We were going to a place to go birding [In New Guinea]. The person driving the bus had a voodoo doll protecting him and he was driving through his enemy’s territory. He ducked his head and wouldn’t look where he was driving. As we drove through, they were shooting wooden arrows. Their arrows just bounced right off the bus. They were definitely letting him know they didn’t want him there.
We were in a crowded market. 95% of people had never seen a white people before. We started turning into a zoo attraction. My friend wanted to go to this market. He was doing research on sea turtles. We were waiting for a bus. A minister from the 7th day Adventists saw the situation and got us out of there onto a bus. It was starting to turn into a mob mentality. That was probably the most dangerous moment.

 

 

Brad has been a role model and birding mentor to me for the last 10 years. In high school he loaned me a pair of binoculars, opening up the world of birds to me through crystal-clear German glass. Seeing warblers in sharp focus made spring migration come to life, and widened my perspective beyond raptors. Since then, we have birded together in Israel, Ecuador, and Costa Rica. I admire him in every sense of the word, and it seemed perfectly fitting to return to my high school and bird with him, checking off my Eurasian Tree Sparrow for the year.