Wednesday, February 28, 2007

28 February - Day 11

Merhaba to all –

Because I wasn’t able to post for an entire week, I have too many things to tell you about. So I think I’ll give small posts and include random stories here and there.

Today has been a great day. We didn’t catch any hamsters, but we got fantastic video of one of our males coming out and in of his burrow. We also successfully located both males with our transmitters. Other activities for the day: a trip to Kilis for cash (a daily occurrence), a 3.5 mile run (yes, I RAN - without stopping – for 3.5 miles!), sorting through owl pellets for rodent skulls, a short game of soccer/football, and a happy dinner with wine and baklava.

My random story for today will be about our evenings. After dinner, we usually yawn, look at our watches and say, “Is it really only 6:30??” When Nuri and the crew were still here, we would gather in one of the bedrooms, drink wine or beer, and chat while Nuri played the Cumbus (the Turkish version of a guitar). It was marvelously fun and relaxing. Now our group is smaller but no less festive. A couple of nights ago, Cumali and I played backgammon – he is VERY good, as backgammon is the national pastime of Turkey. He taught me a lot about backgammon strategy. While we were having our game/lesson, Safak, Alice, Laura, and Ben were embroiled in a hot game of Euker. There was lots of laughter all around! Last night Ben, Alice, and I did yoga for about an hour. Ben had a DVD called Yoga for Surfers – how's that for ironic given that I don't surf and that we are completely landlocked! Ben had never done yoga before, but a friend gave it to him as a gift so he brought it along. It was actually quite difficult – but very fun. At one point, Safak walked in and started to laugh so hard at all of us in down dog I thought he was going to faint!

Then tonight I think we’re going to watch a movie… but at the moment everyone is busy with their own thing – Alice is reading journal articles, Ben is watching hamster video from previous field seasons, and Laura is checking her email.

So for now, I’m going to sign off and actually do something work-related, or watch a movie.

(And I confess, I haven't taken a single photograph! The others have taken lots, so I'll snag some of theirs and post them soon, I promise.)


Leora said...

Sounds like a GREAT atmosphere. Makes me want to be there :) FYI, since I'm a camera freak, I was web surfing for funky camera gadgets and came across some micro cameras...some of them were about half the size of a dime. I was thinking of buying a really cheap micro cam and, for fun (and possibly for real use), trying to make a hamster cam...I'll let you know if I make any progress!

MEM said...

That would be great! From talking to others about this, the main tricks are: 1. getting it to record in the dark while keeping it small; and 2. making it so that we can maneuver it down the burrow entrance and around a 90 degree turn. Keep me posted on your progress!

Nic McPhee said...

Oh, I think you should mount the camera right on the hamster :-). No idea how you'd trigger it or retrieve the images, though...

My quote for the day has to be "sorting through owl pellets for rodent skulls". I just never get to say such cool things when discussing my research! I must say, though, that "Yoga for surfers" was a close second...