The 27th of July is world tapir day. Last year I became aware of this event through a tapir-obsessed friend of mine, Michael Natt (who's birthday it also happens to be – hippy barfday!). Now that I am living in a place tapirs are native to, I thought it would be appropriate to celebrate this day here at the Timburi Cocha research station with a tapir-themed jungle cake (Image 1.1) and to dedicate these bizarre mammals a blogpost.
Yes, it has been a tough year for the world. We've lost iconic and talented artists and public figures, the UK has lost its min–, I mean, Europe, and the US has voted for a hate-mongering orange baffoon called fart to be their next president.
Much of the West despairs for the ideological murder that has occurred. When many of us thought things were getting better and we were all learning to accept each other, we've been hit in the face with a barage of hate. Europe swings to the right, the US follows suit. The warming global climate continues to melt icecaps and exacerbate poverty in Africa, ISIS continues to ravage the Middle East, refugees continue to flood into peaceful neighbouring countries – only to be met with reluctance and disdain.
However, the inundation of bad news and the intolerable coverage of the US presidential "race", means that many of us may have missed some of the good things that have happened this year.
· 00:20 GMT-5, 2nd July 2012 - Arrived in Ecuador's capital, Quito, when the airport was still smack bang in the middle of the city. · 18:55 GMT-5, 22nd July 2013 - Watched the sparkling night lights that sprawl over Quito's mountainous façade shrink beneath the plane that took me from the equator.
In an attempt to summarise the uncompressable and spare you my rambling, I've selected five photos from each of the months I spent in Ecuador on industrial placement. They're not necessarily the best photos nor personal favourites, but they all mean or represent something.