Julia Ruppell, now officially Dr. Julia Ruppell, defended her dissertation work on white-cheeked crested gibbons in May. She will be taking about a year to write up the results and get them published but here’s a snap shot of what she was studying. Continue reading
So remember how Julia has been talking about wanting to get together a gibbon internship? Well we’ve finally pulled it off! Rather than being research focused like the giant panda internships this is more aimed at all you aspiring animal managers/husbandry scientists. Continue reading
Time has come to say goodbye to all my friends and colleagues in Laos. Isn’t it always the way that when you finally feel at home then it is time to go again?
Did I mention that it is hot here? It is really really hot! It must be getting up into the 100s on some days. When I walk in the sun I feel like I am in a sauna. Luckily my work is in the forest where there is shade. However, in any of the developed areas there are no large trees and no shade. It seems to be a habit of some Communist countries to cut down all the large trees when they do any major development (at least that is the case in Laos and much of Vietnam). I guess it is just easier that way (?) but it is very uncomfortable. In the shade it is 10-20 degrees cooler. At night it cools down a bit and in the morning it is generally cool until around 10 am. From 11 to 4 pm it is stifling! Okay so you get it is hot here.. moving on..
As my work here nears its end, every day seems longer than the one before. Being apart from family and maintaining a long distance relationship has been very hard. It is not something I will be signing up to do again and would not recommend it! It doesn’t help that the Naiban’s wife every time I see her asks me “Where is your husband?” and “Where is your baby?” (In Lao). It is simply unheard of for a woman who is almost 30 to be single in a foreign land walking around in the forest. The villagers are always worried about me. They think it is too dangerous for a woman to be out in the forest. They tell me they are worried about me a lot. It is quite touching actually but I don’t know why they are so worried when they are in and out of the forest all the time. The Naiban’s wife kindly invited me, my husband, and babies to come back and stay with them anytime. Once the road is finished, that is actually a possibility in the future.