Journal Entry 20

This week I received the vitamins and the two statistics books Mom sent. The books will be very useful. Iíve been collecting data from the fishermenís co-ops, but I really couldnít do much with it without the methods and equations in the books. Iíve been able to obtain information including weight of catch, area fished, method used, time spent. Howard knew this information existed but was unable for 9 months to get it. He was really surprised when I came back from San Pedro with this data for CaribeŮa Co-op. I have since gotten the same type of data from Northern Co-op here in the city.

Tomorrow Iím flying down to Placencia for a couple of days to try to get this data from Placencia co-op. Iíll be going with Norris Wade. Norris is the quality control expert attached to the Unit. It is his job to make sure the co-ops maintain proper sanitary conditions at their plants. Norris had been out of the country (in U.S. and Great Britain) to learn new techniques. He had been gone since June, and just returned this month. Iíll be sure to take my camera. Maybe Iíll be able to get some aerial photos of the coast and of Belize City and Stann Creek. Whenever I am away from the city for over 6 hours (either out to sea or visiting a co-op) I am given a traveling allowance. I usually get about BZ$3.50 for going out to sea. I should be able to pocket a little cash from the Placencia trip.

I still havenít been able to find any native arts to send home for Christmas. There are some handicrafts here, but I donít feel I can yet judge their quality. So, I sent some handicrafts of my own-making home. David showed me how to make ink prints of fish. He has done some excellent ones. Mine are not that good, but I thought I would send them anyway. The prints I sent (Friday by air mail) are of a juvenile spadefish caught with a cast net off the pier behind Fisheries.

Last Thursday I got up early (5:30) and went down to the market to get a pumpkin so I could make a jack-o-lantern for the two little girls at home. Halloween is known here, but there are no trick-or-treating, costumes, or jack-o-lanterns. The two girls were quite pleased to find a jack-o-lantern in their house. It was a big hit. They had read about and seen pictures of them but had never actually seen one.

This afternoon at 1:30 Iím going with the Audubon Society to Big Falls to observe waterfowl. These Audubon trips are nice because they get me out of the city for a short time. Last Sunday I helped clear paths for a park, Guanacaste, the government has set aside at the Societyís request. I became quite proficient in the use of a machete, the only tool we had. The machete is quite efficient in clearing away jungle. Still, I developed a good set of blisters on both hands. I also picked up a few ticks which attached themselves between my toes. It took the six of us about three hours. Guanacaste Park is located near Roaring Creek, about 3 miles east of Belmopan. I rode back in the bed of a pick-up (usual mode of transport for these trips) and watched the sun set, the stars come out, and the fireflies streaking by the road. It was a beautiful way to end the day.

[Photo: Romie, David and Denton (L-R) catching sprat off the bridge behind Fisheries Unit Laboratory, 1976.]

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