The day has finally arrived. Tomorrow I head north to New York to catch a flight to Guyana, where as the guest of Foster Parrots Project Guyana I will see what beauty I may, in the hopes that I will find ways to keep beauty ever present in Guyana in the form of the people, parrots, and the other species there.
In so many ways, this will be a unique trip. One, as I wrote last week, they are home to the Hoaztin, a bird I have always wanted to see. Marc Johnson of Foster Parrots read of my desire, and has so arranged that we will stop at a place where they work with these birds in the wild. Another special attribute of Guyana is that they are only one of two countries in Central and South America that speak English. (and the other one is...........). Furthermore, they still allow legal trapping, harvesting, and exportation of their flora and fauna. From 1900-2002 about 175,000 parrots were exported, and 2003 quotas allow for over 20,000 to be exported a year (this does not include in-country trade for birds that never leave the country).
While there I will also be conducting an ethno-ornithology survey where I will conduct interviews that seeks understanding about the relationship between humans and birds in a given country and a given people. For this aim, I am going to win the biggest luggage award because of all the video and camera gear. I'm already practicing my usual reply when people stare at my big blue duffle luggage, "It's all gear, not shoes!"
Along the way there will be only one opportunity for internet access so I don't know if I will be able to blog until I arrive back in the USA on April 13th. There won't be any phone service either so I can't tweet either. However, one of our companions is packing a gizmo (Spot Satellite GPS) that allows you to track where we are in Guyana on Facebook. You can begin tracking now by clicking here.
With beauty before me and all around,