Warning: The following blog is laden with sarcasm, satire and secret jokes. We’re sorry, we couldn’t do it any other way. Enjoy!
This week we began our track courses, which in some ways is the beginning of the semester; but in a much realer sense, it’s the end. We’ve got some serious work ahead of us -- we’re taking three and four credit classes in a three week time frame, rarely seeing friends in other tracks, and giving a lot of money to cafes so we can do our homework (miss you, Bailey Howe).
On Monday, we met with professor Michael Sundue and began this three week long venture. Thus far, our course has been mostly centered around plants.
Turns out, “botany” is actually the science of plant life and is a branch of biology. Originally, we were under the impression that it was just a clever title for exploring robots through literature (Post WWII). But now, we know what it’s all about and can spend hours in the woods entertaining ourselves with facts! This will definitely come in handy when we leave on Tuesday to hike around the state, starting in Capulálpam which we all know is built on a 90 degree incline. It will be really refreshing to begin exercising again. We’ve been preparing for this physical exertion for months; every morning we start the day with a quesadilla, have some sort of meat and dairy combo for lunch, and end the day with a street burger. ¡Vamos a las montañas!
Jokes aside, this week would’ve been much more trying if our professor Michael wasn’t so great. He bought us fruit, made us laugh, and knew exactly when to revive our non-botanically centered minds. Our small class has played competitive plant description games, explored markets and can now tell you what palmate or pinnate leaves look like. We’ve also been mind-blown about how many things are actually not vegetables (e.g., avocado). Most notably, we spent part of a lecture learning about seed dispersal, and also the fascinating process for pollinating a fig tree. Everyone should probably open a google tab and just look it up.
Since the return from our epic village stays, we’ve been excited to go back to more rural areas of the state. In the next week, we will be encountering many bromeliads and orchids as we make our way into a cloud forest with just a knife and a hand lense. Starting in Capulálpam, which has recently become a popular ecotourism site (and a *Pueblo Magico*), we will make our way through the area and find what this ecologically-diverse region has to offer. There will be free dinner, cabins, plants that will be quickly misidentified, and if we are good - a swim or two!
Your two favorite goons,
Katie and Bianca (at times referred to by our host parents as Kahtee and Beebeeahn, respectively)