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

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Five down and five to go....!

Ok, so it’s the final blog entry for the first five weeks of the GVI Amazon expedition April-June 2010 and I figured I’d do a kind of mini summary of some of my personal highlights thus far...

We’ve had some ridiculous facial hair escapades, mostly involving Olly, featuring the wild man, the Spaniard, the pencil tash, a few generic grislys and my favourite, swathing Olly’s beautiful face at this very moment, the Fu Manchu.

I’m gonna go all David Attenborough now and lay down some of the animal sightings we’ve had this phase. There’s been some Fer-de-Lance (Bothrops Atrox), snakes of the extremely poisonous variety, a Giant Bird eating Snake (Pseustes sulphureus), a couple of Wandering Spiders (family Ctenidae), two Centrolineds, commonly known as glass frogs, who were making sweet, sweet love by the stream and, on Hector’s amazing island, we saw a troop of Woolly Monkeys (Lagothrix lagotricha), a Capuchin Monkey (Cebus sp.), some Black-mantled (Saguinus nigricollis) and some Golden-mantled Tamarins (Saguinus tripartitus) and what we think were some pink river dolphins swimming in the sunrise.

The next dose of 24 carat uberness came in the form of English teaching in the local school down at Puerto Rico, always great fun! My last session there Bindi and I taught them some body parts via the time tested medium of dance i.e. head, shoulders, knees and toes and the classic hokey kokey. We finished by with a relevant wordsearch and a few games, we then passed around our sunglasses and camera, they go nuts for that, although you do end up with a lot of pictures of their fingers over the lense!

The best way to describe the first five weeks so far is top banana! I’ve met loads of chevere amigos and with more volunteers coming for the next five weeks than you could shake a stick at, white water rafting and puenting – a kind of bunjee jump from a bridge in Baños (on our long weekend break at mi-phase) – the next five weeks promises to be the shizness as well.

Chris Morgan – GVI Amazon volunteer, April-June 2010