From left to right: Ashley, Ashur, Ellen, Tom, Carmen, and Anna.
The biological station I am at right now is called Las Cruces Biological Station, located relatively near the border of Panama. The most interesting thing about this location is that besides being located in an extensive wet forest, it also has its own private (and extremely extensive) botanical garden. They've been maintaining it for over 50 years, and it is just amazing. Every day I wake up and make my way to a dining hall by weaving through rows of bromeliads, palms, orchids, and succulents. Its going to be hard to re-accustom myself to regular life in America after this.
That's not to undermine the beauty of the wet forest, though. This past Monday (our first rest day), my friends and I hiked into the forest to a waterfall, where we all splashed around, bathed, danced, etc. I felt like I was on Survivor. The realization probably finally hit me when, mid-waterfall dance party, my friend Ashur grabbed me and started giggling, "WE'RE IN THE JUNGLE! WE'RE IN THE JUNGLE!"
Between the hiking, the soccer, the insects, and the plants- the jungle is looking pretty awesome.