We survived the Amazon! After a week in the rainforest, we made it back safely to Quito once again!
During our time in the rainforest, we experienced both the beautiful jungles and forests of the Amazon as well as the quickly growing oil industry that is threatening one of the world's most biodiverse regions.
We had an awesome time at Limoncocha and in Yasuni at Kichwa Ecolodge doing lots of hiking and learning about different organisms that inhabit the rainforest. A really cool part of our time in the Amazon was traveling by boat to Sumak Allpa, an island used as a reserve and rehabilitation area for primates in hopes of one day reinstating them back to the forests of the Amazon.
After returning to Ecolodge after one of our hikes, we played a friendly game of soccer in our rubber boots. We had quite an audience and the locals were quite entertained by our struggle for traction in the mud. There were plenty of falls and lots of laughter.
Another memorable experience in Yasuni was celebrating the 20th birthday of one of our own, Liesa Erickson. We celebrated with a fantastic meal followed by a very special treat: large juicy grubs (from the rainforest of course). While they seemed pretty unappetizing to most of us, they are a delicacy here and didn't taste half bad.
Our time spent in the Amazon was unforgettable and I think we all learned a lot about the rainforest and how important it is, especially to all the plants and animals that live there. Learning how important conservation is and what can be done to help reduce deforestation in the future was something we all took from our time there.
Tomorrow we are off to Otavalo where we will get to shop and test some of our Spanish with another home stay. We are back in Quito again Tuesday for our last night in Ecuador.
I plan on posting once more before out return to the USA!
Until next time,