Just before US Independence Day, Tom and I had a great day’s visit with Rhea and Erik Terdal from Oklahoma. We’ve been communicating regularly with them via email since we first made contact with Erik because of our mutual interest in the well being of the Elijio Panti National Park in San Antonio, and then because we found out that they share our passion for horses. When they got here and we started talking, we found that also like us, Rhea has always been the horse fanatic, and like Tom, Erik found that playing the “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” game with Rhea and the horses has also given him a new passion. We talked, ate lunch, talked, showed them the property, talked, introduced them to all the horses, talked, looked at each others’ pictures (mostly of horses), and talked some more about horses in general and horse keeping in Belize since even though they don’t live here [yet], they’d like to help Antonio, the warden of the Elijio Panti Park, keep the Park’s horses in good health.
Towards the end of their visit, we did manage to sit down and look at the motion sensing camera Erik left with us to try to get pictures of the wildlife in this area. He’s a biology professor at University of OK, and he’s trying to get a grant to study the wildlife in this area – but to do that, he has to prove that the wildlife he wants to study is here. Since we’ve seen lots of the animals he wants to study – cats and their prey – we’re hoping we can get some good pictures both for Erik’s grant proposals, and for our blog and website. It took us over a week to get the batteries for the camera, and now we have to try to get it positioned where it will get photographs of the wild animals around here – so we should have pictures to post soon, with any luck!
We’ve also heard from them since they returned to their home in the US, and Erik, inspired by Tom’s pictures and tales of doing CDEs (Combined Driving Events) with our horse Shawn, has started driving one of their horses with that goal in mind. We hadn’t planned on making Oklahoma one of our destinations when we go back to visit the US – but if Tom can help at a CDE, you never know!