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Published: July 25th 2009
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big ass tree! Miguel, our guide and head of the household we lived with, told us this tree is estimated to be 2000 years old. It is possible there was a translation problem, but to see it makes you believe it a little more
Legend has it that Macaco Da Noite (Monkey of the Night) will run up and bite the feet of people walking in the woods at night. Ok so it is not a legend, it happens, but it did not happen to us.
Ok, so I am alive.
quick run down
we stayed with a family in a sustainable community within the Tapajos FLONA section of the Amazon Rainforest. They were awesome.
We saw how the Natural Latex is extracted from the forest as well as many of the natural remedies the community uses to cure this and that. We also saw how the Fair Trade products are fabricated and spoke with some people who will help us to set up trade with them when I get that far in my plans (I want to start an NGO that sells their goods).
We helped to fish with our family's son (he is a fisherman and we ate alot of fish). Helped the ladies of the community to harvest Mandioca and to process and cook it. This all day (and in actuality all week) Mandioca process seemed to be a really great community activity, many people came
together to work on it and while it is tough to make everyone was laughing and joking and hanging out. We went swimming in the river alot with the daughter of the family. And of course we cooked them a meal and taught them how to make tortillas.
As a hobby while there we made some Harry Potter wands for Josh and his friends (since he missed the opening show with them to be here.) And we made a cross for the family out of some wood.
We took a two day hike/camping trip into the forest to see a huge ass tree and to climb it a little bit. Now I have some pretty gnarly blisters from Ray's boots. We saw all kinds of stuff birds and fungi and bugs.
We took a night trek around the jungle looking for animals. We saw monkeys, spiders, glow in the dark stuff (sticks, bugs, bugs, bugs and fungus which is what made the sticks glow). We heard some scorpions, owls, other monkeys, armadillos, mystery animals. And we smelled a pig, but did not see it. All kinds of stuff glows in the dark in the Amazon. I played
with a stick that was glowing. Thats right Richie I played with a natural glow stick... your jealous as hell!
We got $R 300 stolen from our bag when we weren't looking and so we did not buy things from the community and feel like we did not pay our family enough, but we gave them all we had left. They cried when they discovered we had been robbed.
I have been bitten by every ant in Brasil (give or take two or three, but I am pretty sure they have all taken a turn). I have more itchy bumps on my body than I know how to deal with and everytime I can get past the scratching long enough to sleep I wake up in the middle of the night with more exciting and brand new itchy bumps, which is actually why I am awake right now.
We found an NGO here that works with the communities in the forest on all sorts of really awesome projects. We are thinking maybe we will organize some joint efforts to help out and come back to work with them. But first I need to finish learning Portuguese, which
we are kicking ass at by the way.
In the morning we get on a boat for 2 days. We will then be in Manaus for 1 day before getting on a plane and flying back to the US. Upon reaching Manaus I do believe we will have offically travelled the entirity of the actual Amazon portion of the river. The river system is indescribably larger than this, but I believe this is technically the end of the river considered the Amazon.
I am gonna go get ready for traveling.
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