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

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Interpretive Trail

My toughest day so far in the rainforest with GVI Amazon was definitely the morning we spent working on the Interpretive Trail which is being put together on behalf of the Yachana Lodge for the tourists. Trees that had fallen along the road had been chain sawed and were to become signs, sign posts, bench legs and bench tops. All of which had to be transported to various locations around the reserve.

It was pouring down with rain but we still had to go out as a truck had been hired locally to help us move the wood, (now even heavier with rainwater), along the road. It was really cool riding in the back of the truck, next to the wood with the rain spraying in our faces. It took a few trips, but eventually the signs and posts got to base camp where they would need to be dried out and later could be painted. The logs that were to be used for benches were ready to be taken into the forest to be placed around the Kapok Tree (one of the key features of the trail). Our technique of rolling the logs worked well, although a few rolled off course to cries of ‘I´ve lost my wood’! After the 18 logs were in position we had to move the ridiculously heavy bench tops, a near impossible feat even between two! We had a quick snack break (wafers) beforehand but Olaf couldn´t be convinced to stop. When we returned to work he had singlehandedly moved all nine bench tops into the forest. Despite this huge help, there was still a long way to go and we had to be inventive with our transport techniques -tobogganing being the best one!

Eventually all benches were in position ready for weary tourists to sit on and admire the awesome Kapok tree and after some triumphant photo posing we returned to camp, exhausted and rain-soaked, but met by a bowl of popcorn and fresh juice. It was by far my most tiring day but also the most fun and enjoyable since everyone was so enthusiastic. That night we slept like a log……..

Gabriella Russell - GVI Amazon volunteer, Jan-Mar 2011