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

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

BTECs, meat, cake and dance-offs!

The second stage of our ten week adventure is now well and truly up and running. It’s been a pretty manic week here back on camp. In addition to the various ongoing science projects the BTEC guys got opportunities to lead their very own surveys with great success. It has been so great returning to camp and getting back into the jungle after a long time away. This is what it’s all about, immersing yourself in the wondrous amazon rainforest, with all the amazing bugs, creeping crawlies and the ever so vibrant colours of the forest.

This week we have been getting to know the fresh new faces who have joined our expedition for the second five weeks, Kim, Alexis and Paul, along with a returnee from a previous expedition Guy who has now become a GVI Scholar. We cannot of course forget to say a sincere fond farewells to those who have sadly left after the first five weeks and are now embarking on their own adventures, Mike Thackwray a.k.a ‘Milky’, Emma and Tamara – all who are sadly missed.

On Friday, after a week out in the field those who were out on surveys returned back to camp to find a great sense of excitement growing in the group. A rumour was spreading around that ‘meat’, yes that’s right ‘meat’ was on the menu for dinner. And amazingly they were not wrong, a mistake had been made with our food order this week and we had ended up with steak, minced beef and sausages, with no refrigeration, all had to be eaten on that same day – heaven!

To end the week on Saturday, it was Kristin’s birthday. For her birthday we had one hell of a party! As is tradition with birthdays on camp, it meant a cake could be baked. Up stepped Jas, who, using only a gas stove, made one of the best choclate cakes ever – it was soooo good! After we had the cake the festivities began. First up we played a game of pass the parcel in which not only did you get a prize but also a dare – with a few pretty dangerous dares to boot. They included drinking beer out of a used welly, eating a spoonful of chilli flakes and shaving one leg (which to the much displeasure of Andy, our Base Manager, fell to him to do!). We also played musical statues and an Ecuadorian game which involved dancing with a passionfruit held up between two heads. The games then culminated in a dance off to end all dance off’s, with everybody facing up on the dancefloor! The dancefloor then was opened and the party really got going – which went on going deep into the early hours of the morning!

Good week!

Chris Shuttle, GVI Amazon volunteer October - December 2009