Paku finished off his first year in the PhD program in Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and found himself a rather exhausted shell of the panda he once was, prior to the breakneck pace of four six-week terms followed by the 2-day comprehensive exam.
Paku was able to finish by reminding himself of two things almost daily: 1) the school motto, "Saving pandas, millions at a time", and 2) the fantastic summer of leisure that awaited him.
But as it turns out, Paku is not entirely a panda of leisure. He is also a panda who enjoys freshly grown fruits and herbs, and he also fancies himself to have quite a green paw.
Paku will also not be confined by the small urban space he finds himself dwelling in, and set himself up a container garden on his roof deck that features stunning views of Baltimore's working port.
He planted 3 varieties of lettuce, tomatoes, squash, zuccinni, basil, mint and green bell peppers!
Paku especially loves getting up each morning and rushing up to the deck to check on the progress of the tomato vine which has climbed so high that it is becoming difficult for Paku to reach the top! (But, he manages through a little ingenuity)
All of his time on the roofdeck is not spent alone, however. Paku recently entertained a rather comical little fellow who stopped in to visit on his way through Baltimore: Mr. Peep!
Paku prepared Mr. Peep a delicious meal which they enjoyed in repose on the deck, while the harbor breezes stirred their respective plushy selves.
Mr. Peep regaled Paku with tails of his recent business trip to Ulan Bator in order to develop a new market opportunity for the marshmallowy sugary treats that simply won't be confined to the Easter season.
Paku caught Mr. Peep up on the comings and goings of his year in the ivory tower studying epidemiology, biostatistics and infectious disease.
As the afternoon wore on, Paku went down to the kitchen in order to uncork a second bottle of wine to share between the two old friends. When he came back up, he couldn't find Mr. Peep anywhere.
Turns out that rascally Mr. Peep was up to his old tricks, hiding in the yellow squash plant!
Paku can't wait for the summer ahead!