Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Adventures: Day 5

Sept. 6
Iris's Birthday. I tried and tried and tried to call or email today, but with no luck. I finally managed a quick "I'm here and safe" email toward the end of the day, but communication was really dodgy. Today we had the pronopholine talks, but Andy was sick so I didn't understand about 90% of them. By the time we got to the conservation talks and butterfly house talks at the end, I was almost completely lost. Honestly, I don't think any of it really stuck with me. I did manage to do something much more important than sit through talks on pronopholines. I took sock photos of lepidopterists. This first one is Mitsi, who was just facinated by my knitting. I showed her how, which was only a little bit of a challenge considering that she didn't speak any English and my Spanish is quite basic.
No symposium would be complete without an after-party. For this one, the evening began with pisco sours and native dancing. Then on to a buffet, drinking, and more dancing. I skipped the last part since we were meant to go collecting the next day. Sr. Lamas, who was our guide/host in this endeavor did not.
Here we have Carlos Giraldo, from Colombia who studies Ithomiines. His sister, it seems, is quite the artist and painted hats and t-shirts to sell at the conference. I bought a black one with a little orange and yellow Ithomiine on it. He's one of those charming Latino lads that you just want to take home with you.
Next is Tomasz Pyrcz whose last name has no vowels. He's working on the same group I am and also doing morphological work. In fact, with any luck, he'll be sending me some specimens. He's got this stern "I'm a Polish dude" look about him in this picture, but don't let that fool you. He's actually a lot of fun to be around. When I started corresponding with him, I went and learned how to say "hello" in Polish because I thought it would be nice. He thought I'd had contact with Poles, but I had not. In fact, he's the only Polish guy I know, but he thought it funny that I had gone out and learned "hello" in Polish. He speaks Polish, Spanish, and English quite well as well as several other languages. He told me a story about the first time he'd left his home country. He was six years old and on a field trip with his class. They were near the border of Slovakia and crossed a few feet over the border. "Ooh! We're in Slovakia!" they said. It's much funnier when he tells it 'cause he waves his arms about and uses his best little kid voice.
Here's Angel Viloria. He's good friends with Tomasz and another Nymphalid person. He's got a big job as the director of the IVIC, Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Investigations, but he's really a creative and down-to-earth type. He likes bluegrass, so I've invited him to come visit. Maybe one of these days, but the big job does keep him busier than he'd like. He seemed quite impressed with the fact that I knit. We are eccentrics among eccentrics.
Next up is Gerardo Lamas, another Nymphalid person and works at the Museo de Historia Natural in Lima. You wouldn't think from looking at him that he likes to party, but dude likes to party. I'll tell you more about the Museum later. Needless to say, they have a real insect collection that makes ours look amateurish. Okay, so it is amateurish. It's kind of awful, really.
<--Here's Blanca of the Tropical Andean Butterfly Diversity Project, who helped put on this shindig. She also gave a talk on conservation.



And Keith, also with TABD, who was very confused about the Sock. He's an assistant curator at the McGuire Center in the University of Florida.-->



<--Then we have Kayce, my hero from before. She's at UC Davis. We heard of each other by way of Ravelry. She doesn't knit, but one of her labmates does. We were introduced by way of SquidWidget, who was suprised to learn that there were two bug bum-lookers on Ravelry. After I took this picture, she asked, "Does it look like I'm knitting?" Nope, it doesn't. Maybe one of these days you'll join us.

Lastly, we have Jason Hall-->
<--and his wife Alma. He works on Riodinids and gave a talk on mimicry. I don't remember what she studies because she didn't give a talk this time. She was quite pleased, in fact, that she could relax and enjoy the trip for once. Believe me, I understand.
Not pictured is Carlos Peña (how did I miss him?) who is another Pronopholine person (like me).
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