Monday, July 5, 2010
Don't play with knives
Had a bit of an accident the other day involving a very sharp knife, my hand, and a trip to the medic in a mining village ten minutes down the river. Oh well -- I wasn't using that thumb, anyway.
Just kidding! Well, sort of. I still have my whole, complete thumb (thank goodness!), but as you can see in the above picture, I did give myself a nasty, deep cut on the index finger. Scott, if he's reading this, already knows exactly how this happened; for the rest of you, I was trying to pry open a tree branch to find a Cephalotes colony using my very sharp pocket knife. Predictably, the knife slipped, and I was vividly reminded why I really ought to wear the leather gloves that I brought with me.
I did get to go to the mining village downriver, where I was treated to some fantastic field medicine. The doc gave me a good, deep scrubbing, a shot of Lidocaine, and a couple gnarly stitches to seal everything up. Total cost, including a week's worth of preventive antibiotics: about $8. Good thing I have health insurance, eh?
So this has put a bit of a crimp in my tree-climbing, at least for the time being, and I probably won't be taking another dip in the Amazon. But there's still plenty to do, and I'm not about to let a little thing like almost cutting my finger off spoil a good time! It's really amazing here -- yesterday, a herd of peccaries tromped through the field station; I saw these enormous black, white, and red vultures; and I caught a huge, iridescent green click-beetle. This is truly an incredible place.