This week it felt hard to decide what to write a blog about. “Nothing has changed,” I thought, “I don’t have anything new to say.” But that’s when I realized that simultaneously, everything and nothing had changed. And that seems like a good thing to blog about.
By saying that everything has changed, I mean that five new people have joined us; three will be staying at camp with us until I leave.
We have an enormous palatial tent at camp now where we can sit and relax, eat, and enjoy each other’s company without the company of so many mosquitoes.
And the biggest change for me is that Phoebe has joined me as my field assistant. I now have a companion all day in the field – work goes so much more quickly with another person!
But in most ways, nothing has changed. And although this may seem boring, it is actually a good thing. My science depends on repetition, and this means that most days feel exactly the same. While Becca was still working with me, we took some pictures to document what we do at each site. Although it may seem tedious to do the same thing again and again, there is something soothing about it as well – while things at camp may be changing and hectic, I know exactly what to expect when I walk up to the next deflation patch.
The best part about nothing changing is the knowledge that with each new deflation patch, I’m adding a site to my collection. By doing the exact same thing at each patch, each and every day, I can compare patches and look for patterns. And the patterns I find won’t be a product of anything I’ve done differently at different sites; I can be confident that they represent a real part of the landscape. So yes, it’s nice to have new people in camp, the new tent is rather lovely, and it’s great to be spending the day with Phoebe, but I’m glad my days haven’t changed one bit.