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

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Rainforest at Night

When packing for the rainforest you have the usual checklist of supplies to bring; sleeping bag, water bottle, mosquito net, insect repellent, all the necessary supplies to keep you safe and sound from the various hazards and dangers that await you. When you first arrive you receive endless instructions of what not to touch, grab, eat, drink etc etc etc, so much so that you have a fleeting moment of wondering why you signed up for this. Will it really be worthwhile? Are all the hazards worth the risks? After one night in the jungle those fears soon start to fade away as you realise what a truly amazing place the rainforest really is.

Holed up in our relatively sophisticated camp, boardwalks, fully functioning kitchen, proper showers (albeit refreshingly cold ones) and real beds you can forget that you are in the middle of one of the wildest places on earth, where the cute cuddly fluffy bubblegum coloured caterpillars can kill you and the mean sounding tailless whipped scorpion is actually a mighty cool spider that you can have climb over your face without concern!

And then the nighttime comes. The sun goes down around 6.30pm and as the light disappears the rainforest comes to life. A symphony of noises erupt from the darkness, birds that sound like frogs, frogs that sound like birds and a whole host of unidentifiable noises to boot, a soundtrack that takes a while to get used to and even longer to be able to sleep to as your brain is constantly provoked to wonder what was that and occasionally where was that, so loud the noises could be right outside or even inside your room!

But also the night brings a new sight for the eyes, especially for those of us who come from the light polluted cities and towns of more urban landscapes. The night sky reveals an inky black blanket littered with sparkling diamonds, the type of night sky only usually seen in sci-fi movies as the starship enterprise sweeps across the screen. The combination of sight and sound is breathtaking and really does make it all worthwhile, but anyway, enough of my blogging, where are my malaria tablets……?!

Amy Wyatt, GVI Amazon Volunteer, August-September 2011