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

Monday, March 9, 2009

Go Team GVI Amazon!

GVI Amazon’s football team yesterday once again took on the students from Yachana Technical College in the first match of this second five weeks. Weather conditions started off excellently with bright sunlight beating down on the appalling, bumpy pitch, but 15 minutes in to the game a strong rainstorm came in, turning the field into a quagmire and making for some comical, clumsy moments.

In the minutes before the deluge began, GVI dominated possession and turned that hard work into a goal. Max Hardman played a neat one-two with Jon Escolar on the front right edge of the area and thumped a spectacular volley in off the woodwork. Deterioration began soon after, along with the weather. The smaller, more agile Ecuadorians were able to maintain their balance on the mud slick, they quickly went level and soon after went 2-1 up. Just before the break they put in a lucky third to make the score line 3-1 to Yachana - a somewhat unfair reflection of the match until that point.

GVI came out in the second half with a renewed sense of determination and redoubled their efforts. Matt ‘The Welsh Terrier’ Iles soon pulled a goal back for GVI with a great strike from the edge of the area. The rotating goalkeepers, Dan Nielson and Chris Beirne, pulled off some amazing saves between them to keep GVI in the match, and Glen Skelton and Tom Keating produced some key challenges at the back to dishearten their opponents. Despite the good efforts of the team, they were unable to prevent Yachana from taking a 4-2 lead. Again, GVI showed their resolve and battled on. Andy Whitworth played a vital role breaking up the opponents play in the middle of the park and linked up well with the forwards giving their all to get GVI back in the game. Their efforts paid off soon enough with a neatly worked short corner being played through to Matt ‘The Welsh Terrier’ Iles who fired into the roof of the net from six yards.

The game wore on with GVI pressing on and Franklin, their Ecuadorian signing, almost scored a fantastic solo effort, only to slip after rounding the keeper due to the terrible conditions. But all was not lost, in the final minutes GVI won another corner. They again played it short, with Franklin laying it off to Jon Escolar just inside the area, whose shot somehow made it through the mass of bodies in the Yachana area and evaded the keeper to end up in the back of the net to make it 4-4. GVI then had to play out an excruciating final two minutes before securing their first non-defeat of the expedition. The players were elated at the end of the game, although the match had its price, with Andy Whitworth suffering tendon damage and Jon Escolar ending up with a with a purple, swollen toe. Nevertheless, the performance and result were well worth the wait!