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, May 20, 2010

First(ish) Impressions

I only arrived 10 days ago in the Ecuadorian Amazon and it feels both as if I have been here forever and yet have only just arrived. Time has flown by but I already feel at home: after a total of ten hours bus travel and feeling a little tired after our gringo shindig in Tena, we arrived at the Yachana Reserve and I was immediately impressed with how lovely our little home really was! We have already done so many incredible things, stuff that I never thought I would, such as learn the Latin names for 43 different plants and animals; trek four hours in jungle mud; stand just a metre away from a poisonous snake (a baby Fer-de-Lance); have a stick insect crawl across my face; and eat a lentil, garlic, and banana peel mash in a crazy eating contest; although the last experience wasn’t all that fun!

It’s amazing how close you become when you live in such a remote yet cosy environment – I didn’t think that I would be cosying-up in a hammock with friends I made just a week before. But everyone is super close and we have a lot of laughs even if it is to the mystery question “Who’s blocked toilet four again?’! I was initially a little perturbed by the fact that I would have to leave my hammock and do some work, but I’m so proud of what I have already accomplished and feel this project was perfect preparation for my environmental degree. I would recommend a conservation project to anyone, but especially with GVI as we have a beautiful family here and I’m already thinking about when I can come back next!

Charlotte Mugarra D’Cruze - GVI Amazon volunteer May-June 2010