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Half of the National Geographic team “Project Bat Echo” is on the road again, after only a month home from Cuba where we worked for the month of March, resulting in over 6,000 photographs.  With barely time to unpack and repack, we left Austin with our more than 350 lbs. of equipment.

350 lbs. of equipment on the way to Ecuador

Last night we arrived in Quito, checked into the whimsical, boutique hotel, Cafe Cultura, for the night. Merlin nearly had a heart attack when the taxi driver dropped his most fragile equipment 6 feet onto the pavement into a puddle.

It’s rainy season here in Quito.   The cacti are blooming in the high desert due to recent rains.  With only 3 days notice that the cacti we needed to photograph are finally in bloom, we flew to Quito.

This afternoon we’ll fly to Cuenca where Merlin will speak at the Universidad de Cuenca, before heading to the field for the photo shoot.

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Michael Lazari Karapetian

Michael Lazari Karapetian has over twenty years of investment management experience. He has a degree in business management, is a certified NBA agent, and gained early experience as a money manager for the Bank of America where he established model portfolios for high-net-worth clients. In 2003 he founded Lazari Capital Management, Inc. and Lazari Asset Management, Inc.  He is President and CIO of both and manages over a half a billion in assets. In his personal time he champions philanthropic causes. He serves on the board of Moravian College and has a strong affinity for wildlife, both funding and volunteering on behalf of endangered species.