as i mentioned in my last post written approximately 395.3 months ago (or so it seems...), kaxil kiuic (pronounced something like kashee kee-week) is a bioreserve in the yucatan. we slept in hammocks in dorms located on the reserve and spent lots of time bonding with nature. the specifics:
- i saw a toucan, parrots, scorpion, whip scorpion (which actually looks exactly like a monstrous spider and nothing like a scorpion whatsoever!), orioles, woodpeckers, wood creepers, armadillo (the cutest, squat-iest thing. remind me to show you my armadillo impersonation sometime), boa constrictor, falcon, trogon, blue-crowned motmot (look at me! whipping out all this bird terminology).
- i got up at 5:30 am to go "birding" (never thought i'd hear those words escape my lips)
- i was nominated "designated bug killer" of our dorm, and excelled at my killing-ular duties when i got out of the shower to kill a bug for my roommates. to their defense, they recognized it as the one our professor had just lectured us about. apparently in chile (but not at the bioreserve, or so our guide said) it carries an inflammatory disease and it numbs your skin and sucks your blood with out you knowing and you eventually die? or something? one of those things that's horrifying at the time but since i survived i'm proud and braggy about it? rachel - 1. deathly bug - 0. and i was in a towel. HA. so picture that! bonus point.
- all morning while bird watching my professor stressed our goal for the day: find a pygmy owl. i had never really heard of one and didn't know what to expect or look for, but we all grabbed our binoculars and said yes ma'am! pygmy owl it is! we could hear one's call all morning, but they're very difficult to spot because of their size and camouflage. mid-walk, our host and guide, james (sigh, james) stopped us in the middle of a clearing and said, "pose for the camera! pretend you've spotted something!" so i flung up my binoculars (accompanied by a slight eye roll because there was just something about the james + heat combo that made me a bit dramatic), set them in front of my eyes, and stared through them blankly while james snapped away. my eyes began to focus after a minute and i realized i was zoomed in on more than just a dead tree branch. i perked up and interrupted the photo shoot by saying, "oo, oo! paulina! is that a..?! i think i'm staring at a..!!" she ran to my side bouncing and searching, saying, "where?! WHERE!" i responded with, "i don't know! i can't lower my binoculars because i have no idea where i'm looking!" everyone eventually found little pygmy and we admired it until it flew away. and i got lots of fist bumps for having the (accidental) "find of the day." it was the cutest little ball of fluff if i ever did see one. now, everyone! admire little pygmy owl!
IT'S SO FLUFFY I COULD DIE!
- we learned about all the different sorts of medicinal plants found in the forest. in mayan. "ya" means water. remember that.
- the food rocked.
- i spent a lot of time dangling my feet in the "cool pool."
- we climbed a tower overlooking the canopy.
- i developed my own research project in which i have to write a 5-10 page hardcore research article on. for monday. rats.
and i told everyone i was starting it now but i'm blogging.
i'd better get back to researching anthurium schlechtendalii.
doesn't that just sound like a snooze?
in sum, overall it was adventurous weekend and a nice way to end our semester's planned excursions. it was quite memorable and definitely nudged me out of my comfort zone on more than one occasion, which i will be forever grateful for.