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Some Tourist Time

By Kim Lengel, Vice President of Conservation and Education

Sunday morning we reserved for a little tourist time. We took a long bus ride to Quatre Bonnes for the weekly market where we had a chance to pick up some souvenirs for family, friends, and coworkers.  I got to practice my bargaining skills and had a fun time doing it. With our booty in hand, we boarded the bus for the ride back to Black River. For some reason, this bus seemed unable to get out of 3rd gear and we literally crawled back our hotel.  We dropped off our stuff and got back onto another bus to go to GDEWS. Tim and I both must have still been zoned out from our previous bus ride because we completely missed our stop and had to walk back, giving us a significantly late start on our tasks for the day. 
 
We spend the rest of the afternoon attaching all the relevant labels to the bat crates and spider boxes – this end up arrow shipping labels, Centers for Disease Control labels, address labels, emergency feeding instructions, “live animals – please do not annoy or expose to extremes of heat and cold” labels, and shipping crate contents labels. By the time Tim was done attaching all the labels, there wasn’t much free space left on the crates.  None of the labels are gratuitous – they are all mandated by one or another of the agencies governing shipment of these animals. 
 
While Tim was engaged with that, I went about collecting our first batch of spiders.  We weren’t departing until very early Tuesday morning but I was concerned that we would run out of time on Monday to do everything we needed to so want to begin collecting now.  The spider I had caught the day before looked good leading me to feel comfortable that spiders we collected on Sunday afternoon would be fine in their containers until we arrived back in the US on Wednesday morning.  With the help of Danella to steady the ladder while I was perched on it reaching for spiders, I was able to collect 24 in an hour and to get them settled for the night. 
 
We took one spider and a spider shipment box with us when we left GDEWS for the day. We were headed into Reduit on Monday morning to visit government offices and we weren’t sure if the official at National Parks and Conservation Service would want to review how we were housing the spiders for the flight back to the US.  Tim got to wrestle the spider box with all its dire labeling onto the packed bus and while we got some odd stares, no one asked about it.  

Tim affixing some of the necessary shipment labels to the bat crates.
Tim affixing some of the necessary shipment labels to the bat crates.
Tim on the bus with the spider box.
Tim on the bus with the spider box.

Tourist Time

By Kim Lengel, Vice President of Conservation and Education

Sunday morning we reserved for a little tourist time. We took a long bus ride to Quatre Bonnes for the weekly market where we had a chance to pick up some souvenirs for family, friends, and coworkers.  I got to practice my bargaining skills and had a fun time doing it. With our booty in hand, we boarded the bus for the ride back to Black River. For some reason, this bus seemed unable to get out of 3rd gear and we literally crawled back our hotel.  We dropped off our stuff and got back onto another bus to go to the Aviaries. Tim and I both must have still been zoned out from our previous bus ride because we completely missed our stop and had to walk back, giving us a significantly late start on our tasks for the day. 
 
We spend the rest of the afternoon attaching all the relevant labels to the bat crates and spider boxes – this end up arrow shipping labels, Centers for Disease Control labels, address labels, emergency feeding instructions, “live animals – please do not annoy or expose to extremes of heat and cold” labels, and shipping crate contents labels. By the time Tim was done attaching all the labels, there wasn’t much free space left on the crates.  None of the labels are gratuitous – they are all mandated by one or another of the agencies governing shipment of these animals. 
 
While Tim was engaged with that, I went about collecting our first batch of spiders.  We weren’t departing until very early Tuesday morning but I was concerned that we would run out of time on Monday to do everything we needed to so want to begin collecting now.  The spider I had caught the day before looked good leading me to feel comfortable that spiders we collected on Sunday afternoon would be fine in their containers until we arrived back in the US on Wednesday morning.  With the help of Danella to steady the ladder while I was perched on it reaching for spiders, I was able to collect 24 in an hour and to get them settled for the night. 
 
We took one spider and a spider shipment box with us when we left the Aviaries for the day. We were headed into Reduit on Monday morning to visit government offices and we weren’t sure if the official at NPCS would want to review how we were housing the spiders for the flight back to the US.  Tim got to wrestle the spider box with all its dire labeling onto the packed bus and while we got some odd stares, no one asked about it.