Kitty drives me to the airport at 3:45. Despite my hours of packing and gathering, I still have to stop by Tech one more time to grab my missing Arduino ADK. Get in to Panama, meet nice older biologist couple in the Inmigration queue. As someone described, the airport looks like the 1970’s.
Found a cab to Smithsonian headquarters (Tupper), and met up with Bill Wcislo. What a great guy. Sat me down and gave me thorough, elegant descriptions of the most pertinent and interesting research projects and animals around Gamboa. He brought me to get registered and find housing, when, suddenly, all the power in the entire building shut off. Luckily for me, he got his assistant to drive me into Gamboa. Bumped serendipitously into Peter Marting who gave me a place to stay for the night.
Peter shows me around a bit. The roaring vivacity of the jungle is so evident, palpable. Everything is moving and screaming. After so many equipment failures already, the humidity here has me terrified. GoPro1 was destroyed by idiocy. Hopefully Amazon takes it back. Battery Backpac is not quite functioning. 64GB SDCard is being very flakey. Andy T2i (AT2I) scare this evening. Just bad batteries. GoPro + T2I work well together as a reviewing mechanism.
List of neat animals that I was told about that run around here: Tapir (Macho de Monte), agudi, basilisk, gecko, sloth, leafcutters, azteca ants, Bullet ants, bats, hemipterans (stinkbug looking order with sharp dagger probiscuses). Stingless bees, howlers, toucans, giant eagles that attack people, jaguar, ocelot.
Peter explains the Azteca+Cecropia relationship. Ants are an external defense kept by the tree. I go to one scientist’s going away party on my first day here. Someone rushes in to the party with a strange bug. Creature has a false, hollow facepart. vibrates. back is like a moth. sharp sucking tube. Face looks like it’s trying to be a tiny lizard head to me. Sort of like Yoshi.