Anna with her guardian amigo.
Stomping scorpions, slashing trees with a machete, and heat rashes are not usually part of the curriculum for anthropology classes at universities. Sharisse McCafferty tells of how her son went to excavate in Spain and showed up with an extremely small trowel. He wasn’t prepared for the rocky soil.
“My trowel had a baby and that is your trowel,” she explains with a chuckle. “In Calgary, they have what we call the ‘kitty litter’ project. Students are literally given a kitty litter box and that is their practice. And then they come down here and they have no idea what they are going to do. It’s nothing like the kitty litter box.”
Many embrace the challenges of the field and persevere to accomplish the work, if not fully enjoying the challenges.
“They told me that if you put scorpions in your pocket, it will bring you luck,” Anna Brown, a Colgate graduate, explains after holding a stinger-less scorpion. “I held my little amigo for a few minutes before saying goodbye and returning him to his home. I’d like to think he’ll protect me from other bugs in the field.”