The End of an Era

After over 6 years of intensive research and community development work in and around the Yachana Reserve, GVI Amazon is coming to a close. We have finished our final research project (look forward to our Road Effects paper, coming soon!) and are handing over the project to our partner, The Yachana Foundation. They will continue to maintain and monitor the reserve, using it as an hands-on science education center for students -- we're very excited to see what fabulous things this next generation of scientists find! For more detail on GVI Amazon's closure, and our accomplishments over the years, please read on...
GVI Amazon Closure Statement

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

New Arrivals make it to base camp

On Saturday afternoon, the 5 weekers arrived in camp to begin the second phase of the 10-week expedition, and having braved the Rio Napo in torrential rain were happy to climb out of the canoe and ascend the 170 steps to camp. By the time we were joined by the 10 weekers on Sunday evening we had already had a full 24 hours to explore the camp – our new home for the next five week (and quite luxurious by jungle standards!) The rest of our week has been filled with hands-on introductions to camp duty training, Amazonian wildlife and treks in around the Yachana Reserve, all in an effort to catch up with the already well-established 10 weekers.

The 10 weekers came back for the second phase after a well-deserved break in Quito and Banos, refreshed (a little!) and ready to get back in the field. We had the usual surveys – butterflies on the muddiest trail in the reserve; a 3 hour night stream walk looking for an elusive Glass frog; and a Screaming Piha survey that was rained off, so instead we had a spontaneous minga helping to build a seedbed for future reforestation. A pretty tiring week, but it’s good to be back.

We also had our first Saturday night party as a new group, and our first fancy dress night. The theme was ‘Movie Night’, and everyone threw themselves into creating costumes from jungle clothes and camp supplies. Outfits ranged from Helen of Troy, Rambo, Audrey Hepburn and the Charlie’s Angels – a tie for first place in the Best Dressed competition led to an exciting ‘walk-off’ between G I Jane and Indianna Jones. G I Jane (Becky) won with a stunning display of push-ups, getting the first prize of not having to do any camp duties on Sunday! The night ended with a camp fire, beers and ghost stories – Baby from Dirty Dancing (definitely not sitting in the corner!) scaring the bejezuz out of everyone.

And now it’s Sunday; we’ve had a fantastic breakfast of crepes and jam and are heading to the High School to work it off in a football match and a swim in the river –