Not like I haven’t been up that early before, I woke up at 3:30 to run Big Sur Marathon and had no problem. There’s just always the initial shock to hearing that. Then again, I was so tired that I went to bed a little before 9 (it gets dark here early, ok?).
The La Suerte Biological Field Station houses field schools and groups of students looking to study primates, environment, forest preservation, etc. I am here with 3 other girls working on studying capuchins, but I will be doing a study on human health and cultural influences in the small town the field site is located. I have a more flexible schedule and am still reading up on articles and whatnot so I’m tagging along with the girls and the other primatology field school for now.
Back to this 4:15 nonsense though. There are 3 types on monkeys in this area of forest: howlers, capuchins, and spider monkey. In order to study the monkeys…you have to find them. And so begins the most serious game of hide and seek you will ever find yourself involved in.
We ate early breakfast at 4:30, with the musical stylings of mother nature pouring rain outside, then everyone put on whatever rain gear they had, and some headlamps, and we were off!
2 hours of searching, a river crossing, some boot-sucking mud action, and other wildlife sightings later and we had nothing.
So by 7 AM most people were done for the day. Hammock nap? Ok.
In quick list form…other exciting events before I must disconnect:
1. I saw howlers in the wild! I basically feel like I am in the middle of a rainforest special on the Discovery Channel or something, it’s insane. I also figured out that howlers “howl” in two ways, with their voices and their stench, you hardly need to hear them because you can smell them before anything.
2. I have seen about 30 small poison dart frogs already. And if I didn’t know that bright=no touchy in the forest I probably would have tried to hold one. Until I looked in a field guide and saw that the bright green and black frog’s poison is enough to kill 8 humans.
The forest means business y’all.
3. A caterpillar got stuck to my pants. This is not exciting. Round 2: The caterpillar that was stuck to my pants brushed up against my leg, resulting in a burning sensation. I have yet to figure exactly why this happened. Did this caterpillar have a beef with me?
4. I went running with 2 other girls in the rain today. And the humidity. But I was too busy geeking out about HEY, I’M RUNNING IN COSTA RICA to focus on that.
5. My rice and beans and coffee consumption have skyrocketed. I can’t get enough and they are served at every. single. meal.
Seriously, the coffee is available all the time. Just when I thought I was weaning myself off of the caffeine I’m right back in the throws of it’s wonderful powers of alertness.