Thursday, July 13, 2006

rain and bonbons

Day 3, Thursday, July 13 I will discover in the days at El Paraiso that Tamir likes to stop at a little store and buy “bonbons” (suckers) each night on our way out to do our bat netting. On the nights we have student groups with us, he makes them each give 5 lempira and he makes the purchase. I am happy to have something about Tamir that I can respect, I think this is a nice gesture for the local economy. He gives me an orange sucker, which I like. But after the first day I don’t really want a sucker anymore. So I hide my suckers in my pocket. Tonight, heavy rains keep us from netting, though we attempt to set our nets, anyway. Tamir goads me about being on holiday and enjoying my time before things become really rough and uncomfortable. I think, “gee whiz, I’ve only just arrived and am getting acclimated and adjusting to whatever this whole thing is.” His nagging nervous energy is grating my nerves. He is definitely a type AA personality. He must always be doing something. That doesn’t bother me. He can do whatever he wants. Unfortunately, he is not happy enough to keep himself busy, but he is concerned about how busy I am. He seems to have a guilty side so if he is not entering data, drying nets, setting nets in the rain, or worrying about what to do next then he is not being productive. I don’t have this problem. I am here to set nets and catch bats. If it is raining, we can’t catch bats. I have no guilt if I have finished my work or can’t work due to weather and want to read a book. I know when I’ve done what I can and no amount of fretting will change things outside my control. If I want to sit and read for 4 hours, then I will do so happily. But it seems to drive Tamir crazy. We are not off to a very good start and I am wondering what I have gotten myself into coming out here. We take off that evening to set up our nets, and it rains on us quite hard along the way. We press on and go to the transect, which is fairly steep, and set up nets. It continues to rain off and on and seems silly to me that we are attempting to net in such conditions. We finally give up and return to the camp, though there are moments on our way back where the rain starts to let up, and Tamir slows and questions aloud whether he should return to open the nets. I shake my head and tell him enough. I am not hiking back to open the nets on the chance that it may stop raining.

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