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

Monday, August 29, 2011

Life in the Amazon, a letter from Keenan

To everyone at home,

The jungle is great, just as I have heard from other sources (one of them magic school bus), but everyone always forgets to mention how muddy the rainforest is, and how slippery. Though I usually don’t slip or fall -- even when walking/hiking/climbing in the mountains -- I’ve slipped and fallen more the twenty times here; at least once a day, more when we have our surveys. As I’m writing this I’m eating the last of my candy, as I’ve burnt though most of what I’ve brought with me. Today was also my last bit of meat, so I’ll have to wait till we get a chicken from one of the local neighbors until I get more. Our meals are usually vegetarian, as the ingredients are just easier to buy and can be stored longer (we don’t have a fridge in the jungle). So I’ll take this opportunity to pre-order some spare-ribs or steak for my meat starved taste buds. Mmmmh, Meat.

But I digress, back to the surveys. Contrary to my chosen BTEC subject, I like the butterfly survey the most, simply because you neither have to get up at the ungodly hour of 4:00 in the morning (mist netting), or walk through an ice cold river going up to my chest (stream walks). For the record if you forgot, I’m 1,92 m tall. We are also doing some vegetation mapping, and camera traps for the mammals.

For those with postcard orders, I’ll still send’em when we get to Coca, but so far I’ve forgotten to send them or I could not find any in the shops, which is a bit odd. When the solar-powered internet in camp is on, you may hear more from me. I’ll also send a poem with this in the post script, maybe GVI will use it... until then, you guys can feast on it.

Over and Out,


P.s. here’s the poem:

As the days stretch under the green sky,

Rain drenching every clothing

Birds of many acolored wing fly

Jaguars aroming

Rolling in my hammock

Hoping not o fall like a rock

Under the moon above the canopy,

Everything’s a black’n’white photography

Joined by people of different nations,

Different cultures, different backgrounds,

We aspired to protect this reservation,

A common ground was found.

Keenan Mattimoe, GVI Amazon Environmental Intern, July-Sept 2011