Day 21 - The Lost Buddies / by An

The days begin to blur around here as well. Once we finished with the introductory hikes and got a crash course on mist netting, it was time to really get cranking on our individual research projects. We only had 3.5 days to develop and execute an experiment and compile enough data to write a 5 page single-spaced paper once we got home. That basically meant mostly work, little play, and sadly little pictures.

Four explore! Four s'mores!
6AM, navigating through the forest with 12ft bambo poles, messy business

One moment of clarity amidst all of it was this particular night. After breakfast, everyone broke off into their groups to research for their projects, and we all agreed to be back at the station by 5-5:30 for dinner. Alison and I came back from surveying the lake vegetation on time, and so did most everyone else... By 6, the termite research group and one of the bird groups were still missing. We waited until 6:30... then 7... then sent out a search party. If I remember correctly, it was around 8:45 when we saw a group of lights emerge from the jungle. Safely back, were Bridget, Alyssa, Bea, and Joe from being lost in the jungle for 4 hours $@#^*!

They lost track of where they were going because there was so much overgrowth and the markers that would usually be present to mark where trails begin and end were not there. It didn't help that it starts to get dark here at 6. Then it was basically a waiting game, for us and for them. We ate our dinner, and thought about thinking about what on earth could have happened to our friends. Their waiting game probably went more like this:

Wait, take turns screaming for help, try not to freak out, repeat.

It worked, eventually. It's a good thing we always have to write on a little white board where we are going before we head out. We knew they were going to be around trail 12, so the search party looked there first, and there they were found.

Lost and found.

Several good things came out of this. In addition to those four having a really good story to tell when they come back home, the presentation group that I was in was supposed to present that night, but due to the circumstances, it got postponed until the next day. Hahaha. Yessss.