Natalie’s Poster Presentation

Natalie was in Portland, OR for the last few days at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists conference to present a poster for a paper she is currently working on with the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. Here she is with the poster at the conference
Natalie with her poster
If you can’t read the poster, the paper is on the frequency with which orangutans use their thumb and opposable big toe in relation to the use of their other digits.

I spent part of Friday and most of Saturday working on a congratulations cake for her. It is a banana cake with peanut butter/cream cheese frosting covered in chocolate fondant. With the extra fondant I molded a hand gripping a branch and I used a little of the peanut butter frosting to add bark to the branch and creases to the fingers.
Banana Cake with Chocolate Fondant

Flag day, etc.


Flag day (3/27) was quite the event. We had a normal schedule for the morning with more orientation seminars. As the afternoon drew to a close, we all gathered (with our families and friends) first for some remarks by an elected class speaker. Then they started displaying flags on the screen at the front and declaring who is headed for that country. After walking up, you are presented with a miniature of the flag and a folder with more info on the post. Some of the 12 countries that were options for me appeared and my classmates received their assignments. Somewhere in the middle of the ceremony was Paramaribo, Suriname — Joseph McClure as an IMS. That’s right we will be heading to Suriname for the next 2 years. We are very excited. I will still be in DC for another few months (July) for training. Now to figure out how to transport the dog.

Hello World!

Yes, it is the obligatory first post. Natalie and I are currently in the process of collecting our belongings and moving to DC. Training begins on the 12th and our shipments have left Malden, MA (last week) and Holland, MI (yesterday). So we are currently in Michigan visiting Natalie’s family and tomorrow we head out to Iowa to visit my brother and his family. It has been a whirlwind of activity with little indication it will slow down soon.