I have finally uploaded the thousands of pictures from this epic week, spent in a place I’ve dreamed of traveling to my whole life. It is one of the biggest sources of natural beauty and resources in the world, and one of the most fascinating ecosystems in existence. Some communities in this region are of the least-assimilated to western society, medicine, and technology. I’m still overjoyed and overwhelmed with everything we saw and did there, so for now, I’ll use pictures (instead of words) to share my time spent in the Amazon.
It took many hours and various forms of transportation to arrive in the Amazon. First, we rode a 5-hour flight from Rio to Manaus. After staying overnight in Manaus, we woke up and took buses from our hotel to the riverbank.
There, we took boats across the river, where we saw the famous “Meeting of the Waters” – which is fascinating to research!
After one hour of crossing the river, we took another one hour bus ride to get to yet another river…..
…where we had a one-hour boat ride to get to our lodge for the week.
On the way, a few of my friends found “nature’s lipstick” – a plant with bright red juices, which ended up being fun decorations and face paint.
Once we were at the lodge, the first thing we saw was this beautiful dome filled with hammocks. A GREAT first impression, right?! This ended up being our favorite spot to relax during any free times, and we had to fight each other and share times spent in these magically calming hammocks.
Throughout the week, we used these cool motorized canoes to get around to different locations.
We also went on a few different hikes!
On one particular week, our tour guides spotted an orange cobra! They trapped it, and let it free again once we passed through the area.
We also saw many plants, trees, and animals which were unique to the Amazon. We even got the opportunity to eat firefly larva, which apparently tasted like coconut! (I didn’t try it, but a few of the other students did)
On our home each day after the hikes, we got to relax on the river and jump in to cool off.
One of my adventurous friends even found trees to climb and jump off of!
One afternoon, we were able to meet a woman who has lived in the area her whole life. She has a partnership with the lodge we stayed at, and she loves meeting visitors. She showed us around her home, and we saw the many crops she uses to trade and barter to obtain other goods for her home.
She told us stories about her family, challenges she’s overcome, and some amazing tales of fighting with animals in her yard. She had a great sense of humor and was willing to answer any question we could think of asking.
That night, we saw the sunset on our way back to the lodge. I’m biased and love the sunsets in my hometown, but I have to admit, this scenery made it one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen.We had about half an hour to sit on the water and be still as we watched the sunset. Again, it was breathtaking.
The next morning, we woke up at 5:00am to watch the sunrise. Even though we were exhausted from the adventures the previous days, it was well worth it.
We proceeded to spend the entire day on a larger boat. Here are two of my best friends and I relaxing on the upper level of the boat. There were so many enjoyable aspects of the memory with this photo.
The day on the river boat was so relaxing, in fact, that many of our friends took naps in the shade.
That evening, we also fished for piranhas!
Later that night, our tour guides went out to catch Caiman (an animal closely related to the alligators and crocodiles). Here is a picture of me holding a baby!
There were so many good memories from this trip; I can’t even pick a favorite story or adventure. But after already spending a few months in a foreign country with these friends, it was a perfect way to have one final “hoorah” with everyone. I will treasure this week for many years to come. This photo is my computer background: it brings me back to a state of peace, wonder, and amazement at the natural beauty in our world.
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">I am a junior studying sociology, public health, mathematics, and leadership at the University of Minnesota. I'm passionate about music and express that passion through an all-female a cappella choir on campus. In my free time, I enjoy playing classical guitar, percussion, piano, and writing music. During every summer, I work at a summer camp in northern North Dakota; I love outdoor adventures and working with kids.</span></p>