Our latest news from the guys on the Manu project in Peru
Hello again, reporting back to you from the local internet café covered in cuts, bruises and dirt, but all in all alive and kicking.
With several bio-gardens and a couple of agro-forestry plots completed we feel a sense of achievement. Over the past 2 weeks we have spent our week-days in Salvacion, working hard during the day and then in the evenings teaching English at the local Institute (or at least trying), while in our free time helping out Hayley Zipp with her research Masters project on the interactions between the community and the current sustainability projects. This involved us showing off our cooking skills and demonstrating to the local bio-garden owners how to use their produce for some easy and scrumptious dishes, like banana bread, guacamole, pesto and chocolate cake (we didn’t poison anyone, don’t worry).
During the rest of our time we have been annihilated at football by a team of 6 year olds, and had our asses whipped by our own students at volleyball. On the less embarrassing side, we tested out the local night life one Friday night… consisting of a wooden hut, with fairy lights and a tape recorder… we showed off our epic Western moves, including the “lawn mower”, the “chicken”, the “lasso” and “the shopping trolley”. It’s safe to say we made quite an impression, especially Cliona with her irish jig. On the weekends back at the MLC, our treks through the jungle continued, with a night stream walk, which Matt swam rather than walked, and treks out with the research teams into Primary and Secondary forest areas. Coral snakes, Manu poison dart frogs, woolly monkeys, giant bird eating snakes, monkey frogs, cane toads, tailless whip scorpions, tarantulas and vultures were some of the species we spotted along the way.
Sundays are spent in a swimming hole off the Madre de Dios river (soon to be equipped with a swinging vine). Finally Maria and Cliona were honored by being given a place in Salvacion’s parade for Peru’s Independence Day, even though they did stick out like a sore thumb by looking like tall white towers above the slightly shorter natives.
So overall it’s been a tiring but amazing experience in the Manu Region of Peru and we’re all excited for the final couple of weeks we have left!