After an interesting journey back from the Project WILD office to the bus (there is a noticeable lack of sidewalks over here in America) I arrive back to Maria and Juan’s’ home. We have a delicious dinner Maria has prepared, a classic from Genoa as well as some more great wine, and I tell them all about my day with Kelly. With them being teachers, they have a keen interest and especially Juan, whom I mentioned in the last blog has studied entomology. I show him the book and tell him how reasonable the workshop price is!
We also talk about life here in America for a family and they explain to me a bit more about how the healthcare system works and the costs involved. It reminds me how fortunate we are to have the NHS back home. The thing is, even with health insurance you still have to spend a certain amount (in the $000s) before your health insurance kicks in! Even just a simple check-up or cold, could set you back a good $200!
The following day, Juan takes me to Brazos Bend Park, an hour’s drive from their place. Brazos Bend State Park is a 4,897-acre state park along the Brazos River in Needville, Texas, run by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The park is a haven for a diverse mix of native wildlife and plants covering an equally diverse range of ecosystems. The Park contains areas of coastal prairie, bottomland forest, and a wide range of wetlands including open and semi-open lakes and transitional marshlands.
Highlights include over 300 species of resident and visiting migratory birds and mammals such as the white-tailed deer, nine-banded armadillo, raccoon, and North American river otter. The most noteworthy and popular residents of the park are the relatively large population of American alligators. After the visit to the Park Juan and I go for Mexican food at their local restaurant before he drives me to Houston International airport for my flight to Miami, which is where I will be spending Christmas!