Jan 20, 2010
Today was a fairly relaxed day. In the morning, we went to a NOAA site and listened to a man named Ed Lyman give a talk about whales and whale rescue from entanglement and boat strikes. It was completely fascinating and I have several pages of very interesting notes. One of the great fun facts we learned is that whales have mucus that they expel when they blow, and the mucus allows them to dive longer because it absorbs nitrogen.
In the late morning and early afternoon, we visited a place called “the needle,” which is a large and narrow natural rock formation. The Hawaiians rightly coupled it with their phallic god. We walked around a bit, and I noticed a warning sign for flash flooding. The area had been greatly disturbed and none of the water features were in the natural form. Instead, pipes brought water from a naturally occurring stream from pool to pool. While there was no information about why the flash flooding happens, I wonder if the human intervention exacerbated the danger.
We saw more of the “swiss cheese” plants with holes in the leaves (proper name: Monstera obliqua). The Wellesley greenhouse had a gigantic and gorgeous swiss cheese plant and the caretaker explained to me that the plants have adapted to allow the lower leaves to get sunlight. Because they can get quite large, the large upper leaves would prevent the younger lower leaves from getting adequate sunlight without the holes. Pretty cool adaptation.
In the afternoon, Liz, Tim, Clay, Becky and I walked to get another shaved ice. Again, it was wonderful. We came back to the condo and I napped for a few hours, and got up in time to watch the sunset. We ate dinner, which was an amalgam of all the food we hadn’t eaten (I swear I never want to see canned ham ever again), and had class, and then packed up.
Tomorrow we leave for Bangkok, which will involve about 26 hours of traveling. I have to admit that I am a bit nervous about my first trip to a developing country. Nonetheless, I am completely thrilled and cannot wait for our next adventure!