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

Friday, March 13, 2009

Jungle... The Final Frontier

These are the voyages of the GVI Enterprise.
Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds…
To seek out new amphibian life; new civilizations…
To boldly go where no man has gone before…
The source of the stream!
The GVI crew assembled on the road at 0800 hours and were about to embark on their voyage when they met Lieutenant Amy returning to base after an early LBS. She was eager to join the team and asked for permission to come aboard. “Permission granted”, said Captain Mercer and the eight explorers set off into the Frontier Trail to find the stream.

Along their way they encountered strange life forms. One beetle in particular had morphed into a strange fungal creature. Lieutenant Hannah was a specialist in this area and informed the crew of such fungus that could be found in those parts of the jungle. It had been known to target many of the insect life and cause the infected to behave in strange ways to benefit the procreation of the fungus. Some of the ants were aware of its effects and would immediately terminate a member of their army if they showed signs of ill behavior. The crew took photos of the ill fated creature for future data reference and continued along their path.

The stream was long and winding. It brought the crew over rocky terrain and through choppy waters. They had to swoop high over fallen logs and duck low under collapsed trees all the while keeping a steady rhythm towards the source of the stream. They stopped briefly to refuel on a bowl of pasta and a bag of vanilla biscuits. They had been trekking now for five hours and they only had a small window of time to return to camp. The crew had to make the decision whether or not continue their pursuit of the source. If they returned now they could make it back before sunset but if they continued on they couldn’t tell how long they could spend trampling through unsheltered territory. Their fuel reserves were low and they had no idea how close they were to the source but with some mighty encouragement from Lieutenant Sophie they opted for the unknown and made their coordinates for upstream.

Gradually the floor of the stream opened out and the water filtered down into dispersed trickles. It was a sure sign that the source was near. However the path narrowed and eventually the crew were forced to a halt by a giant log blocking their way. They had come as far as it was possible and still hadn’t reached the source. The crew had been defeated and morale was low. Captain Mercer estimated the return journey would take approximately four hours. “I can’t do it Captain, we don’t have the power!” cried Lieutenant Commander Glen. Captain Mercer assessed the situation. He asked the members of his crew to pull together all the reserves they could find. Some had tang while others found hard boiled sweets. It was going to be a long return but he knew they could do it. The crew turned on their heels and retraced their steps at a warp speed to make it back for their ETA of 1600 hours. The way was long and difficult but the incredible scenery and joy of exploring new ground made all the effort worth while. Three hours later they emerged from the jungle made contact for the first time with base camp. Despite the seemingly endless voyage the crew had returned on schedule. They were proud of their achievement. Although physically drained they had managed to discover new terrain and make new ground for further exploration.



barryb said...

The is a highly creative, informative and, indeed, entertaining post. Hurrah! (More like this please)