When I was a little boy, I remember sitting outside on my family’s front lawn and looking at the grass. The lawn was huge; it spanned the length of four football fields, and I would get lost in it every once in a while. I would play on that lawn for hours, walking back and forth with my lunch pail beside me waiting for the slightest movement. As soon as I would see something move, I would scoop it up with a Tupperware cup and add it to my lunch pail collection with the rest of the hairy, sticky, and just weird insects I’d caught that day. I recently returned to that house only to see that the lawn, in reality, is small. Not even big enough to hold a kid’s party jumper (brinca brinca). Childhood dreams.
What little did I know that at age four I was doing science. I was surveying the front lawn for species diversity and richness, and making a pretty sick bug collection.
At night I would stay up to watch all the new PBS documentaries on animals and nature. I would tell myself that one day I wanted to be that biologist on those shows who goes hiking and looking for wildlife. Those were dreams that, at that age, seemed nearly impossible to achieve.
Now I sit here twenty years later, writing this blog the day before I head out on my eight-day solo meadow surveys. It hits me every time that somehow, someway, I have made my dreams become a reality. That all that hard work, all those days of joy and suffering, have led me to this point in my life…to a place where I am happy and love what I am doing.
But this dream was not accomplished solely by myself. It took all the people that came before me and believed in me, and the seven generations that will come after me. It is because of their cariño that I can now say that I, Geovanni Salgado, am that biologist in those nature documentaries.
Me despido for now porque pues tengo que irme a la sierra para encontrar a las ranas y sapos.