The trip to Mato Grosso, including brief visits to Kamayura and Xavante Indian villages, is scheduled for July 19 to August 5. Students will be accompanied by Associate Head of School & Dean of Students Brian Easler, Dean of Studies Erik Kindblom, and Director of Marketing & Communications Meghan Rothschild.
To prepare for their trip, students read Voices from the Amazon by Binka Le Breton, and appropriate articles from various sources. They attended classes earlier this spring and were presented with topics such as Brazilian ecosystems, the landless workers movement, and informational talks about fish, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and birds of the area. Also included in the classes was such logistical information as visas, vaccinations, and packing information.
The students began their study with a viewing of Valley of the Forgotten, a documentary film vividly showing the many levels of conflict in the Amazon Basin.
Last year's trip caught the attention of BusinessWest with the article, Lessons from the Amazon by George O'Brien. It explores how "WMA Students Witness the Conflict Between Progress, Conservation."
Students returned home from the Amazon Monday and it's life back to normal today. Matt is preparing to head off to college in a few days. Maria is going on vacation to Puerto Rico with her family. Native New Yorkers Arnelle and Issa stayed in the city to spend time with their families. Cari is on her way to South Carolina. Nora is heading to Vermont for a getaway with her family. Jackson is back working in the Animal Care Facility at Baystate Medical Center and rowing with the Pioneer Valley Rowing Club!
And popular summer camp counselor Jessie can be found on WMA grounds doing what she loves.
"When we were visiting the Kamayura tribe in the Amazon, the kids loved us and wanted to play with us all the time," Jessie said. "Now that I'm back, I get to experience the same enthusiasm from our summer camp kids!"
Jessie describes the group's long plane ride back home as bittersweet as they reminesced and laughed about their experiences. "It was an amazing trip that we'll never forget but we were all ready to come home." she said.
Students are welcomed back home with open arms!
Mr. Easler gives us the inside scoop...
This Amazon excursion has caught the attention of major news outlets like:
Our accommodations here in Pirenopolis are BEAUTIFUL (except for the rooster crowing at 5:00 a.m.)!
After a night's rest, we headed to Sir Rocky's home outside of Pirenopolis. We hiked through beautiful waterfalls, climbed steep rock walls and jumped into the water off an eight-foot ledge. We had an amazing lunch of home-cooked traditional Brazilian food and then headed back to the city where we shopped and ate a fantastic dinner.
Tomorrow we will have another day of shopping and then head to Manaus where we will spend our last few days here on our Amazon adventure!
on Friday August 3, 2012 at 11:59AM
Today we went on a six-hour hike to a lake where we, theorhetically, were the only people ever, other than Indians, to have fished. We caught some fish for lunch, relaxed by the lake and headed back. We head out tomorrow morning and begin our 12-hour drive to Pirenópolis.
on Tuesday July 31, 2012 at 10:02PM