Hi everyone! Tonight I, Emily Dieter from St. Charles, Illinois, will be filling you in about our day. Short story: Every day around lunch time, Professor Bill Lewis asks us who wants to write the blog for the day. Today I volunteered because no one else was, and I felt bad for him. Spoiler alert: OUR DAY WAS AWESOME.
After a restful night spent listening to some fuzzy friends scuttling around on the roof, we woke up for breakfast at 7:30. The girls (myself included) had a rude awakening when we found that our new friends from Wisconsin woke up earlier than us, and had taken over the bathroom. Luckily, we practiced our coexisting skills, and I'm happy to say we are now all getting along. For breakfast, we had a buffet, which was nice because we had gone an entire day without rice and beans. Even though Inez did not serve us, Nick managed to make it look just as good (Notice how all his food is bathed in green sauce... we're not really sure what it is but we love it.)
Last night, Team Awesome decided to hike the monkey trail in the hopes of seeing some monkeys on our way to the site where we were measuring bromeliads. Although we did not see any monkeys, we saw a waterfall, the boys on their hike, a pack of coatis, and the butt of an agouti (witnessed by Kelsey). At the top of the continental divide, we measured our bromeliads. We missed the sun that had been shining so brightly for the past few days, but the wind and the clouds helped us to work extremely efficiently.
The Man Team hiked around all morning since they had collected all their data yesterday afternoon, and saw a black lizard. When they returned to the lodge, they worked on analyzing the data they had collected.
Team Hummingbird hung out at the hummingbird house and collected data for their project.
Today we also had a number of celebrity sightings. At lunch, we (especially Steph) were super excited when a man walked in holding a baby sloth. Turns out, he had found it abandoned on the side of the road (Apparently baby sloths fall out of the trees, but the mothers do not go down to pick them up) and was raising it in his house. Little did we know that this man was the son of the Wildford Guidon, the man who started the reserve we are staying. And today he was visiting the reserve with his wife. Celebrity sighting #1.
Then, a few of us girls went down to the research station at Monteverde to see the track collection, the insect collection, and some footage from the cameras in the parks (we saw pumas walking on the same paths we've been going on, right across from our lodge...) There we had celebrity sighting #2: J. Allen Pounds, a resident scientist who has been published numerous times for his research on the disappearance of frogs in the forest. We had been tipped off by the boys, because in a #classicbill moment, they asked him who he was and what he studied, and he was a bit surprised when they didn't recognize his name... whoops. But for anyone that was wondering, he has two gorgeous dogs that hang out with the lab, one is a husky mix and the other was the fluffiest golden retriever mix I have ever seen. (Can you tell that petting the dogs was one of my highlights?)
After lunch, we contemplated going into town, but the group collectively decided to stay on the reserve and explore some more. Although we started together, we quickly split into smaller groups in the hopes of seeing more mammals, but in a stroke of fate, we all came together on a path where MONKEYS WERE PLAYING ON THE TREES RIGHT ABOVE US. We have determined they were Panama spider monkeys, the same type the boys saw battling yesterday. We snapped some great pics of the monkeys swinging, a mother helping its child get from tree to tree, and them just playing around. Then, on our way back to the lodge, we spotted a quetzal just hanging out. Notice the long blue tail, which tells us that he is a male.
For dinner, we journeyed to Tiramonti, and had our last supper. The pizza made a surprise reappearance, and we had some delicious ice cream cake for dessert. Afterwards, we continued to work on our independent projects and crashed. Tomorrow (which is now today) we journey to Selva Verde as our adventures continue (Insert corny sentimental statement here about how awesome our trip is and I can't wait for whatever comes in the days ahead.)
Don't worry mom, we are all safe and happy! Talk to you soon!