Hola todo,
We have been at Reserva Las Tangaras for a week now and had our first night alone here last night. It was busy here with the owner and 8 volunteers banding birds plus a guest from France who stayed two nights. I made his meals and Ryne guided him on the trails. It is very interesting being on this side of things! Cypress is doing very well and enjoys the hammock and chair swing.
Cypress found his hands
Fresh mango smoothie

Hauling out trash previous occupants left behind

Arrival in Ecuador

We arrived in Quito last night at 10PM, but we were stuck at the airport until midnight because some of our luggage was lost. We are staying in a small town near the airport waiting for the arrival of our bag. Thankfully, I hauled most of Cypress’ stuff on the plane. Cypress traveled very well! He slept on the plane for much of the ride and seemed to really enjoy it. I was relieved that he had no ear problems. The trip exhausted us and Cypress, we all slept 7 hours straight last night =)

Our little adventure seeker and his new passport

Cypress slept the whole way to the airport

At MIA ready for adventures, thanks Paul for driving us!

Travel Bug

Cypress is ready for a day by the pool in sunny Florida!
After a very busy spring, summer and fall packed with field work, house work and giving life to a beautiful baby it is time to head south for the winter. We had a number of house projects completed including plumbing thanks to my talented Dad who was very generous with his precious time. Thanks Dad for spending countless hours helping us, all your good advice and teaching Ryne valuable carpentry skills that gave him the confidence to finish other house projects. To list just a few of the jobs my Dad completed: all plumbing (We now have hot running water, a bathroom sink, shower and tub and an indoor toilet), gas hook-up, built a closet with a pocket door, installed bamboo flooring, painted, put up ash panelling with Ryne and last fall he spent countless hours replacing rotten support beams, dry walled, and jacked up our house 40 inches! Also, thanks to my Mom and Sean for helping me paint and put up slate tile around the shower. Last but not least I thank my hard-working husband for spending countless ambitious hours improving our home. He did an awesome job installing our hardwood floor, putting up panelling, building two bookshelves, creating a pond, and planting a native prairie. I also have to thank everyone who helped facilitate our flooring project – Bobby, LeeAnn, Mom Dad, Dad R., Sean- cleaning, scraping and organizing that wood was a ton of work! We now have a charming and cozy home in the woods. A perfect spot to raise Cypress.
Now, back to our winter plans…it seems we have a bad case of the travel bug! Despite most of my family thinking we are crazy for traveling out of the country with an infant, we are flying to Ecuador on december 10. Yes, Cypress is going international at 12 weeks old! Should we kiss our desire for travel and adventure good-bye just because we have a baby? No way José! Besides Cypress loves to travel and experience new things! He was the perfect travel companion on our NC road trip. Our motto is live for today because there might not be a tomorrow. Travel memories make for a spicier life! No need to worry family because foreign countries are not that scary or unsafe. Most people are very friendly and generous from our experience. We were fortunate to find a job managing a small Eco-lodge located near Mindo, Ecuador. This is a great opportunity to put into practice our research skills, make new contacts and expand our knowledge of the natural world. Plus we are supporting what we are passionate about: eco-tourism and conservation. All in the tropical rainforest where flora and fauna is so high in diversity it is mind-blowing. For example, there have been 430 bird species recorded at Mindo!! This is where “common species are rare and rare species are common.”
We left our beloved frigid UP behind us and had a wonderful stay in East Lansing at Mutti and Dad’s (Ryne’s parents) last week. They treated us to a movie while we treated them to baby sitting their first grand-baby, Cypress, for the first time. I was a trifle worried about my little 11 week old baby even though I knew he was in good hands. Separation for 2 and half hours was the longest we have been apart. I couldn’t wait to sniff his head again. We were spoiled with healthy delicious food and great company. Thanks Mutti and Dad for a wonderful visit!
Gramps and Cypress napping
After two days of driving we are finally in 90 degree Florida heat! Cypress’ 11th state!
We fly out of Miami tomorrow!!