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

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Variety is the Spice of Life!

Monday and Tuesday has seen participation in lots of different activities. It's nothing out of the ordinary on the Amazon Expedition with GVI, no two days are exactly the same and that's much of the appeal for the volunteers. After getting out and about in the rainforest they can get back to base and exchange stories of their days' achievements and activities.

Megan, Lizzie, Allie E., Hassan and Sarah headed out with Matt on Monday morning in search of fresh dung (!) to use for bait in the pitfall traps for the dung beetle projects. They were in luck, as some cows had been so kind as to donate some lovely, sloppy dung right near base camp! This dung was then molded into balls by Lizzie (who enjoyed the whole procedure of trap setting, much to Matt’s surprise!). The dung balls were then carefully hung above empty cups and the cups were then covered by a plate, 10 cm above it, in hope of trapping some eager dung beetles. Time will tell....

On Tuesday morning Steph, Peter, Lucy R and Sarah headed out to the local community of Puerto Rico to give some English lessons in the small local school. Steph and Peter taught the youngsters (3- 6 year olds) and Lucy R and Sarah taught the older kids (7-12 year olds). It was definitely challenging, but also a lot of fun and the kids really seemed to enjoy themselves. On the walk back to baes they incorporated their trip with a sneaky opportunity to check the dung beetle traps.

Elsewhere on the expedition, another group began some butterfly work, which included setting up traps and running around trying to catch butterflies with butterfly traps - more difficult than it looks or sounds. Although they are beautiful creatures, a butterfly’s taste buds leaves a lot to be desired, being lured into traps with such delights like sweat, rotten fish and urine.

Later on in the afternoon, Gayathri, Zoe, Dan, Jon and Sarah headed out on a bird transect with Matt and Sam, but unfortunately the weather was not kind which meant that there was not a lot of bird action. They all headed back to base a bit earlier than expected, but not before they were all thoroughly drenched through and were once again reminded of why the area has the name "rainforest'!

Even the evening saw activity on the GVI base camp - no rest for the wicked. Sarah very kindly shared her experiences about her time volunteering in Brazil, on another GVI programme - Pink River Dolphin Project. She gave a little talk on how the time was spent and the work they undertook and of course, some of the amazing things that they got to see. It rounded of a full fun packed couple of days at GVI Amazon nicely.