A Panty Rippa is a drink of Belize: pineapple juice, some rum, but then each bartender puts her or his own “flava” in it where if you have too many, you may wake up the next morning wondering where your panties are (only too find them in a tree or something the next morning). This is my drink when I am in Belize, and it was the first thing I had to drink when I came back to what’s known as “the jewel of the Caribbean.” I figure I better enjoy one now as the next 14 days in Belize and Guatemala are going to be jammed pack with research that includes catching American and Morelet crocs and investigating how anthropogenic disturbances are affecting the host-parasite relationship.
It’s been three years since I’ve been back to Belize, but there is a part of me that feels like it was just a week ago. Already seeing familiar faces, and making new friends with the friendly and talkative Belizeans. And what was even more hilarious was three years ago when I walked into a certain bar/restaurant, I met the owner when he was absolutely hammered. Three years later, I go into the same place and it’s like if that last night never ended.
So, here I am continuing a project I started years ago in which I had a goal to look at parasitism amongst crocs in three Central American countries. Now, I have a goal to collect data from all the Central American Countries, and even some South American countries, for future genetic, eco-immunology, and eco-parasitology to supplement and possibly help out in understanding crocodilian evolution and ecology.
So, let the games begin!!!!
(FYI- the following picture is of me pulling a croc out of a net. It was an urgent call so the ACES team and I had to jump out of bed to get it. I’m literally in my pajamas)