We began our journey to the jungle by unpacking the bus and filling three motored canoes full of people and luggage as we cruised down the Napo River towards Liana Lodge in the Amazon Jungle! Upon arrival we were all surprised at just how beautiful the lodge was and were anxious to settle in. That evening we shared a great home cooked meal by candle light as we got used to the fact that we would be living without electricity for the next three days.
Our community service in the jungle began with Sam, Pierce, Kayla and others digging holes for the foundation of a home that was being built for volunteer teachers at the local school. Meredith, Alex and Jason worked hard as they carried wooden beams up many steep flights of stairs from the river to where the home was being built. With the humidity, mosquitoes and dirt, it was very hard work but we were so proud of everyone for accomplishing the task at hand with smiles on their faces. At the end of the day, two trip members were awarded for most outstanding worker in each group. These people were Jacob A., and Erica A.
Later that afternoon, half the group, including Erica S., Margot and Carly P., enjoyed a ride down the river in tubes. It was bright and sunny and everyone enjoyed the relaxing time after a morning of hard work. The other half of the group visited a shelter for rescued jungle animals. Carly E., Roy and Callen laughed as we watched the monkeys play and show off their acrobatic skills. Sammie and Noa really enjoyed bird watching and were especially excited to see the Toucans. Overall we learned a lot about the various jungle animals and learned the importance of keeping the animals in their natural habitats.
One our third day in the jungle we continued our community service project but this time with the task of moving river rocks from the river to where the home was being built. As a group we created a giant assembly line along the stairs. The line began with Daniel at the bottom and finished with Ethan and Matt at the very end. With our group nearly spread over a mile, each and every stone made it to the top and a real team effort to complete the task was shown. That night Jacob S. and Kayla received the awards for the most dedicated workers of the day.
Our last excursion in the jungle was a visit to a local community were we saw a house built on stilts, tasted a traditional ceremonial drink called Chicha, and practiced our aim while shooting the blow dart which is a traditional hunting tool. Nicole was one of the first people to hit the target while Callen and Brian also had great shots. It was an amazing way to end our experience in the Jungle. We were sad to leave but very anxious to start the next part of our journey… More to come soon!
The Westcoast Blogger