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Peten Update

Home Forums The Lounge Peten Update

This topic contains 16 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Matt 8 years, 5 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
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  • #300580

    johnpeten
    Participant

    I haven’t been able to do much fish work since the start of the New Year, having badly bruised some ribs, from a fall. Also the start of the new school year has limited the work of my young fishing crew. School is only half a day but restricts major expeditions. However we have not been completely idle. My boys had bikes with wonky wheels, ancient tyres, broken pedals and faulty brakes. Our hardware store carries a full range of very cheap Chinese bicycle parts. We have completely rebuilt the bikes and they are fully mobile again. We even have a young man, in the village, who can re-spoke bicycle wheels so that the derailleur gear can be put into new rims. His fee for half a days work is £4.00 which is very acceptable.
    I have finally extricated a pair of small telescopic fishing rods with good reels from the Customs. They were held in Customs for 7 weeks and the bubble packs had been opened. We have to assume that they saw these as a novelty and took them home for their kids to play with.
    My boys can now easily reach the jungle streams on the other side of the hills bordering the Northern Shore of the Lake. This drainage is different to Lake Peten and eventually feeds the Rio San Pedro Martir and hence the Rio Usumacinta. So far we find species here not found in the Lake.
    The boys love the new fishing rods and are collecting fish with ease.
    Something occurred yesterday evening which is probably not very common in the UK. The Pet Monkey of one of my neighbours had escaped into my garden. It was dark and my garden is very large. Luckily its long lead had become tangled in a tree and it was recovered.
    Our latest assumptions about Astyanax one of our Characins is in the Freshwater Fish Forum.
    John

    #316749

    Matt
    Keymaster

    Welcome back John!

    #316762

    Plaamoo
    Participant

    I was wondering why we hadn’t heard lately? Hope the ribs are healing!! I’m guessing you’re quite popular in the neighborhood. Seems you take good care of those kids. Good on ya, It’s great they have something fun & constructive to do!

    #316790

    Matt
    Keymaster

    John more questions – half a day of school? How’s the standard? Your dedication to the fish project is awesome, by the way. /laugh.gif” style=”vertical-align:middle” emoid=”:lol:” border=”0″ alt=”laugh.gif” />

    #316812

    Bluedave
    Participant

    I love it when a plan comes together

    #316855

    johnpeten
    Participant

    QUOTE (Matt @ Feb 16 2010, 05:29 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
    John more questions – half a day of school? How’s the standard?


    Education is a disaster here. The only young people that obtain any sort of decent basic education are those that can afford the expensive private schools, mostly in the Capital.
    Our system for training teachers is a very sad joke. They are not taught the basics of how to teach. I meet so called qualified teachers who cannot calculate the area of a rectangle and my knowledge of Spanish Grammar is better then theirs. I often have off the cuff teaching sessions with visiting youngsters and explain such things as how we depend on plants and trees and many other basics that we take for granted. I must admit that I sometimes feel like one of the Ancient Greek Philosophers with my students sitting at my feet gazing up in awe.

    #316856

    Matt
    Keymaster

    …and I thought the British education system was screwed John. /rolleyes.gif” style=”vertical-align:middle” emoid=”:rolleyes:” border=”0″ alt=”rolleyes.gif” />

    So you like birds too? Any info on local species? Careful those domestic budgies don’t escape.

    #316870

    johnpeten
    Participant

    QUOTE (Matt @ Feb 21 2010, 05:56 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
    . I often dream about living somewhere like you when crowded into a Metro train at 9am in the morning surrounded by dour-looking folk in suits who look like they’ve forgotten how to smile. I could go on…/tongue.gif” style=”vertical-align:middle” emoid=”:p” border=”0″ alt=”tongue.gif” />


    When I was very young I was enraptured by Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe and determined to find this kind of life in the future. Reading Robinson Crusoe as an adult I found it to be boring nonsense. However my present lifestyle in essense can be very similar, I have the total freedom to live my life as I please, with the best of both Worlds, free of Government restrictions and stupid prejudice. Nobody cares a damn about the colour of ones skin, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, keeping up with the Jones etc etc. In school there is no strife or friction concerning the clothes or sneakers that are worn. They are grateful that they actually have shoes.
    The advent of cable television here has also changed life for the worst. Old people now lay in their hammocks all day, remote grasped in their hand switching between soap operas. In the past the ancients would have their grandchildren with them, amusing them with traditional stories of life in the Peten during the “good old days” Much of this heritage has now been lost.
    I have a rare copy of a privately published book by the University of San Carlos. It contains local legends told to the author by his grandmother. I have attempted to translate it but the poor quality of the paper for scanning and the unusual Spanish idiom mixed with Maya makes it difficult. Yet another project which I probably will not complete.

    Budgies certainly are escape artists. Although I carefully monitored the boys when they constructed my aviaries there was a small gap in the netting hidden behind a wooden beam. I was shocked one day when I found four of the birds missing. Two days later one of the birds returned and tried to get back into the aviary. Tempted with food it hopped on my finger and was returned to its friends. So eventually we may have a flock of Budgies living in our woods.
    I have photographed most of our local birds, that visit my garden. and many butterflies. However something has happened in the last few years that has drastically reduced the population of both.

    Before I became engaged with the local fish I spent over two years identifying local plants. I have a complete volume of the Flora of Guatemala assembled by the Chicago Natural History Museum after WWII. A gigantic volume and an incredible piece of work. However, as in fish taxonomy, most of the work was based on dried specimens. I encountered nothing but frustration, although I did eventually publish detailed photos of a little known orchid with a very obtuse reproductive system.

    #316871

    Matt
    Keymaster

    Would love to see photos of any of that stuff John.

    #316876

    Plaamoo
    Participant

    Hey John, would you like a neighbor?

    #316890

    johnpeten
    Participant

    QUOTE (Matt @ Feb 22 2010, 08:32 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
    Would love to see photos of any of that stuff John.

    Attached files

    #316892

    Matt
    Keymaster

    Brilliant, the shot of the vulture aloft is particularly impressive and it certainly ain’t ugly! You’re very lucky in so many ways John and I’m not jealous at all. dry.gif

    Ps – what’s the hummingbird? I don’t see it here.

    #316894

    Bluedave
    Participant

    Great pics John, keep ’em coming mate

    #316896

    johnpeten
    Participant

    QUOTE (Matt @ Feb 22 2010, 04:29 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
    Ps – what’s the hummingbird? I don’t see it here.


    The violet crowned Hummingbird. Amazilia. violiceps (verticulus).
    It’s habitat is quoted as being Southern Mexico, Chiapas which is our immediate neighbour. Therefore probably not quoted as a Guatemalan species.
    The blue/violet crown is only present in the male, the female has a dull greenish blue crown.

    #316898

    Matt
    Keymaster

    My relatives in the U.S. have ruby-throats, Archilochus colubris, come to feed right outside their kitchen window at certain times of year. Visiting them remains the only time I’ve been up close with a hummingbird and it was fascinating. John someone asked me the other day if I’ve seen the movie ‘The Talented Mr Ripley’ and now I’m asking you the same question!

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