppers. I stared at the drawers just trying to figure out where to start. It was such a disaster area. They seemed to have about 6 drawers of material and absolutely no rhyme or reason to it- it wasn’t even grouped by collection as far as I could tell which seems to be the most common way for unsorted material. I decided to just start doing a basic subfamily sort and stick names on stuff I knew as I came to it. By now it was about 1030 and I was starting to get hungery. Jose showed up a bit after 11- it was nice to have my main source of entertainment (exclucing AMC of cource) back in the area. He brought in a drawer full of bugs he was donating- it was uplifiting to see a drawer in good shape with nice neat and orderly rows, with good data on nice looking labels and bugs all in one piece. Sort of restored my hope in Guatemalan entomology. JRJ took a picture to document the donation since apparently theyre not so good at keeping track. Jose needed something to download the picture on so I pulled out my cardreader and he pulled it off. I was starving by now and asked him when we were going to go eat. Hes like are you hungery? I told him I was then remarked that he should know the answer to that by now since im always up for more food. He said wed go in 10 min and told the others. I went back and moved a few more bugs around. So far its a lot of cicadellinae, some delts, and a fair number of gyponinae. Very few typhos but I think that’s a sampling bias. It was time to go eat so the 5 of us headed down to the street. The truck was pretty close to the exit was used so that was exciting. I think I could recognize that truck anywhere now. Jose said we were going to a Mexican place near the university and his wife would meet us there we got to the place and he dropped us off to go park. We went in and grabbed a table. A women came and took our drink orders. Jose came in and said our measls would come with lemonade so went and canceled the orders. We sat around waiting then got our drinks. Jose's wife came and ate with us also. The lemonade was great. I ordered fish (dolphin fish) which was quite tasty. After lunch we went to the souvineer area and wandered around looking for things to buy. I found a Gallo shirt and decided i wanted one but couldnt figure out what color to get. We went to a bunch of shops and I found some small paintings. They were really cool looking- bright with mountians and boats. So i got one for cammack, and one for my parents. I then saw one that was a bit larger and got that for myself. While AMC was getting a few also I went next door and got a black Gallo shirt. Then she and I wandered somemore until we came across these cool paintings done on tree trunk sections. I got one of those also. I declared myself to be done shopping and so just wandered around looking at the shops. After everyone was finished we went back to the collection and worked until about 6. We went to burger king for dinner which was quite an adventure. AMC went 1st and told them no for everything including is this for here? So we got our food in take out bags. I tried ordering a number 1 without vegetibles. Even though i used the correct words i still got veggies on it. O well. They didnt give me a sprite but after trying to figure it out withough either one being able to understand the other they gave me a sprite. So much easier with Jose coming to the rescue when ordering gets tricky. We were joined by the department head for biology. We were going to get ice cream but the place closed while we were still eating dinner so we got some oreo pies and me, amc, and jrj split one. It wasnt bad. After eating we went back to Jacks and AMC and I worked on getting the trap samples dealchoholed. It took a while but we got it done. Then i sat at the kitchen table and got my bugs packaged. Jack came out with jrj talking about music. Jack was playing the guitar then gave it to jrj to play with and played the mandilne. jack got out this instrument that is stringed and played with 2 bows. he gave it to jones to try and play happy birthday on and while he was attempting this amc came in. She was handed the instrument and told to play 3 blind mice. Which ended with us trying to sing it while she played. It was quite fun. Jack then got out a kazoo and handed it to her since she wanted to start a kazoo band. 1st she couldnt blow into right then she was using it backwards. Jack got her straightend out and she played with it for a while. He then got out some of his tapes and we listened to them while he translated the words. The music sounds pretty neat and the lyrics tell stories, some about the revolution and that sort of thing. They were really big during the revolution and were actually taken to costa rica during the peace talks to play. We then moved into the music room and listened to some of his other stuff. He finally called it a night around 1 and me and amc went to bed pretty much right away