. We fed most of the animals three times a day except for the cats which we fed in the nightime - a bit scary taking juicy chunks of meat into a hungry cats cage. Even scarier when one of the cats escaped and came back in the nightime when we were feeding the other cats, we would shine the torch and it would be standing in front of us. Who needs to go on an african safari when you can run away from cats in the amazon hey? Everyday we cut down sugarcane and took it with us in the canow down to the lagoon which was home to caimens, pecarrys, capabarrys, loads of giant toads, tortoises, monkeys and iguanas. Some nights when it was dark we took the canoes around the lagoon and could spot caimens glowing eyes with the light from our torch. The native indians we lived at the lodge with are Queshuan and they taught us a lot about the jungle. They taught us the calls of different animals eg, when a toucan sings it means its going to rain, which plants you can eat, which are used for medicine and which are hallucinagenic.
I taught ina primary school about half aan hour canoe trip away form the lodge called San Carlos. Usually there were about 25 students mostly Queshuan aged between 4 and 15 all in the same class which made it difficult as the younger ones held back the older ones. I really got a lot out of teaching these beautiful children they were always so happy and grateful with what little material possesions they had.
Abs and I had got ourselves in some ridiculous situations. We were constantly the entertainment of the full time workers when we kept falling out of the canoes and with gumboots on you look ridiculous trying to swim when your boots are filling up with water.
Sometimes the monkeys outsmarted us and escaped from their cages stealing the keys from us or things out of peoples cabins and we would look ridiculous chasing monkeys around with bananas trying to get them back into their cages. One night we had to sit in at an important dinner with all the managers of the lodge, biologists and managers from the city office and i felt a splatter on my shoulder that looked like poo i looked up into the rafters and there was a big lizard up there, only abbie and i knew what happened and couldnt stop laughing the whole dinner. It was one of those situations when your totally not supposed to be laughing so it makes you laugh more.
Overall i had the most amazing experience in the amazon, i learnt so much about the natural habitat, animals - endangered and endemic and the local people and their customs.
Ab and I arrived in Quito feeling a little under the weather because of the altitude and went straight away to our host families house in the provence of La Magdelana. We stayed here for 2 weeks and our spanish teacher came to the house everyday for our lessons. We travelled to Otavalo the Indian markets in the back of a ute with some friends we had met in Quito. Here we visited a waterfall that ahd another waterfall behind it and to reach the back one we had to slide on our stomachs through a tiny hole, i was really caustrophobic but it was amazing swimming throught he water on the other side. We took the bus from Quito down to Coca a strange riverside town off the Rio Napo and from here took the canoe to Yarina Lodge to start our volunteering. The lodge is built on the river and the cabins are surrounded by giant rainforest trees and everywhere you look is a different shade of green. It was an amazing place to spend a whole month, their were lots of walking tracks and places to take the canoes. Ab and I worked everyday in the animal rehab centre that was a part of the lodge, houseing oscollots, mercotts, spider monkeys, toucans, tortoises, fish, parrots, wooly monkeys