I just spent 3 weeks in Panama for preliminary field work for my project. I had lived in Panama for 4 months the year before, but went with my lovely dysfunctional 25-student Panamaniac family. This time I was on my own, living in an apartment called La Casa Del Ritmo with two Colombians (Luís & Juliana) and a Costa Rican (Marcela). To be honest it was weird at first. I had so many memories but no one to share them with. Thankfully I had roommates that never made me feel alone. Except on days where Juliana was working late, Marcela was scuba diving somewhere far and Luís went to bed at 7PM (this actually happened regularly). Thankfully there was also Skype and Claudia. So what did I do in Panama? I went on 4 field trips to different rivers and learned electrofishing and fishing electric fish (very different things!). I encountered 4 snakes in my lab. I visited an abandoned bunker with bats and scorpions. I co-lived with a rat. (Getting turbulence right at the moment. Woohoo!) I got about 65 mosquito bites. I ate many empanadas. I survived extreme weather conditions. And I'm not talking about the high heat and humidity of Panama, I'm talking about the air conditioning in my building. Seriously it's like working in a freezer.
Here are a few of the pictures I took during this mini-trip!
Rainy season in Panama. Not fun for driving around. Nikon D700 + 50mm 1.4, 1/500, f/3.5, ISO 1600.
What you're supposed to see under that fast flowing river is a bridge going straight. It rained so much the water level in the river rose above the bridge. We had to wait 30 minutes until the water level went back down. To the left is a 20m drop to death. Nikon D700 + 50mm 1.4, 1/60, f/4.5, ISO 200.
My roommates and I! And my stuff all over the table. Nikon D700 + 20mm 2.8, 1/60, f/5.6, ISO 1600.
I met up with my friend Hilario who took the same program as me 2 years ago. Long time no see! Nikon D700 + 20mm 2.8, 1/640, f/2.8, ISO 1250. Stupid camera settings, I know. But it's a D700 so no noise :D.
My lab in Panama! Where I found 4 snakes. Nikon D700 + 20mm 2.8, 1/100, f/2.8, ISO 400.
My two most helpful people on this trip! Sophie (M.Sc. student in my lab and Rigo our driver and the curator of our fish collection). Nikon D700 + 20mm 2.8, 1/2500, f/2.8, ISO 400.
Big smile because Sophie had just given him cookies. Nikon D700 + 20mm 2.8, 1/200, f/2.8, ISO 1600.
My little field assistant. Nikon D700 + 50mm 1.4, 1/400, f/2.8, ISO 800.
Field work is always fun. Especially when you wear dorky gear. Here Fernando, Sophie and Gisela were electrofishing. Nikon D700 + 20mm 2.8, 1/1250, f/2.8, ISO 3200.
Gisela and Brachyhypopomus occidentalis, the electric fish species I study. Nikon D700 + 20mm 2.8, 1/160, f/3.2, ISO 1600.
Luís and Diana. I may have more pictures of them coming up soon hint hint. Nikon D700 + 50mm 1.4, 1/320, f/3.5, ISO 320.
Taken during my field trip to Río Piriatí. Super pretty site. Nikon D700 + 20mm 2.8, 1/200, f/3.5, ISO 320.
Brown-throated three-toed sloth (Bradypus variegatus). Nikon D700 + 50mm 1.4, 1/500, f/2.2, ISO 1250.
The text above I wrote in the plane. I'm back in Montreal now. Happy to be back and excited to go back in January. If you're interested in what I do for research, check out this little summary in an article that just came out on my work! Page 4 of STRI news.
Thanks for tuning in!