August 28, 2010

CARES featured in UK TV Hit!

In November 2009 Luke Gamble, Founder and Director of the Worldwide Veterinary Service, spent time in Iquitos filming for a new TV series airing in Great Britain. Luke Gamble's Vet Adventures returns to Sky1 for a second series.  Click to read Luke's blog, see behind the scenes photo's and visit the charities that are in the TV series.  The show airs on Wednesdays, 8pm on Sky1 and Sky1HD.

 Long-time readers may recall the blog written by "bad actress" Annie Cook during the filming of the series.  On Wednesday, September 1, 2010, the episode filmed in Peru featuring Amazon CARES will air in the United Kingdom!

You can find out more on the series, including behind the scenes photos, Lukes daily blog and the Vet Adventures promo video by visiting

Vet Adventures Promo Series 2 from Vet Adventures on Vimeo.

You can find out more on the series, including behind the scenes photos, Lukes daily blog and the Vet Adventures promo video by visiting

August 17, 2010

Volunteer Lodging Offers Creatures, Comfort

Here the day starts with the sun filtering through the screens, the sounds of insects and birds in the trees and the occasional dog bark. Breakfast is at the table with fresh fruit, juice, eggs and toast. The journey to work is a thirty minute speed boat ride along the river with the chance of a pink river dolphin to delay the trip rather than a broken down car that jams the motorway.

Dr. Annie Cook, CARES Volunteer

Volunteers who stay at the Cabo Lopez CARES facility are often surprised at the amenities and charms of the jungle lodging. With electricity from a generator, indoor bathroom, filtered water from the tap, multiple bedrooms and a kitchen, the volunteer lodge is far from the “roughing it” one might expect from the remote area.

However, amid the prosaic comforts of a warm meal and a soft bed after the end of a long day, you cannot escape the otherworldliness of the jungle outside. Abutting a forest, you are continually reminded of the wildness of your surroundings: from the constant insect drone, the riotous cacophony of jungle bird life, and the monkeys that forage in the trees on the grounds, the Cabo Lopez site is a haven in the middle of nature at its most exotic and primordial.

In addition to the comfortable accommodations, volunteers are treated to delicious, fresh meals prepared on site by Marlene, CARES’ remarkable chef/laundress/caretaker. As Dr. Jo Langford reported, “Marlene was our heroine at Cabo Lopez who cooked, did our laundry and generally cleaned up after us. Dinner would always be ready upon our return “home” and she never ceased to amaze with a variety of dishes, fresh juices and fruit.”

Dr. Alex Belch, a veterinarian volunteer, stayed in Cabo Lopez during the dry season, and so traveled by land rather than by boat from Iquitos. "Our jungle home was an enjoyable 20 minute ride from the centre of Iquitos, passing through a couple of local villages on the way. The house was very comfortable with sofas, tv and a kitchen where Marlany the housekeeper was always on hand with a fresh jungle fruit juice. Our room had bunkbed and shower and certainly had no trouble sleeping after a bust day volunteering for AmazonCares!"

Veterinarian and veterinarian technician volunteers are always high in demand, as are carpenters or construction experts to aid in the creation and repair of shelter facilities. Lay volunteers are also welcome to aid in socializing some of the shelter pets.

If you are interested in volunteering in Iquitos and/or Cabo Lopez, wish to gather more information about Amazon CARES and its work, or even make a donation to this non-profit organization, please visit our website at

Written by CARES Volunteer Linda Schwefel

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August 13, 2010

My New #FollowFriday TOS

I have read many blog articles over the last year about Twitter and #followfriday.  Animal related Tweeters are also aware of #meowmonday, #woofwednesday and don't forget the myriad of other hashtags related to making a "shout-out" to friends/followers and sometimes, complete strangers.

Of course I want to greet and acknowledge my friends, but, let's face it, hasn't it become a bit cumbersome.  An obligation?  I spent two months in South America and finally returned to regular Internet access.  I felt guilty for all the people I didn't acknowledge during my time away.  Did many of them notice?  I would love to hear your comments.

We are pretty busy people.  How much time do you spend on these special hashtag days?  Again, would love your comments.

So, I am going to try an experiment and see what happens to my follower count and my interaction with Tweeters, who I dearly love (Twitter is my fave social networking tool).

I will attempt to compile a short list of people to #followfriday each week.  This is more than a list.  It is a list of who, what and WHY.  No promises on the weekly list, but I plan to try.

In early 2010 I compiled several "Favorite Twitter Lists" and the link is a re-cap.  So, as much as I LOVE these people, I will not highlight them on my new Twitter Lists.

Now to work on my next blog, in which I will presenting my Twitter #FollowFriday list for Friday, August 13, 2010.  Stay Tuned. 

Related Blogs: 

August 10, 2010

Give-Away! Handmade Tapestry (Peru)

 New Give-Away!  This tapestry hand embroidered by the Shipibo Indians of Peru´s Amazon Region!

Learn how to enter!  Contest ends August 30 at 5 PM EST.

I love these artisan fabrics, which require HAND-WASHING.  Each tapestry is one-of-a-kind.  This design is bordered by a dark brown fabric.  I have used these as thick table runers, but my favorite use for them is to make them into a comfy and unique decorative pillow, or as a conversation starting wall hanging!


More about the Shipibo Indians:

The Shipibo Indians reside at the southwestern edge of the vast Amazon Basin in Peru. Shipibo Indians are River Indians living along the banks and tributaries of the Amazon River. The Shipibo people are primarily artisns, hunters, and fishermen and some practice slash-and-burn agriculture. Primary tools are machetes and spears. Virtually none of the villages have electricity. A small number of Shipibo people live in Iquitos where they make and sell their uniquely patterned art and craft.

The Shipibo-Conibo consist of around 35,000 people living in three to four hundred villages located north and south of the town of Pucallpa on the Ucayali River, which connects Cuzco to the Brazilian Amazon. All of the villages use barter for trade, but their proximity to the burgeoning town of Pucallpa makes it inevitable that the people will soon be drawn into modern trade and exploitation.

They speak a language of the Panoan family, though some of them are starting to learn Spanish. Despite 300 years of sporadic contact with white or mestizo civilization, and massive conversion to Christianity in the 1950’s and 60’s the Shipibo-Conibos maintain a strong identity and retain their ancient ways. They are known for their intricate designs on their pottery and their bright clothing.

The Shipibo are well known for their distinctive pottery and textiles. In their culture the designs they use are traditionally copied from the skin of the Giant Anaconda or the heavens, such as the Southern Cross. Many other designs were given to them by their culture hero Incan ancestors. Their cotton cloth is hand painted in traditional designs. The cloth is worn as a wrap around loin cloth by the women of the tribe as well as being used for other functions.

(Text from the Peruvian Amazon Indian Institute)