Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tracking Toucans in Costa Rica - update from Alex

Since my last report, I have been helping a master's student track toucans for his research. I've also spent long hours at the computer, researching Ecoagricultural Landscape projects in Latin America, as part of a global review being conducted by a partner organization of CATIE in Washington, DC. I'm helping with the experimental garden - planting vegetables, turning compost piles and concocting bizarre organic soil amendments to apply to the garden beds. I'm continuing to make slow but steady progress in the arboretum, setting out an interpretive trail, but my project depends on the schedule of a few very busy and important people who are hard to get meetings with.

Finally, I have been asked to give a big presentation on permaculture to the agriculture department at the end of February. I'm a little bit terrified to present my amateur permaculture knowledge to a roomful of academics and internationally-accomplished agronomists, (in Spanish no less), but excited about the challenge and opportunity to share what I know.

In short, I have plenty to do and am having fun, although I don't feel any connection to a particular project or community here, and don't feel as though I'm making any real contribution to development in Costa Rica. I am really enjoying living in Turrialba and am appreciative of the beautiful and peaceful setting where I work.

The picture of me tracking toucans with the radio telemetry equipment (because unfortunately I don't have any pictures of me holding a toucan just yet).