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Penguin Project Diary – Entry 3

Sep 17 2012
by NEW Zoo Education Dept

Hola from Peru again!! Today, after our shifts at the guano sight, Marco, one of the main Biologists at Punta San Juan reserve, took us all on “Marco’s Marcona Market Tour!” Marcona is the city near the Reserve. There were many venders selling everything from small toys and electronics to t-shirts to fruit and veggies. He bought us a variety of exotic fruits to try, and some local cheese. Dawn, our NEW Zoo volunteer, bought some pretty flowers to beautify the field house! We also saw many, many different varieties of potatoes, as Peru is the home and birth-place of the potato!

After the tour, we returned to the house for a quick but huge and wonderful lunch! All of our food is cooked by a local lady who is a chef. Then we headed back out into the field to do our jobs.

Silvia and I were out to do evening fur seal tag checks at South Beach 3. Silvia is the Peruvian student I am paired with for work. She is a student at the University in Lima, and is studying Environmental Engineering.

Communicating with her has been interesting, as she speaks no English and I never got around to brushing up on my Spanish before I left Wisconsin!! But between my broken Spanish and pantomiming things out, we have been able to communicate to do our jobs! And I’m teaching her some English, too. Some of my explanations of words and things have been very interesting!! For example, I was trying to explain “nesting behaviors, ” but I don’t know the Spanish word for feathers.  So I picked up dirty feathers from the guano pile and pretended to carry them to my “nest” in my “beak” to make a nest!  I think by this point she may think I’m a little nuts!!!

Tonight, Dawn and I had to give presentations to the whole group about what we do for work at home in Wisconsin.  Luckily I’m a “picture hoarder,” and I never delete old pictures from my memory cards.  Someone gave me a memory card converter so we could plug it directly into a computer, and I was able to show them photos of my job at the NEW Zoo!

Well, I guess I should go for now.  I will update again when I can!!




Doing “nest checks”


Examining a baby Humboldt penguin!

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