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An Amazon Adventure!

Posted on July 20, 2011 at 9:00 AM


I sent off an application a few weeks ago to do four weeks volunteering on a river dolphin project on the Amazon River in 2012, and paid the deposit recently! I first spotted the project early this year and just saved it in my favourites as something I would love to do, could look back on for inspiration, but never really thought I would participate in. I talked to Ursie on Facebook, the friend I made volunteering at Monkey Mia, and she was very keen. We decided we had nothing to lose by applying. I spent quite a long time getting my application perfected and within a couple of days of sending it I got an e-mail. Following this I had a lovely chat with a lady in Cape Town, involved in the project. She loved me and was impressed by my application!

So quite rapidly my little dream of having an adventure in the Amazon researching river dolphins came very possible. After paying the deposit my place is now secured!! Ursie was busy on a couple of uni trips, but has sent hers off now and is waiting for a response.

My home for the month will be a floating house/lab of 11m x 15m, tethered to trees in the floating forest, which has showers and solar power. It has beds and hammocks in bedrooms, a good shower, a flushing toilet, a gas cooker and running water. Plain, but comfortable. The nearest phone is a two hour boat trip away! (As is the hospital.)

The project is primarily aimed at providing information and advice on which dolphin conservation can be based in Mamirauá and, more generally, in the Amazon and Orinoco basins and in Asia. They want to develop our understanding of the biology and ecology of the boto and tucuxi (the two main river dolphins), identifying key habitats and the dolphin/human interactions that most threaten, and least threaten, their populations.

For more information go to the project website by clicking here!

To see photos from the project and of the houseboat I will be living on click here!

The journey there will be an adventure too, one main flight followed by two internal ones and a boat trip! I'm glad I have a friend to travel with. So, late July (I don't know the date as we can't book the flights until 11 months before we fly) to late August I will be in the Amazon! My parents are paying for the trip for my 18th, but I will pay for the flights, which means I need a job when I get back to Faltown!

I am so excited! It doesn't seem real! How can I be going to the amazing Amazon to study river dolphins, right along side real researchers? Insane. Perhaps this is all a dream... I hope I don't wake up!

Categories: Amazon Adventure

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Reply Nan and Gramps
4:42 AM on August 4, 2011 
Fascinating stuff Jen - we will follow with interest as always. Lots of love Nan and Gramps xx
Reply MissOrangeRay
10:55 AM on October 17, 2011 
I'm very jealous of you but so proud that you are managing to follow your dream! I want to see all your photos when you get back and regular updates when you manage to return to the civilized world once in a while. I hope you have an amazing time!!!
Reply Sophiee
2:13 PM on November 3, 2011 
Jen, It's not a dream. You're awake !
You're amazing and I'm so glad this has happened to you ! :)
I hope you have funn !
I love you