January 19, 2005
Saturday, April 11, 2009 at 9:16AM

Namyun Town Hall, 4:20 PM (N26˚59', E96˚10')

Something amazing happened today.  While we were in Tanai, the kitchen crew got plastic cups for everyone. They were all different.  Mine was white with flowers and a tight fitting lid for keeping your tea hot.  I wrote my name, the date, and the location on the bottom of the cup. In transit to Namyun we stopped at the camp at mile 18 for lunch.  After lunch we made tea, started talking to the locals about rattan, and then went outside to look at some plants.  On arrival to Namyun I looked in my pack and couldn't find my cup.  I had left it in the lady's house at mile 18. One of the crew graciously gave me their cup - hot pink with no lid. I was appreciative, but I missed my cup (I get attached to things...).

This morning, one of the cooks came up with a big smile on his face and gave me a blue plastic bag.  Inside was my cup.  The lady had noticed that the American had left his cup and she knew that we were headed to Namyun, so she gave it to the first motorcyclist that stopped on the way to Namyun with instructions to give it to the group with the Americans. I'll say it again. You gotta love these people...

We left walking up the road to Pansaung this morning with the idea to do some collecting and maybe do a transect if we found a nice piece of forest. The sky was very overcast, and the mountains were covered in clouds.  We had decided not to go all the way to Pansaung the night before because of the rain.  We knew that a truck ouldn't make it now, and we didn't feel that the flora wold be different enough to merit walking the 30 miles.  After walking for about 15 minutes, it started raining, and it rained on and off all day.  We ended up walking about 3 miles up the road, climbing 250 meters in elevation and collecting three palms, but the constant rain made everything a little tedious. We went back to Namyun about 3:30 PM, pressed the days collections, and hung up our wet stuff to dry. No bath today.

I think the plan for tomorrow is to pack up our stuff, load up the elephants, and head south to mile 21 to make a base camp. If the weather clears - and it looks like it will - we should be able to make some nice collections and do some transects because the forest is fantastic along this part of the road. I am very much looking forward to finally doing some camping.  Andrew just gave me the collecting total so far.  We've collected 15 rattans, 14 of them Calamus. This is about twice what we expected to find. There's probably still a couple of rare ones out there waiting to be collected. 

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