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

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The New Guys First Night Walk…. Welcome to GVI Amazon Camp mwaah ha ha ha….

The night was closing and it was getting late and the new volunteers were out on their eventful nightwalk and had some great sightings. An abundance of snakes, including a Coral, Fer de Lance and Vine Snake…Three engystomops petersi hanging out together and all the usual suspects you’d expect to find down Bloop and Ficus trails. All in all a successful night. – so they headed back to camp upbeat and in good spirits.

….little did they know….
…. The ten weekers had been plotting!

The camp was buzzing, an in depth battle plan was being formulated, the soldiers were issued positions and their weaponry was prepped (water balloons, foam and big bottles of water). Once the faces were painted and the troops were changed into their jungle wear – they sat back and waited. The camp had become eerily silent in anticipation (which was difficult for both Bianca and Laura). And then it happened. The radio crackled and a muffled voice declared…’GVI GVI GVI do you copy, - we will be home in 20 minutes, route back is Acces A!’ At this, camp burst into life and they hurried to the volleyball court,l or for tonight it will be known as ‘lecho de muerto(deathbed!)! The final brief from Sergent Whitworth and we all retired into the forest, out of sight from the trail.

Twenty minutes had passed, when their head torches became visible, then the heavy footsteps could be heard and a drone of voices. They passed by not noticing Val and Benny sneak out behind them, blocking the path back. Once the volunteers were in the lecho de muerte, it happened. Andy and Piter blocked the path forward and opened fire, then Bianca, Tom, Christian, Stef and Mariana speared them from the side with heavy fire. The war cries and screams echoed from the jungle, as water and foam turned these new volunteers into something resembling jungle snow men. Some showed fear and didn’t know how to react, however Prash showed great agility to dodge a few projectiles and to get on the offensive, desperately trying to get hold of some ammo himself, but to no avail and soon he too looked as wet as the others.

It was great to see everyone took it all in earnest with smiles and a little bit of a giggle and we look forward to see if there will be any repercussions for our actions. In all seriousness, welcome to the camp, we are looking forward to a great five weeks with you all...

Benny Mansfield - GVI Amazon volunteer, Jan-Mar 2010



Martha said...

It was great to see this smiling photograph and to hear of some fun shenanigans. We who are related to the new five-weekers are very eager for many more updates. Thank you so much!
Martha + David Adler in Washington DC

Anonymous said...

Agree with was hearwarming to see my son and peak at the rest of the gang...are they on vacation or in the jungle roughing it????