Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Hi Everyone,

Well, it’s been a few days since my last post. I’ve spent most of that time sick in bed – yup, some kind of nasty bacteria got me. But, I’m feeling much better now and I’m glad to be back writing to you. Let me start off with my last post that I never got to send . . .

Hola! (3-19)

Today we were divided up into our research teams – I’m on a team with Mrs. Perkins, Ms. Shluger, and Mr. Magee (another teacher from Oregon). One of the tasks our team must complete is a bird inventory, so we spent the morning in more classes, learning all about birding. There was a lot to learn and I still can’t really tell the difference between some of the birds, hopefully I’ll get better with more practice. There were so many birds to look at and try to learn – here’s a list of just a few: Tropical Kingbird, Great Kiskadee, Social Flycatcher, Belted Kingfisher, Green Kingfisher, Yellow Crowned Night Heron, Black Crowned Night Heron, Green Backed Herons, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Cattle Egret, White Ibis, Neotropic Cormorant, Anhinga, Roseate Spoonbill, Boatbilled heron, and Great-tailed Grackle. Yikes!

p.s. I’m sure everyone in my homeroom will be glad to know that there is lots of coffee here for me in the mornings!

In the end, I didn’t get a chance to go birding, I was too sick. But, I did get to go to the school in La Manzanilla and plant trees. We planted about 40 trees all around the soccer field and basketball court of the school. It was hard work! First, we had to dig holes in soil that was super compacted so that we needed to use pickaxes to even get a hole started. Then we had to lug big buckets of water around and make sure the trees had enough water. It was a tiring day, but I think it will be really nice for the kids to have some shade while they are out playing.

Today was our day off. I spent the morning sleeping in, still recuperating and then went with Mrs. Perkins to Cihuatlán where we bought tons of sports equipment for the school in La Manzanilla. The store was very small and it took a long time to decide what to buy, but the woman who helped us was so nice. All the stuff should be delivered to the school on Monday. After that we went to another town called Barra de Navidad. The whole town is built on a sandbar! Does anyone in my classes see a potential problem with that? The town and beach was beautiful – there were even people surfing there. Too bad I wasn’t feeling my best or I could have taken a surfing lesson! We wandered around town and bought a few souvenirs, but I think the highlight for me was when we found a coffee shop that served iced coffee! When it was time to head home, we looked at the bus (which we could have taken for 10 pesos, about $1) but decided that it was worth it to pay for a taxi (which cost 100 pesos, about $10).

Mrs. Perkins buying sports equipment.

This is Barra de Navidad, the town where we spent our day off.

Tomorrow we are going to be snorkeling and counting fish, so that should be a really awesome day. I’m so glad that I’m feeling better and that I get to participate in all this neat science. The scientists here are wonderful and don’t mind taking the time to explain things to us. They care so much about the town and the mangroves and they’re working so hard to make sure that all of this beauty is conserved as the town develops – it’s really awesome to see them working.

I miss you all!

To answer some of your questions:

Samantha, I haven't seen any oysters stuck on the mangroves. I'll be snorkeling tomorrow so hopefully I will be able to check that out for you, but I'm thinking that this type of mangrove doesn't have the oysters. There are lots of other animals that live in their roots and in the land around them though, that's why it's so important for us to be here learning about them and making sure that they're around for a long time!

Ms. Torigian, thank you so much for taking care of Wally while I am gone. I love reading your comments!

Sra. Welch, I'm still mostly eating crackers since I'm getting better, but I will try to eat some delicious Mexican food for you.

Ms. Heaton, We planted almond trees and something else that I couldn't identify. I will try to find out for you tomorrow. The soil was terrible - check out the description in my post! And yes, I started to feel very carsick on that long, unairconditioned ride, but it was totally worth it to get here. The crocodiles mostly lie about and they eat pretty much anything they feel like eating: fish, birds, really any animals they can catch. One of the guys here said that he once saw one eat a dog :(

Mrs. Reedy and all of 6Z, I'm sorry your other post didn't go through . . . We've seen lots of animals: crocodiles, lizards (I just saw a gecko as I was writing this), snakes, birds - lots of birds, there are even hummingbirds right outside our bedroom. I think that I will be seeing a lot more now that I'm feeling better. I'll try to get some pictures for you tomorrow. I haven't seen any volcanoes yet, I'm not sure if this area is very volcanic - I did see some really great landforms from the plane on the way here, I'll try to get some pictures on the way home. As for the mangroves, they are mostly near the coast. There are two types here: red mangroves and white mangroves. The red mangroves are more inland here and the white are along the coast. The red mangroves have really long prop roots. I think there were some pictures of white mangroves in the photo of the crocodiles. I will get some good pictures for you all tomorrow.

Rebecca Walker, Thanks so much for your questions! Mr. Magee is pretty much doing the same thing as we are since we are all on the same team. Mrs. Perkins and I get to sleep in a room that has walls, but Ms. Shluger sleeps in a room that doesn't really have walls or a door. I think Mr. Magee is roughing it the most though - did you see the picture of that thing in his bathroom? We haven't seen any live snakes, but before we got here the researchers did catch a yellow-bellied sea snake that is poisonous and a moray eel, which is not poisonous. They were keeping them in ziplocs in the freezer - not where I like to keep my dead animals, but hey . . . I haven't really seen anyone playing soccer here, but today Mrs. Perkins and I did go to buy soccer balls and nets for the school, so maybe a lot more will be played now.


Anonymous said...

Dear Cindy,
I am soooo sorry to hear that you have been sick It sounds as if you are feeling a little better, so hopefully you can enjoy the rest of the trip. The weather here is looking good through your return date so I think you may have an easier time getting home than you did getting there!
Mother Earth thanks you for all your efforts. See you soon.
Love, Mom xox

Melissa said...

Ms. Krol, I am so glad that you are feeling better. It must be awful feeling sick and being away from home. We are all glad to hear that you are feeling back to normal. I am very jealous about the snorkling research that you will be doing today. That is one of my favorite activites to do! Are you looking for any specific type of fish?

Wally says "Hello"

Anonymous said...

Oh, Ms. Krol, I feel so much better now knowing that you are safe. We are SO sorry you've been sick. Being sick is the worst, but when you're sick away from home, that doubles it. We are really glad you're feeling better.
Victor would like you to estimate how big the crocs were that you saw. Fei Fei wants to know what it is that made you want to participate in this Earthwatch expedition. Matt Y wants to know what a mudskipper looks like (if you've seen one). Lots of the kids want to know how tall the mangroves are (so do I!), and Alex B. wants to know what their leaves feel like. Julianne asks, "What are you living in?" Amanda wants to know, "What is the most common bird you have seen?"

I know this is a lot of questions, and we will certainly understand if you can't get to all of them. I don't think I mentioned this yesterday, but when we were planning your phone call last week, I forgot that I will be out of school tomorrow (Friday)! But Ms. Cicciarelli will accompany the group of students to the office to receive your call at about 12:50. It will probably be a good idea to wait until 1:00 to call so they are ready for you.

We've missed you a lot, but Mr. Marble is keeping everything running very smoothly. The only Walsh news you have missed so far is that Mrs. Kelley had a baby girl named Keegan Shea on Monday. They are both doing great. Still no word from Mrs. Seney. Yarden, Henry C. and Victor won the boys' 3 on 3, and Hannah B and her team won for the girls! This will be my last post from school. Since I'm not seeing my classes today due to MCAS, I will print out your update and give it to each of the teachers to read when the kids are finished working. I hope you enjoyed the snorkeling. How warm is the water? See you next week, and have a safe trip back.

Mrs. Reedy

Anonymous said...

Hey, its me again, Rebecca from Mr. Magee's class. Thanks for getting back to me on my questions. OK so I have a question thats a little bit off topic, again... What time does the sun set there in La Manzanilla? It sets in Government Camp, Oregon (on Mt Hood, literally) at around 7 pm. Its like 35 degrees here right now, BURRR! Its probably like in the 80's there, I'm so jealous! JK! No mangroves here! LOL! Just cedars and Douglas', and like 3 FEET OF SNOW! No joke, cuz I'm at 3,800 ft. No crocodiles either...just frogs. LOL! Anyways, got to go, Bye!
P.S. Cant wait to talk to everyone during the tele-conference! Also I have a question for Dr. Chandra, but I'll save that for tomorrow!
P.S.S I feel sorry for Ms. Shluger (I think) that has to sleep with no walls or anything like that!
Hi Mr. Magee!!!