We bade goodbye to our potato breeder friends last night with an amazing dinner at an archeological site called Huaca Pullana (a huaca in Peru is a ruin). Huaca Pullana is a pre-Inca site made entirely of mud; said to be a religious centre, it covers several city blocks right in the middle of Lima.
Today was the beginning of the annual week of celebrations held for the founding of the Museo Nacional de Historia Natural (the NHM in Peru); this year they are celebrating the start of their 94th year. The Museo in Lima is like the NHM in London in that it has collections spanning all living organisms, fossils and minerals.
Today (Saturday) the scientific departments with the collections were open to the public - who came in droves! It was a bit like Science Uncovered Peruvian style, with activities for children, food and lots of buzz.
Pond-dipping is popular the world over!
Pointing the way to the vertebrate zoology section!
Visits to the science departments and collections were very popular - our herbarium colleagues made a wonder display of the groups of plants, algae and fungi from Peru, and studentw were on hand to explain it all to the many many people who came through the door.
Miguel and Isabel with the flowering plant displays...
Our favourite part though was outside, where a section of the activities beckoned people to discover how to mount a scientific expedition - the area was full of collecting equipment, tents and paraphenalia - students again were on hand to explain how they collected and why it was so important for the conservation of Peruvian biodiversity.
The sign says "DISCOVER HOW TO MAKE A SCIENTIFIC EXPEDITION"
The day was great - we spent most of it in the herbarium working on the database - so many interesting specimens, but could hear people having a graet time outside... the entire day was themed around Peruvian biodiversity and how the Museo worked to understand and conserve it - the enthusiasm from both those explaining and those visiting was so inspiring.
A game for children painted on the pavements - the rhea is saying "I am disappearing beacuse of hunting, egg collection, capture of my chicks and destruction of my habitat" - the idea was to compelte the circuit and then fill in some missing boxes - we saw lots of people playing!