Friday, March 30, 2012

Highlights with the lab

In a north to south eastern Ecuador trip we had the greatest time sharing orchids, stories and well kept field secrets like the preparation of peanut butter and mustard cracker sandwich.  Norris, our advisor took us for one of kind fieldtrip that I will take with me where ever I go.  This bus stop served us as a picnic stop along the way to Zamora.
Mario Blanco, Kurt Neubig, Norris Williams, Paula Viveros, Mark Whitten waiting for lunch. Check the puppy...looking at the camera.

These pictures are actually a joke on Kurt.  Back in the day, Kurt was working with Dichaea and Mark and Norris decided to make a Selaginella look like Dichaea.  In the left you can see the Selaginella surgery and the right the product....they called Kurt who came running to see it! Love the unnoticed branch on Norris hat.

This is one of my super favorite pictures ever.  This is in a little hostal in Vilcabamba, southern Ecuador, and the gentlemen are closing this gigantic plant press.  
 I like the additional use that Mark gave to the plant press. This picture should be great as a calendar picture.
 We had a lot of fun with each other and also finding fun orchids! 

This picture is a view of Cordillera del Condor, this mountain range is really interesting because is floristically more similar to the Guyana Shield vegetation and also is protected by the Shuar indigenous people. This picture was taken from the Portilla's greenhouse in El Pangui.
Flat tire....of course, otherwise the trip is not a trip in Ecuador, Kurt learns from the well experienced Norris Williams.  There is a beautiful thing about flat tires in Ecuador, "Vulcanizadoras" are  everywhere, we probably have the highest tire repair shops density in the world.

I got really hungry and grumpy but I promise that I am not dangerous, despite the pictures
Lorena and Mario in a fun breakfast in Vilcabamba, Ecuador.  If we could just be doing fieldwork!
Mario y los Cachorros (puppies) in La Manzana Real Hotel (Royal Apple Hotel) in Zamora.  I think that we will never forget this place, Kurt, Mario, Mark and Paula got severely ill and Norris and I were trying to act like nurses helping them, there was nothing we really could do, just keep high spirits and joke about everything...Kurt will never forget this unique adventure, this was his first contact with the local fauna.
After our field trip we attended  the First Scientific Andean Orchid Conference, we had a great time.

 Mario Blanco, Samantha Koehler, Paula Viveros, Mark Whitten
 Lorena, Kurt and Norris - love this picture!

Before I forget... This is one of those things that makes me cringe. Electric showers.  I think that the idea of energy saving is great and I wish that since electric showers are so incredible in this aspect, engineers will focus in the design and it will also help if they can make them installer proof.  This is a vivid example of why I rather take a cold shower or not take one at all...this was probably Frankensteins shower. The price difference of room with electric shower was a dollar (5 to 6 USD per night) and the teller will tell you that in order to take a shower you need to turn the light switch first.

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