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, May 11, 2009

A Well Deserved Rest

The group left camp early Thursday morning – mixed emotions – looking forward to spending a night of eating and drinking, but very sad to see those staying only for five weeks head off. The five weekers said their good-byes to camp and everyone headed upstream in the canoe to La Comuna de Los Rios, where a crowded bus journey took the group the 3 hours back to Tena. Warm showers and cold beers and pizza awaited the volunteers!

All enjoyed a farewell dinner at a restaurant known amongst the GVI team as ‘The Sloth’ restaurant – mainly down to the fact that they have a sloth lurking in the rafters. This is not the reason for going, there is debate going on as to whether it is the best meat that Tena has to offer and for carnivores, after 5 weeks on base with little or no meat, this is the main draw. Everyone dined on fine wines and meat – some even sampling bulls testicles! With full tummies everyone headed to the Swing Bar for hours of cocktails and monkey dancing!

Friday morning everyone said their blurry eyed and hung-over good-byes to each other. Those staying for the first five weeks only headed up to Quito for the next stage of their adventures, whilst those staying the full ten weeks took advantage of a long weekend break and headed out to Baños.

A weekend of bike rides in the rain, panoramic views, waterfalls, canyons, bungee jumping, local cuisine (steering clear of guinea pig!), drinking and salsa dancing – who’d have thought you could fit so much into one weekend.

After a lovely breakfast on the rooftop on Sunday morning and an attempt to visit the infamous spas (they couldn’t get in because it was mother’s day in Ecuador), the volunteers settled for a spot of sightseeing and shopping before eventually finding their bus to take them back to Tena. They had to wait for ‘un momento’ for the bus, which was over an hour late – true Ecuadorian style!

All the group got back together in Tena on Sunday night for one more night of cold beers, pizzas, meat and luxuries before returning to GVI base camp in the rainforest for the second half of the Amazon Rainforest Expedition. Everyone wondered what they had in store for the next five weeks...