The Kalu Yala Blog

Your New Best Friend, Sunscreen!

February 13, 2012

by Terra Filmer
Posted In: Adventures in the Tropics, Voices of Kalu Yala
Zac's best friend

Zac's best friend

When the Spring 2012 interns arrived in Panama we dedicated the first week to orientation. During this time we discussed briefly on the health, safety, emergency plans and venomous snakes and insects to be aware of. Also, Anne Shingler presented an informational video on Leave No Trace Ethics. I would like to summarize and reiterate these important facts for future potential interns and visitors. Some of this information may seem commonly understood yet often undervalued which can lead to unnecessary suffering. The following information is geared around life in the Kalu Yala valley.
Heading into the valley

Hiking in the heat is tough!

sunscreen-cartoon

Well, DUH….I know I should do the following…

Good job Sol!

Good job Sol!

And some more useful advice…

The creepy crawlies…

  1. Try to identify the snake, kill it if you can and take it with you. Notice if it has a bulge from recently eating.
  2. Try to remain calm and if you have to hike out, have someone carry you.
  3. Do NOT put a tourniquet on.
  4. Go directly to the Chepo Hospital, an hour and twenty minutes away from the valley.

Prevention

Zac Long likes sunscreen

I would like to thank Zac Long for helping me put together the list of important Leave No Trace Ethics.

I have a routine throughout the day. If I am heading out into the jungle I wear pants, shirt or tank top and boots. I lather myself in sunscreen and spray my clothes with insect repellant. I always bring a small first aid kit with me, sunscreen, water, food, and a long sleeved shirt. Shake out your shoes, clothes, and bed sheets because you never know what decided it might be a nice home. By afternoon reapply sunscreen and bug spray, put on the long sleeved shirt if you have to be in the sun for an extended amount of time. Before night fall get prepared. If you’ve been working at camp with sandals on, it would be a good idea to put some boots on because there are a lot of insects that come out at night. Also, don’t forget the headlamp.
Safety and respect for the wilderness in the valley and everywhere else you go in life are invaluable sources of knowledge. We are all stewards of this earth and can make a difference. If you follow this advice you can spend more time on the volleyball court and in the jungle instead of laying in a hospital bed!

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