Christmas is officially here in Catacamas, Olancho. Today is the last day of classes at the university, and I get two whole weeks free of the university grind!!! I plan to read a lot of articles about three-wattled bellbirds, harvest coffee in the mountains, drink a fair amount of rom-po-po, have an awesome house-warming party, visit my old homestay family, go spulunking around the Lago, and go swimming up on the North Coast. Two weeks suddenly feels way too short to accomplish all of those activities. Being a "volunteer," I suppose I could choose not to return to work on January 2nd with the other professors...but we definitely won't be ready to open our biological education program in the Sierra de Agalta National Park in Februrary if I don't start working then.
It's been a couple months since I posted an update on here...which I think signifies that life has become a little more normal and a lot busier. My university counterparts like to work 60 or 70 hour a week...which I find insane, especially for Honduras. I try to keep it to a solid 40 (since I'm just a volunteer and all, and someday I want to start my master's research). Next year's activities should be a bit more diverse and a bit more fun, however.
In February, we start the PEB school year, and I'll be traveling out to the aldeas, teaching biology to 4th-6th graders, IDing birds, catching insects, trapping bats, collecting bones...all those fun biology activities that everyone loves! We are also going to be making a science center here at the university, where we are hoping to bring kids from the surrounding communities to learn about nature!
Next year will also be the first year of our newly formed student club ECO-UNA, which I'm advising in part. We will be doing some slaugherhouse cleanup activities, biological monitoring, mist netting, tree planting, etc.
Ooh, and don't forget that we are planning the first ever Congreso Nacional de la Sociedad Mesoamericana para La Biologia y La Conservacion here in Honduras at the university. That will be happening in May, and we will be bringing in biologist, ecologists, and conservationists from all over the country to share their research and experiences!
Anyhows, that's a brief update from here in Catacamas. Hope you all have an awesome Christmas filled with snowboarding, starbucks eggnog lattes, icicles, snowmen, fir trees...and all those other things I will never see in Central America.