Dear Children-From Anna

Dear Miss Mazzarro,

We liked your entry and feel the same way about snakes. Our favorite part about your letter was when you were about to see the snake (it was very intriguing). Our favorite snakes are the Anacondas and Diamondbacks. What is yours? We love how you have been working at BCI and admire your work there. We have been working on separate projects about the animals found on BCI ourselves.

Talk to you soon!

--The Jumping Jaguars in Miss Rissmeyer's class (Vee, Joey, Janine, and Sunil)

Dear Miss Mazzarro,

Hi! We just read your story about snakes. We liked the entry and many of the kids in our class are doing snakes for their independent RFC project. How did you find out the name of the snake? We think it must be nice on BCI and there are a lot of animals there that can't be found in any other country. We feel great about our RFC projects. We are getting enough information.

Dear Miss Mazzarro,

We enjoyed the entry that you sent us about racers. We loved the descriptive words you used, because we could get a great mental picture of what the snake looked like. If we were in your position and saw the snake, we would have really been scared! How are you doing in the rainforests? We are doing fine at school. We are working on our RFC research topics. Our topics are: brocket deer, coatimundis, fer-de-lance snakes, and kinkajous.

Your pals-
The Crazy Cardinals

Dear Miss Mazzarro,

The Space Explorers are very excited about the adventures on BCI. Mrs. Macht read us two entries today. We've also read many books about rainforests. It must be very exciting to be able to do research with Dr. Willis. What's your favorite part about working with Dr. Willis? Our favorite entry was "Meeting with a Snake." We liked this entry because it showed us your experience with the snake and your feelings about it. We think the RFC is a great way to learn about nature.

Spunky Space Explores
1. Angela K., Dillon L., Dee L., Dan R.

Dear Miss Mazzarro,

We just read your journal entry "My First Day On Barro Colorado Island." We all loved it! We think you should be an author, like Dr. Willis. We are all doing very well on our research projects about the rainforests in Panama. Michael's project is about the bees on BCI. Julia's project is on Howler Monkeys. Kathryn's project is on parrots. And Nicholas' project is on bats. What other animals did you see while you were on BCI?

Your Friends,
The Awesome Ocelots:
Michael, Kathryn, Julia , Nicholas

Dear Dr. Willis,

Hi! This is Table 4 from Mrs. Macht's class. What new animals have you discovered since your last entry to us? Have you been having fun with Anna? We think the Rainforest Connection is awesome because you get to go in depthto learn about different animals and the rainforest. We also like the Rainforest Connection because we get to talk to you more. We especially enjoyed hearing about your adventures in the entry called "In the Night," because we liked hearing about the scorpion. We think the RFC project is cool and interesting. We hope to write to you again!

Your friends,
Dana, Vincent, Randy and Kat

Hola Dr. Willis and Miss Mazzarro,

The Scientific Snakes have really enjoy the Rainforest Connection website and all your entries. We especially enjoyed the entry about snakes were very entertained by all you wrote, Miss Mazzarro. We enjoyed that one very much because the snake was very long and fast. Our team could sit and read about the rainforest for hours. Lauren is doing her independent project on hummingbirds. She thinks if things keep going like they are now, the product will turn out great. Samantha is doing hers on ocelots. She feels that she still needs more information. John is doing his on bats. He thinks it's going great. Please, write back.

The Scientific Snakes
John F., Sam J., Lauren H.

Dear Miss Mazzarro and Dr. Willis,

BING-BING-BING! You're back home! No more animals for your morning wake up call! How was Panama? Do you miss it? We know from all your entries you saw lots of interesting critters! We can tell you two make a great team, exploring the forest together!!

Yours Truly,
The Chocolate Chimps-
Kimmy, Keli, Nick, Erin

Dear Dr. Willis,

Hi! We just finished rereading your entry from January 24th, 2002, the Tamandua days. It was a cool entry because of the animals you focussed on. Your description of the Tamandua made us learn about the animal and eager to learn even more. We never knew they had prehensile tails and that other anteaters don't. Their eating habits seem very interesting, too, especially that they eat termites in the dry season. We were wondering what do they eat in the wet season? The RFC is an awesome project and we enjoy participating in it. We feel so lucky to be able to learn about nature from a real scientist.

We look forward to your next visit.

Alyssa and Dan

Dear Miss Mazzarro,

Hi from the Disco Dogs! It sounds like you had lots of fun in Panama. We enjoyed both of your entries! Were you an intern in Panama? You probably saw lots of cool animals on BCI, even apart from the snake. The animals you saw on your trip must have been so exotic and interesting. We wish we could go to Panama and think you are very lucky.

the Disco Dogs
Jenna C., Andy F. and Konrad P.

Dear Children,

Hola! To all of you and many thanks for all your comments and questions. I enjoyed your writing, it meant a great deal to me to know you have enjoyed the Rainforest Connection entries. Also I love your groups‰ names, they are so cool!

As most of you know, Dr. Willis and I are back from Panamà, and even though I'm glad to see my family and friends again, part of my heart stayed back in Panamà, especially in Barro Colorado Island. As you know, this was my first time there. At the beginning I was a little concerned about what I was going to find and see. But, after the first day on BCI I fell in love with the place. There were many things that were very interesting that I learned to appreciate and love.

The morning walks with Dr. Willis were fascinating to me. Not only for everything that Jackie was able to teach me, but also for the beauty of the place. Seeing the animals right there in front of me, being able to observe them and in some cases even talk to them was a great experience. I had thought the animals were going to run away when they saw us, that they were going to be scared, but they weren‰t. Of course, we were not going to harm them and we were very quiet. Another thing that I loved was the beauty of the place and the quietness. We were able to hear the morning breeze and the animals even when they weren‰t very close.

Sometimes when Dr. Willis and I were very tired, we took a short break and stood or sat in the middle on the rainforest. We were able to admire the big trees, the busy ants, and the spiders making their webs or waiting to get their meal. At the same time we were able to hear the squirrels eating their nuts or playing around, the Howler monkeys howling at each other, the pretty toucans and many birds singing. What an experience!!!

I saw many animals, all of them very pretty in their way. But I have to say that the animal that I liked the best was the anteater or tamandua. We had the chance to see a female anteater coming down from a tree. Dr. Willis had told me that they are very shy animals and they get scared very easily. But this one was very friendly. We were able to follow her from one tree to another and I even talked to her. It was very funny the way she looked at me like wondering who I was and what was I saying. Although, I think she understood me because I spoke in Spanish to her

About the snake I saw, Dr. Willis was the one that gave me the name of the snake based on the description I gave her. She was also the one that gave me the information I shared with you about this particular species. I guess that out of all the snakes, if I have to pick one, I would pick the Anacondas, but only if they are far away from me. They are very big (largest snake) and strong (they are able to strangle a person). I think they are fascinating animals but I don‰t think I would like to face or be close to one.

It was really great to have this experience, especially having the chance to be there with Dr. Willis, she is an expert when it comes to the rainforest. I learned a great deal from her. She gave me a lot of information about the animals, their behavior, and of course their habitat. She also has a very god eye to spot animals. Also her husband Greg was a great help and I learned a lot from him too. They are a really good team!

Your projects sound fascinating and very interesting. I wish you could share them with me when they are finished. I know I will love them and I‰m sure I‰ll learn a lot from your reports.

Hope to hear from you soon. I would love to meet all of you. Maybe one day I can visit your class.

Muchas gracias.

Hasta pronto.
Anna Mazzaro