Why the Remoteness of the Amazon and the Challenges There Present the Perfect Opportunity to Explore for a Bold High School Student, on GLA’s Peru: Amazon Service Adventure Program
If you’re anything like me, you spend a lot of time with your eyes staring at a screen – computer, TV, smartphone, tablet, e-reader, what-have-you. We’ve come to expect that always-on connectedness. We become impatient when a friend doesn’t immediately reply to our text message. We, maybe not always consciously, avoid talking to people in favor of messaging, Facebooking or Snapchatting them. If we get a little bored, there’s always a device nearby with which we can distract ourselves. We expect this ease of communication to always be there – think about the panic you experienced the last time your Internet went down or the cell towers became overloaded near your house.
Spend a little time in the Amazon, though, and you’ll learn to expect something a bit different from the world.
While technology may not necessarily be lacking in Peru, on a GLA Peru: Amazon Service Adventure Program, you can be assured there will be more than enough other activities to divert your attention. You won’t be needing that smartphone – except to use GPS to find your way around.
To get around, you’ll also have to focus and interact with the local population, especially if you’re taking on a service project while in-country. No more hiding behind a text message. Your personal communication skills will be tested to their limits as you attempt to converse with the native population – and your fellow travelers from all over.
You’ll experience the slower life of the jungle. A life where your usual impatience is rarely useful. By working together consistently and building bonds with those around you, the (probably lifelong) friendships you form will become strong and personal, unlike in chat windows.
You’ll realize you really can live without a screen within three feet even when asleep.
Contributed by William Pate