Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Galapagos Journal Entry #3 - Dr Ponder Departs

As my departure date has approached rapidly, I have often been asked about my preparations for this trip. How am I preparing for this project? What am I preparing for? What am I bringing?
Reality is that I would be lying if I didn’t admit to a little apprehension. It weighs heavily on me that I am preparing for an unknown. I have never spent any time observing Galapagos hawks in the wild and no one has ever managed them in for an extended period of time. I am trying to prepare for all eventualities by bringing a well supplied medical trunk and hoping not to need most of what I take. This could be very routine work, but those of us working with live animals (especially wildlife) know that nothing is ever “routine”.
So – what brings me peace? By remembering “nanos gigantium humeris insidentes” – I am a dwarf standing on the shoulders of giants. There is tremendous depth and breadth to those around me and I am grateful for all the support:

The incredible team at The Raptor Center, who generously share their years of knowledge and experience every day.

The volunteers and donors at the center who provide the support that makes our program possible. Without you, The Raptor Center would not be what it is and would never have had this opportunity.

A special thanks to 3M and Lafeber for helping to out with supplies!

My newest colleagues at the Galapagos National Park, the Charles Darwin Foundation, Island Conservation and University of Missouri, St. Louis who are doing such exceptional work in the Galapagos islands. They have been so very welcoming and easy to work with, sharing knowledge and ideas daily. These will be my teammates for the project and I look forward to meeting them soon!

And, of course, I remember that I am going to be spending 6-7 weeks in one of the most amazing places on earth! Thanks for all the well wishes! I will send updates as I can - technology permitting - so keep checking the blog!

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