Teacher as Student
I’m not sure how to add this entry. Although, this is my site and the photos and writings are my creations, and are a part of me, I try to separate my personal self from this public forum. I want people to know more about reptiles, amphibians, travel, conservation, and photography but I have no desire to teach anyone about me. My latest travel was to Costa Rica. It was not about catching frogs and snakes. It was about teaching. But it was also a very personal trip. I could easily just keep adding travel entries, listing off places and animals and including the accompanying photos in the blog. But I think we would all get bored with that.
The group makes its way up the mountain from the village of Las Horquetas, Costa Rica. Much of the Rara Avis reserve is adjacent to the wild and protected Braulio Carillo National Park.
I’ve given a few lectures, and it’s been mentioned here, that it is my belief that conservation begins with people and relationships. I don’t think mindlessly supporting some conservation cause is all that effective. Sure, it helps. But really, who are we reaching? Maybe the readers of this site spend a good deal of time outdoors. I certainly hope so. But few people find the time to walk around their local open space, let alone, visit and explore exotic locations. Too often vacations are to Disneyland or the like. And when foreign travel is done, people are more apt to take comfortable lodgings – read that as hot showers, comfy beds, and room service. There is nothing wrong with this. But I tend to look at a more intimate connection with my surroundings. I get dirty. I examine plants, animals, and of course the people. Where I can, I am taken into their cultures and try to understand their worlds. I can’t preach about cutting down rain forests when the US has removed most of it’s old growth forests. I can’t tell people not to cut down trees or hunt the rare animals when they have no food, no running water, no electricity, and no fuel. I hope that by understanding the issues from multiple perspectives that maybe I can make a difference.
I’m not an activist. At least not in the traditional sense. Thinking about it, maybe I’m an education activist. What I try to preach, and teach, is for people to get outdoors; see the plants and animals; see how the ecological pieces fit. I believe this so much that whenever possible I talk about it, and do it. If I can get friends and their families outside I will. And, I’ll take every opportunity to show them things that most people miss. And I continue to learn. My words and photos are not meant to teach you. They are meant to inspire you to get outside and see these wonderful things for yourselves.