One of the best things about UGA Costa Rica is getting to meet so many interesting people with such specific interests. How often does someone get to sit down and talk mothing politics with someone as interesting and as mildly attractive as me?! Almost never! And after forty-five minutes of hearing my passionate opinions on moths and moth research, those people usually regret it…
I get to meet some pretty decent people too. Seeing as how the naturalists are often busy entertaining the guests and students, I’ve gotten to know my fellow researcher fairly well.
Kelli, one of my
drinking buddies friends here at UGA Costa Rica, is spending her last semester of college working on a research project studying water quality in Costa Rica. We’ve really hit it off for several reasons. We are both hilarious, incredibly attractive, and we share a love of booze and snacks — it also doesn’t hurt that I’m secretly planning on stealing her boyfriend.
From what I understand, her project (or at least part of her project) is looking at the watersheds in the Bellbird Biological Corridor to evaluate water quality and to create indices for water quality in different environments. They are also looking at are the water laws and regulations of Costa Rica. I’m sure there is much more to it, but really the only reason I’ve said any of that is so that I can talk about getting to go sample the water with Kelli and the doc heading the study.
The first day that I went with them, we were looking at the sites nearest to the coast. During the dry season, there were several rivers that just didn’t make it that far because of all the unregulated water usage. That being said, my main concern was how many land changes and pueblos those rivers had been through be the time they were getting to where we were sampling. I am no delicate flower, but I am a bit hesitant to walk around in shitty, shitty water. At each of these sites, we took water samples, macro-invertebrate samples, and recorded water flow. I’m sure there was more, but I was concentrating on my looks. Looking this good takes work, but looking this good while wading through a river that is possibly contaminated with fecal matter takes much more.
Another important detail is that we tried mozote. This is a refreshing cold drink that had me confused the entire time I drank it. The consistency is something like…honey or syrup, and it tastes a bit like sweet tea (to me). Every time you go to drink it, there is this strange moment where you encounter some resistance from how thick it is. Honestly, that’s about the best description I can give.
The second day, we did a few more sites higher in elevation. The sites were beautiful, and by that time, I was basically an expert at my tasks. There isn’t much more to say. Doc and Kelli were a fun pair to travel around Monteverde with, and it was nice to get away from the moth boards and into the river.