Blog post 3: How has your internship differed from your beginning expectations? How has it been similar? Has anything surprised you about your internship?

I didn’t expect the hiking to be so difficult! When I applied to the internship in Ecuador, they wanted to make sure I was fit and I thought I was, but when I began hiking with the team I was almost immediately panting. The internship took place in the coastal forests of Ecuador at the outskirts of the Andes. At home I was used to jogging every day and that wasn’t enough. The distances weren’t so large, but the altitude of the Andes made the hikes on the mountains strenuous. There were times I almost past out and my heart would beat so hard. I did expect, however, to be amazed by the wild life there and I wasn’t disappointed! We would see toucans when we had breakfast in the bamboo house, and on hikes we saw sloths, jaguarundi (type of cat), anteaters, howler monkeys, and capuchins. I was surprised about how deforested and selectively logged the area was. I thought that there would be more forests like one sees depicted on animal docs or in magazines, but the sad truth is that that is not the case. It is disheartening and that has made me highly conscience of my activities that may contribute to that direction. I think contribute to situations like that through unsustainable consumption or inconsiderate purchases of non degradable products.

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