Sunday July 1, 2018
All students have arrived and are in good spirits! Can’t wait for the next two weeks of adventures!
-The Brazil Team
Wednesday July 4,2018
We started the day with amazing fruits for breakfast and a group stretching session. We learned that pineapple in Portuguese is abacaxi. Early in the afternoon we had an educational talk from a local biologist about her work in animal conservation and education. She gave us important knowledge into the art of camera traps. After durrato for lunch, we put that knowledge to use and ventured into the forest. Leo (a leader of our community) led us through the forest to collect and view footage from camera traps, all the while teaching us about native plant and animal species. We finished the day with a leadership activity and a pasta feast. “
– written by Mason Kellogg
Thursday July 5, 2018
Day 5: We woke up o some delicious local breakfast. Then we had cooking classes with some of the local chefs. We learned to make tapioca as well as some amazing Brazilian cheesy bread. We also learn to make the Brazilian version of Indian bread, it was very tasty. Finally, we learned to make thick noodle pasta their way. After cooking classes, we looked at some footage from video cameras set up around the rainforest. We saw some recent footage of monkeys eating fruit.
We saw some old footage of jaguars and pumas as well. After we looked at the footage we went for a hike where we saw monkeys. We got so close to the monkeys, they started to throw “stuff” at us, and some hit their target. We returned to home base to eat local fish for dinner. We ended the day with a night hike to the campsite where we sat around the bonfire and slept under the stars.
Word of the day: flor = flower
-Written by Tobie Pak (student)
Friday July 6, 2018
Written by Benjamin Miller:
Saturday July 7, 2018
During our seventh day in the Amazon, the group ate a fresh fruit breakfast and prepared to travel to a local village based around a large lake. We all piled one day’s worth of belongings in a van and made our trek to Acacaia. Friendly faces greeted us from the moment we arrived. The group walked through the small village, amazed at the new culture and ways of life that the natives possess.
After strolling through the small wooden houses and interesting markets, the group split off into multiple boats to travel to where we were staying. The small boats and choppy water made the hour long ride difficult; however, the experience was unique and unforgettable. Once we arrived, everyone explored the multiple storied house and large property. Again, we were greeted by faces that were kind, even though they were unfamiliar.
We went swimming and had a great time. Fresh fruit, fish, and beans with rice were set on the table for lunch. By sunset, everyone split up into groups again, lead by guides, to go fishing for piranhas. Motivated by whatever we caught was going to be our dinner, everyone made attempts to catch the biggest fish possible. Afterwards, we returned to the camp to play games and sit under the night sky. A fish soup dinner was made that everyone enjoyed. Overall, the day was full of activities and new memories.
-By Jared Levine
Sunday July 8, 2018
Today we woke up before the sun & had a piranha fishing contest and my boat was the winner with 10 fish. After we ate our prizes for lunch we tried to go pink dolphin spotting but could only catch a glimpse of those beautiful creatures. after that we stopped at a little island and met a parrot named Bella. after an hour and a half boat ride some of us almost burnt to a crisp because of the amazonian sun, went to a little town and bought souvenirs for our families. Now back at home base we play cards while waiting for dinner after an eventful day.
Monday July 9, 2018
This morning started off with a nice breakfast of cake, steamed bananas, and tapioca which some girls and boys helped to make. After completing an exercise in our mentor group, we helped cut down trees to contribute to the compost that makes charcoal. It was very hot, physical work — one of our most challenging days. A few hammocks were set up at our home base in case we needed to rest. During lunch time, it started to rain heavily. It was still raining when we resumed our work with the trees, making it more fun. We settled down after our work by connecting with our mentor groups, and then eating dinner. We finished the night with a dance lesson from Vanessa, teaching us the salsa and samba.
Tuesday July 10, 2018
Today we learned that sloth in Portuguese is Bicho Preguiça. Sadly we didn’t see any today but we still did some pretty amazing stuff. We had more service work this morning, the rain made for a great experience as we planted coconuts, trees and other plants.
We also helped in crushing and sifting charcoal for the Terra Preta, that is the most nutritious soil discovered by the ancient Amazonians, used to help continue the growth of the forest. This afternoon we had a cultural experience with a native named Silvio, spokes Toucano and Portuguese, this was a great immersion to the local culture.
He came to teach us how to make traditional bows and arrows as well as giving us face paint, symbolizing something different for each person, a welcome to the rainforest. I know I speak for the whole group when I say that we are all excited for the new adventures tomorrow will bring and new things that we will learn.
-By Savanna Erskin
Wednesday July 11, 2018
Today we were taught by a wise Amazonion man named Silvio. He is a cultural teacher and taught us how to make acie beaded necklaces and fiber bracelets. He told us how to channel the energy of the forest into our craft. Silvio is an amazing creative man and we all had the change to buy some of his handmade baskets and jewelry.
Later we took a walk in the forest where Silvio showed us different plants to use for different purposes. And we cut some bamboo like plant to make our own flutes and horns together. In our crafts today we used all resources from the forest except a knife. The dinner today was delicious, pasta noodles, veggies, and cheese. We also made our own chocolate ball dessert!
-blog by Madelyn Sprigg
Today we enjoyed being able to climb a 150 foot tree and see the rainforest from a birds eye view. The experience was truly magical and the view was breathtaking. We also discussed important issues such as ways to promote sustainable living and spread them to our communities at home. Our inspiring conversations have made us eager to share our knowledge we have leaned here with friends and family.
We watched a TED talk about not having certain expectations and assumptions when traveling to new places. You will never truly know until you fully experience it. We also closed our mentor groups and shared how everyone grew as a person and what lessons and perspectives we should take with us home. Even though our time in Brazil is coming to a close we are excited for our last days before we depart to soak in the beauty of the tropical rainforest.
-By Avery Arroyo