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

Friday, September 17, 2010

Time! - part I

My GVI Amazon adventure was something that popped out from nowhere, it surprised my family, my friends and even me, mainly because I knew very little about the big adventure now facing me. Time went by and before I knew it, I was in Quito meeting up with people from as far as Australia and as close as Scotland.

The driving forces behind this trip for me were always my wiliness to learn and an open mind; however, coming down the river Napo, in the canoe, I still didn’t quite grasp the immense privilege that was being in the Amazon rainforest. Hitting the GVI port and looking up the notorious port steps my first thought was “YES, here we go”, I felt ready for whatever waited for me at the top of all the steps. The climb was epic but the laughter, banter and sweat had all begun and made all the steps fly by.

Stumbling around the rainforest, with my straw hat with all the other new volunteers, it was around the second week when I found my feet and was able to look up and try to grasp the magnificence that was all around me. Time flew by and week five had arrived way too soon, the staff and all the surveys had taught me an unbelievable amount about the wildlife and the habitats around me. However, I had also learnt all about perfect cheese on toast or Welsh rarebit, to some, why koala bears are just koalas and even how to see fairies. Week five also meant that it was TENA time baby! Here a FUN-tastic white knuckled experience, whilst white water rafting, brought the group closer, going into the next five weeks we where more than just a group and more than just simple friends. The next five weeks were nothing like the previous five, just like one day is nothing like the last out here... to be continued...

Edwin Vaca - GVI Amazon Intern and Scholar, April - September 2010