April 18, 2011

Why I Came This Way....

When you see the Southern Cross

For the first time

You understand now

Why you came this way*

*Lyrics from "Southern Cross" by Crosby, Stills & Nash Greatest Hits

Photo by M. Boutchine All Rights Reserved

A key element, perhaps the key element, in the founding of Amazon Community Animal Rescue, Education & Safety is my abounding love for the Amazon Rainforest. Our April Vets Abroad trip is halfway complete. We have completed a week of work in the neighboring areas of Iquitos, and now we have spent two days recharging our batteries at ExplorNapo Lodge.

Tomorrow marks the start of another challenging and exciting week. Chance brought me to the Amazon many years ago. I lived here for four years, and now live here part-time.  This week I returned again to the deeper jungle, but with time to relax, as we have added in special Eco-tourism days for our talented volunteers.

Volunteering to save animals on another continent is a once in a lifetime experience. Yet, I realized our volunteers may never return to this unique part of the world and deserved more. Thanks to Explorama Lodges we are providing a special gift of adventures and exo-tourism to our volunteers, which they are busy blogging about, and about which experiences you can read at http://www.amazoncares.org/vetsabroad.

Our first jungle evening, April 15, 2011, was pure magic for me. I experienced the awe, wonder, and mystique of the jungle as if for the very first time. Our group took an excursion by canoe to experience the change which comes over the rainforest as darkness falls. A cacophony of sounds collide as nocturnal animals come alive, searcing for prey, watching in silence, or sending out a mating call. Amphibians, birds, insects, and mammals contribute to this jungle symphony. A memory came to me...that of my first time amidst these extradordinary creatures and their nightime activities and normal noisiness. I recall being overwhelmed and feeling a synapse in my brain explode with the realization that I could sense the connection between these animals and these sounds with native tribal music. Oddly, it made me appreciate symphonic music more.

The Southern Cross, Stock Photo
Our guide paddled softly through a narrow corridor of tall trees. We used flashlights in an attempt to spot golden eyes twinkling at us, though these noisy creatures undoubtedly turned away from our invading canoe. I soon stopped seeking out the animals, and slipped into the dream that existed in that moment. Shadowy trees, a full moon, an orchestra made up of animals and insects instead of woodwinds and strings, and the Southern Cross.

As I made out the four stars comprising the Southern Cross, visible only from the Southern Hemisphere, I understood again, and, for the first time, why I came this way.

Thank you to the sponsors and partners in this journey.  Our June trip is now full, and we are seeking sponsors for this trip as well.  Please contact molly (a) amazoncares.org for more information

Foundation Sponsor for Spay/Neuter Activities

First Trip Sponsor - Platinum Level, April Vets Abroad Trip


Recommended reading  Explorama's Amazon - A Journey Through The Rainforest Of Peru

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