Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Technical difficulties withthe pictures! They are coming soon I promise!

Back into the world!

Hola Everyone! Ben and I made it out of the Jungles! We left the Tahuayo Lodge this mornign at 1:30 am and boated four hours down river to Iquitos where we boarded a plane to Lima. After a few minor delays in Lima, we made it to Cusco! It is absolutley beautiful here. We are going to try to post some entries listing what we´ve been doing over the past few weeks, but that might take some time so until that is fully possible here are some pictures to tide you over!

Just to assure everyone, we are fine, happy to be back in touch and are looking forward to seeing all of you soon! --P.S. Mom, sorry we got disconnected we are having cell phone issues.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

We Are Here! (sort of!)

Buenas Dias!

After a very own time flight from Pittsburgh and an even more prompt flight from Newark (Shocking!) we have arrived in Lima! It was very humid last night when we arrived but this morning we woke up to sunny and warm conditions with fairly low humidity. Edda, our guide, will be picking us up around 12pm to start our journey into the Amazon! Lima is a very busy and it seems developing city. (There are the omini¡present yellow arches of a McDonanlds right near our hotel.) The smog and congestion seems pretty thick, but maybe not as bad as I had expected.

This may be it for the posts for a while unless we have access to phone or internet while we are northwest of Iquitos in the Reserve.

Adios, Mi Amigoes!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

So Much to Accomplish!

The Peruvian Amazon is a vast place to visit with ecosystems that span from cloud forest, to paramo, to lowland rainforest! There is so much accomplish and learn while we are there. Here are a few of our trip goals:

1) Make the exhibit authentic and realistic

2) See what plants are growing and how – what does the area look like that we can represent.
spend time with specific tribes that we plan to focus on, learning about their lifestyle and a typical day

3) Investigate food (restaurants/meals/markets)

4) Looking at the crafts/trades

5) Photograph inside and outside of structures and other typical things with someone or something for scale

6) Determine what 4 mini-themes could make sense, within the overall theme (the Amazon through the eyes of the indigenous people)

7) Get ideas for special programming- for children, adults, general puclic, etc.

8) Is there any formal horticulture and what does it look like?

9) Gathering books and maps that aren’t available in the US

10) See manioc production

11) Ship / bring back artifacts and seek out fair trade connections for exhibit

12) Take photos of EVERYTHING!

We are almost ready to go!!

Well, this time next week Ben and I will safely on the ground near Iquitos, Peru! It has a been a whirlwind of trip planning, shots, meds, etc., over the past few weeks but I am definitely ready to get this Tropical Forest Amazon trip on the road (or boat and plane, as the case may be)!

Here is our rough itinerary from Amazonia Expeditions:

Jan 15
Fly from Pittsburgh to Lima, overnight in Lima

Jan 16
Fly to Iquitos.
After clearing baggage security in Iquitos Airport, Speedboat transfer (note--is 4 hours) up the Amazon, then theTahuayo tributary to our lodge.

Jan 17-29
Guided excursions in and around the Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo Reserve. Activities inlcude: Canoeing, hiking, wildlife viewing and photography, visit native villages, canopy exploration on ziplines, swimming with pink dolphins, special studies in native culture with Dolores Beaver, special studies with research director and primatologist Michael Pereira, camping or jungle survival training, orchid and epiphyte investigations

Jan 30
Transfer to Iquitos, Fly to Lima, Fly to Cusco
Afternoon guided excursion to Sacsahuaman and some other sites

Jan 31
Sacred Valley excursion, Ollantaytambo, Pisaq ruins and Pisaq market

Feb 1
Transfer to train station; Vistadome train to Machu Picchu. Guided interpretation of the ruins. Buffet lunch in El Sanctuario. Afternoon optional climb up Wayna Picchu or hike to the gate of the sun (Inti Puncu).

Feb 2
Afternoon Vistadome train departs late afternoon arrives Cusco in evening. Supper usually served on train
Hotel Garcilaso
B, D

Feb 3
free day in Cusco- Maybe Lake Tititcaca on the border of Bolivia!

Feb 4
Transfer out, fly to Lima

Feb 5
Fly Home to Pittsburgh!