Coming to the OTS Graduate Course was a difficult task that I couldn´t accomplish without the support and collaboration of many friends, professors and family. In these 6 weeks I had the privilege to know extraordinary scientists and share with people of different languages and cultures and as a result I have new friends, more expectations and interest as a researcher. We have being visiting different biological stations around this beautiful country; in those places we have been working on projects, attending classes, hiking and doing workshops. I never thought I could be so productive and also have time to party. I´m never going to forget the mosquitos from Palo Verde and also the ¨Checherereche team¨ from our FLP that helped us break the ice and start the course in the best way.
After this first intense impression of field work and science, we went to Cabo Blanco and changed the dry forest for humid tropical forest and beach. From this place I am always going to remember the peaceful reaction of the first Coati that I saw face to face. Moving around the country, writing projects, learning about plants and herbivores, I entered the cloud forest in Monte Verde and woke up with the mist and beautiful mountains in Cuerici.
Those were magical moments because they made me feel like being at home. The biological station La Selva and Las Alturas, won the prize for the looming experience. In the first one, I went to one of the towers and saw the canopy of the forest with the different tones of green and texture and felt the immensity of nature. In Las Alturas, without the light pollution, I could enjoy and appreciate one of the most coolbeans clear sky in my life and the perfect definition of the Milky Way with all the infinite and power of the universe. Finally, we arrived to Las Cruces and in the comfort of this place I´m writing these lines. I have been sharing field work, catching birds and improving my street English. Also, I´ve been drinkin beers and tea with friends, while armadillos or coatis come around my backyard, and strengthening bonds of friendship with talks after meals, ice-cream-time, while discussing stats, projects, and having fun.
The pivotal moment of this course for me was our FLP on science communication. Ecology, conservation and photography are my passion, and having the opportunity to mix those to tell the biological and conservational importance of a station such as La Selva with the assistance of two experienced research and social media professionals was exciting. Using really cool ¨toys¨ such as DRONES and professional photography equipment was awesomesauce. All this help us to convey all the work that is needed such a place like La Selva and the hope that represents each one of us ¨the dreamers ¨ that work in tropical biology and the challenges that we have to face in this clusterfuck of a changing world. There is nothing left to say except that I am GIDDY to be here and everyone is welcome in Venezuela.