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, November 30, 2009

A Day Out

The excitement began early last Sunday morning as everyone prepared for a very special event. We had been invited to Yachana Lodge for a three course meal and, oh yes, you got it, there was going to be meat. All dressed in our best, we made a dash for the port. The first canoe came and went with half the staff and volunteers, leaving the rest of us to gaze into the shimmering waters of the Rio Napo. Silence didn’t last long as a chorus of singing broke out.

Once we all safely arrived at Yachana, wide eyed and eagerly smiling we sat our table in anticipation. For starters there was palm heart with salsa and popcorn, followed by chicken, green beans, yuca and cheesy, potato mash with Ecuadorian style beans. Last to come was banana and chocolate sauce which was so tasty there was plate licking going on. While still digesting our much enjoyed lunch, we relaxed in the deck chairs with batidos (smoothies) in hand. For a while we were accompanied by Yolanda, the resident Mealy Parrott at Yachana, while we took in the view.

After some relaxation everyone made their way to the football pitch for the weekly big match - alas, no Ecuadorians this week! So it was GVI Amazon versus GVI Amazon. It all became a bit vicious as certain team members used some interesting pushing and shoving techniques to their advantage. On the pitch anything seemed to be allowed in pursuit of those all important goals. The players were so focused on the game, keeping count of the scores went out of the window. Fall after fall, slide after slide, grass graze after grass graze, in the end it boiled down to the last goal wins. The game concluded with high fives all round and a nip to the tienda (local shop), for a cool drink and the rainbow in the skies. Then off everyone sprinted to the canoe, enjoying the sunset still in view. We headed back across the river to our familiar reserve home, GVI base camp. The day came to a close with volunteers and staff tired, but content – the end of another good day on GVI Amazon.

Noelle and Ruth, GVI Amazon volunteers, October to December 2009