Ecuador, Japanese Food, and Bugs

My friend Shoyo is a pretty cool guy.  He’s an undergraduate student at BU, he’s got a wicked sense of style, and he’s been volunteering at HMNH since he was about 5 years old.  He’s also the only thing I can think of that unites the three things listed in the title of this post.

Shoyo managed to earn his silver and bronze recognitions for service to HMNH before he entered college.  He’s smart, funny, and practically grew up at the museum.  If there’s anyone without a PhD at the museum who knows more about bugs or who has a more interesting way of presenting Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches or Scorpions to visitors, I haven’t met them.

He’s also comic relief to the rest of us when we’re working.  He’s super helpful and funny.  Sometime soon he should earn his gold award.  These awards are earned in recognition for hours worked as a volunteer.  They require some ungodly amount of hours and he’ll probably be the youngest volunteer in museum history to get all three awards.

Unfortunately, he’s studying abroad this semester.  He’ll be in Ecuador in an immersive biology program studying plants, local wildlife, and most of all, invertebrates.  What is a gross creepy crawly to you or me is a really cool thing to Shoyo that he can study and photograph.  He’s been practising with his new camera and, after a confirmation email that he made it safely to Ecuador, he’s now busy studying, photographing, and working on his Spanish.

As far as Japanese food goes, Shoyo’s parents are from Japan.  Shoyo is apparently a really good cook but only deigned to tell me this the Friday before he left for Ecuador.  I’ve never had Japanese food I like and so I extracted a promise from him that, as there are no Japanese restaurants that he’d recommend, he’ll cook for me and Geoff upon his return to the US.  I only have to wait 5 months.

If you’d like to follow along on his exploits and check out his photos like this:

Shoyo made this. Ok, the photo. Nature made the critter.

His blog is and he’s posting remarkably regularly.  You know, for being in an immersive rainforest camp type place with sporadic wi-fi.

Enjoy.  I’ll be patiently waiting for my Japanese food.


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