Posted: November 17, 2011

Name: Will Glenny
School: Gonzaga University
Major: Ecology
Program: Tropical Rainforest Studies, Australia

At The SFS Center for Rainforest Studies, we had the first annual “Underground Getdown,” a Hangi prepared by two students in the program along with much help from others. This traditional Maori style barbeque involves digging a large pit in the ground, soaking burlap sacks in water, and placing chickens on a bed of rocks to create a steamed, fall-off-the-bone piece of chicken unlike anything else.

No better way to celebrate the reuniting of our program after a long time away on mid-semester break. Some decided living in the rainforest wasn’t remote enough, and travelled to Hinchinbrook Island to backpack, others took a more conventional route and travelled to the big city of Townsville, making their way out to Magnetic Island, a backpacker’s paradise. But in the end, time away from the Center always feels too long.

A week after returning we are celebrating again, this time for the end of finals. Even before most in the United States begin cramming, in the rainforest we are already moving on. We begin the reason most of us came to the rainforest in the first place, Directed Research.

For the last 4 weeks of the program our lives will be enveloped by cane toads, tree kangaroos, restoration sites, and sustainability within the local community, each student embarking on a research project of their choice under the guidance of a staff member. Looking forward to getting deeper into these projects, even though we know time will be flying towards the end of our time here. We hope to make the most of it!