Our fifth day here began with a delicious smell coming from the kitchen, which we followed to find French toast, Adam’s favorite breakfast food. Sunshine, new to us in such quantities since we arrived at Monteverde, also greeted us in the morning and stayed around for much of the day. Luckily my group still had some data collection to do, so we could remember what sunlight felt like for a while before sitting down to input our data and figure out what it all meant.
After lunch various papers were edited and adventures were had- a few ventured in the park to see the waterfall, others ran to the continental divide, some just caught up on sleep or work before joining back with their most recent project groups to get ready for our symposium that evening. As my group sat outside to talk about our presentation, a coati (a very cute tropical mammal) interrupted us, attempting to get inside. Amelia bravely fought him off with a chair.
At dinner we discussed the exclusivity of the fear of snakes and the fear of spiders and the universal fear of writing another paper. Then we trekked out to the classroom to hear what each group had been off doing for the past week. We learned about hummingbird aggression, ecosystem engineers in the forest, orchid biodiversity and tradeoffs in leaf inclination (or, as some would prefer to say, declination). The quality and energy of projects pushed us well past the expected time. Finally we ended so that groups could finish writing some papers and start others until the Internet went down and we decided it was a sign to sleep.