On May 12th, nine of us along our program directors Octavio and Silvia said goodbye to Rio city life and headed to Manaus, the capital of the Amazonas. Manaus is located at the convergence of the Negro and Solimões rivers.
Our first flight brought us to a huge resort in Manaus called Tropical. Who knew the Amazon had gigantic resorts with pools and zoos? After one night living large we took a number of boats and vans and finally arrived at our destination for the week, the Juma Lodge. Here we spent our days doing a number of activities: piranha fishing, hiking through the jungle, rope swinging, canoeing, swimming, dolphin & cayman sighting, visiting local residents and playing with the 6-month old Howler monkeys that hung out around the lodge.
This week was more than I could have ever imagined. I began missing it the moment we stepped off the plane in Rio. What an adventure it was! I’m glad I can now cross the Amazon off my list of places I’ve been to and hopefully one day when I tell my children stories about cayman hunting and living with baby monkeys they will think I am a little more awesome than I actually am!
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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);">My name is Kiah Zellner-Smith and I am a Junior studying American Studies, Urban Studies and Educational Studies at Macalester College in Saint Paul, MN. I spend a lot of my time doodling, journaling, lip syncing in the bathroom, being inspired, laughing loudly, daydreaming, dancing wildly, and having tiny adventures. This semester in Rio de Janeiro will be the first time I leave the country and the safety of my family all by myself and I am simultaneously elated and terrified for my new adventure. I look forward to the many chuckles, challenges, and changes that inevitably await me.</span></p>