Vicky Tang’s Diary
Belarus Wetlands

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August 10, 2009: An eventful day

After our usual breakfast at 8 am, we are joined by Dima from the Forestry Commission. He guides us to a very interesting bog. On the way, however, we encounter some low lying ground that is prone to flooding. The boys are called from the bus to help create a bridge for the bus to cross. This requires a chainsaw to cut down a number of small trees and lay them down on the roadway. The bridge will be used on our travels to and from the bog over the next four days. Bridge We also pass by a very beautiful lake. We are going to bring our swimming costumes to swim after lunch tomorrow. We get to the bog site at 11 am. The research team get off the bus to inspect the bog. The volunteers are left to explore the area within sight of the bus. We find many varieties of mushrooms, cowberries (similar to cranberries – very tart!) and fields of blueberries. The sweetest ones face the sun. The research team return with long faces. Natalia explains that there are many types of bog in this area, and although this Beautiful lake one is very interesting, it falls outside the scope of the Earthwatch briefing. Any results will not be able to be used in the current study. They have collected some plant samples, noted the GPS coordinates and may return Bogged bus 2 at a later date. It is already 1:30 pm and we haven’t started the next profile yet. The research team is disappointed but realise that it is time for lunch. They decide to take us back to the lake for lunch. We admire the view and take many photos. There are a couple of dragonflies, but they do not land close enough for us to take their picture. Natasha and the team have decided that for the next attempt, we will go to the southern region. It is a much longer walk into the second profile through fields of blueberries. We complete one plot. The drive back the the village is late. Everyone is tired and hungry. Victor the driver takes a hairpin turn a little too fast and manages to bog the bus down in lBogged bus 3 oose sand. Again, we get off the bus and the boys are seconded to do some hard labour. Many attempts to push the bus out are unsuccessful, so more trees are sacrificed for our safe return.

Click image to enlarge.