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This is where we will document our adventures…

Camping on the land of the Jaguar Ecological Reserve has been a dream!  Our hosts have been extremely gracious all around letting us camp on their land and cooking amazing meals.  Everyone at the lodge is very helpful in teaching us Portuguese, and helping us adjust to the pace of Pantanal life.  One of the most exciting times for us was going to Tito’s house with the GIEU group to watch the Brazilian soccer game against Cote D’Ivoire, complete with fireworks for every goal, and a friendly game in the backyard at halftime.  Another highlight of being in the Pantanal is all of the amazing wildlife, especially the beautiful Hyacinth Macaws that oversee our construction of the school.  Check out a short selection of photos so far.


Now that we’ve been in the Pantanal for close to three weeks, I think that some things about the local mentality are starting to seep into our daily activities.  If there was only one thing that was strikingly different about the local culture compared to our home, it is the Pantanal time.  Everything seems to work on a schedule that is completely different from the time frame we’re used to work on.  For example, at the hottest part of the day it hovers around 90 degrees – very much a summer temp for michiganders – yet the sun sets before six every day; a strange reminder that the weather we’re experiencing is winter.  The people are on their own schedule.  Things go much slower here in terms of getting things done.  Something that would normally take a day or two to do in the US takes at least four here (partly because of the remoteness of our lodge.)

Once you get acclimated to the schedule – things are quite amiable.  If we’re not working, we’re playing a little soccer at a fazenda down the way (our friend made some small goals out in his field for us to play on,) taking walks in the jungle (pictures of monkey’s will come when we get a faster internet speed, ie. home,) or taking in heaping plates of rice, beans, and whatever else our wonderful cook Milton has made.  In short, his desserts are great.  On friday he went to town for the weekend and our dessert intake has decreased drastically – so sad.  Thankfully he’s coming back to the lodge tonight.

As part of the GIEU program there has been an outreach to the community to try and count all of the children in Porto Jofre (potential kids who will go to the school we are buidling.)

On a whole, everyone remains upbeat and excited about the project at hand.

More thoughts when we get back to the states!



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