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

Saturday, May 16, 2009

New Troops on GVI Base!

Hi! We’re Harry and Katherine, the reinforcements, so to speak. The two of us are the only ones to join halfway through the ten-week expedition, but settling in has not been a problem.

We were both greeted respectively by Karina in Quito, and after a whirlwind two day journey to camp through Tena (including lots of bus time and our last hot showers) we got to our last leg – a motorised canoe to camp.

We settled in, impressed with the camp and especially the food. It was a very peaceful evening as the rest of the volunteers were finishing up a long weekend away from camp. Sam taught a yoga class, and after tucking in our mosquito nets (and Harry putting in his ear plugs) we slept our first night in the rainforest.

After another quiet day on Sunday we spent Monday first aid training, which involved some improbable scenarios including one simultaneous snake bite, asthma attack and machete accident! Needless to say we feel prepared for any eventuality.

That afternoon the other volunteers arrived and in the evening we went on a night walk. Harry was ecstatic to see a tailless whip scorpion (“They’re everywhere!”).

After some unfortunate weather (too hot for birds one day, too windy for frogs the next) our luck changed. We went on a second night walk to carry out an amphibian transect. In addition to finding plenty of frogs we saw an Amazon Forest Dragon (Enyaloides laticeps), a sleeping Green Manakin (Xenopipo holochlora) and a Nine-banded Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus)!

Our mornings were spent hearing talks from the staff about the various projects and animal groups that we will be working with in the coming weeks. Also, we received TEFL training and had great fun with our impromptu five minute lessons. We learned sight singing, judo and the dance routine to “Love You More” by Steps.

Last but not least Harry celebrated his 23rd birthday on Wednesday. He got a card, a crumble and managed to “goggle” the entire group just before dessert.

We’ve had an amazing week and hope the next four don’t pass so quickly!



Anonymous said...

sounds like lots of fun!

Enjoy it out there.