The day started with sunny skies and a wonderfully prepared organic breakfast accompanied by rice and beans. After breakfast we met with Adrian Pinto and learned the correct way to remove fungus from the colony. Thirty minutes later we were in the field collecting our own colonies, we collected five colonies each with their own queen. Anna, Corbin, Jada, Nick, and Daniel all became “Ant Men/ Women” for extracting a colony with the queen. Next to the honeymoon suite we were led to a large colony containing about two million worker ants. The queen can live up to twenty years producing up to two hundred million offspring. After lunch we were going to go on a horse back ride up the mountain but was delayed by 2 in. of rain in a timespan of 45 minutes. We then rode the horse up a trail to the destination of a new research lab. All the horses were tamed and well-mannered considering Pablo cleared the trail with a machete as we rode. We then returned and the majority of us went to go play soccer with the local villagers. When we arrived we tried two new foods: the waterapple, and homemade ice cream. We played soccer for an hour and a half with the villagers and had fun trying to communicated with the little Spanish we knew. At the end we all tried to take a picture but only two understood/ wanted to be in it. At around six we concluded our experiments from yesterday and learned about statistics behind understanding if your results are conclusive. We also transferred the fungus gardens from earlier into larger containers suitable for the continuation of their growth. After we ate dinner and topped it off with a dessert called flan, we watched another video about the bacteria on leaf cutter ants. This was the start of our busy week of ant research, and we look forward to more delicious meals.
Sarah, Anna, Corbin