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TARICAYA RESEARCH CENTRE : JULY 2010   (published in Peru)

August 16, 2010 by   Comments(0)

            Elsewhere at Taricaya it was time to start monitoring the turtle beach entrusted to us by the Peruvian government. The “friaje” which sent temperatures plummeting around the 15th July meant that we delayed the start of the project as the turtles would not lay their eggs in cold sand and justifiably so as we went to inspect the beach the day after the cold weather lifted and there was not a turtle track to be seen anywhere. The freshwater turtles (Podocnemis unifilis) will only lay their eggs if the weather conditions are ideal and this includes the lunar cycle also. Soon after the cold passed we went into a full moon and the excessive light deterred laying also. Nevertheless we established our presence on the beach to deter fishermen and egg poachers whose tracks we had seen on that initial inspection and not many nights after with the moon fading and the sand warming we collected our first nests. To date we have 15 nests collected with close to 500 eggs and I am confident that as nesting conditions continue to improve that we will have a great month in August.

            The large numbers this month made it possible to work on many projects simultaneously and with many enthusiastic volunteers we were able to send out large groups to clear and remark our trail system. With large groups heading out armed with machetes and rakes we managed to tackle the longer trails deep in the reserve and as some needed to be modified to avoid large tree falls, GPS points were taken again to update our current map. With such an extensive presence in the reserve it was inevitable that we would come across some of the rainforest’s residents and this ...

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TARICAYA RESEARCH CENTRE : JULY 2010   (published in Peru)

August 16, 2010 by   Comments(0)

            It seems that every month when I start writing these reports I begin by commenting on how much we have achieved at Taricaya but, if it is possible, then July has been one of our most productive months ever here in the Peruvian rainforest. With the lodge bursting at its seams and everybody keen to get stuck in it has been an amazing few weeks. We have discovered many new species for the reserve; collected the first turtle nests; cleared kilometres of trails; cleaned up the farm project; visited Palma Real; built a new cage for the short-eared dogs and been treated to some fantastic sightings on the trails. This, along with the day to day running and maintenance of the project, has kept everybody busy and in high spirits that not even an eight day cold spell when temperatures dropped to just 8°C could slow the momentum. So, where to begin....?

            After close to nine years of research since the conception of Taricaya it has become more and more difficult to discover new species in the reserve but this month we were visited by two friends, one old and one new, to help our biodiversity studies. Cesar Medina is another graduate from Arequipa University with ties to the second largest natural history museum in Peru (UNASA) and he joined us in the second two weeks of July to perform our first ever investigation into small mammals in the reserve. Cesar’s speciality is Rodents and Marsupials and with the aid of several different trapping systems he set out to create an inventory of these elusive little animals. Volunteers were quickly caught up in his enthusiasm as we set and checked traps for the duration of his stay. The project relied on ...

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Snowlands post-exam 'Week of Fun'!!!   (published in Nepal)

August 16, 2010 by   Comments(0)

The past week has been a busy one for all the children and volunteers at Snowlands Ranag School, Kathmandu! Volunteer Elizabeth Hernandez, has done an amazing job of organising a ‘Week of Fun’ for all 161 kids after they finished their exams last week…She began her fundraising by asking various volunteers who had visited the school to donate whatever they could to the fund. Some very generous donations meant that Elizabeth and all the other volunteers at the school were able to take the kids on their choice of activity. In the end, there were groups of children at 3 movies, 2 days of swimming and a day at the zoo! Most of the children had never done these activities before so it was an extra special treat for them…Scared swimmers turned in to water babies by the end of the day; there was excitement at the zoo when the tigers were spotted and laughs and tears and the Bollywood and Nepali films that were shown. The week was rounded off with a party at the school- water balloon fights, musical chairs and a mass momo making class were a just a few of the activities happening that day. Back to class today and it is results day so we all have our fingers crossed that today holds just as much excitement for the kids as this week has!




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Snowlands post-exam 'Week of Fun'!!!
Snowlands post-exam 'Week of Fun'!!!

One day to go!   (published in Mongolia)

August 15, 2010 by   Comments(0)

So tomorrow is take off day and I'm slowly getting ready to go. Working on what to pack, what I'm missing, etc. I've gotten my last needle but do have one more Dukoral to take (am a little late on that, but better late than never... also, see my blog post on the vile substance and my opinion on immunizations and travel).


I've gotten some neat travel gear from Think Geek and have written a piece on it for Generation Go. I love their stuff and it's really handy, like their dissolving toiletries.


I'm really excited about the trip. Soon I'll be taking a little shopping trip to get a few remaining things, than I'll pack. And by tomorrow night I'll be on my first plane!


Hang on a little longer to see posts and pictures about my adventure!

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One day to go!
One day to go!

My summer in Argentina by Ashley Maxon   (published in Argentina)

August 13, 2010 by   Comments(0)

This summer has been the making of countless unforgettable memories: travelling; working at the hospital; meeting new friends; experiences of a lifetime. 

Travelling has been the best part of my summer in Argentina.  A huge group of us volunteers went to Mendoza at the end of May and the country was absolutely amazing!  The landscape is picturesque with mountains in the background and vineyards adding to the scenery.  The city of Mendoza is still quite large, but is on a much slower pace than Cordoba and people actually obey the road signs when driving.  We toured the vineyards on bikes, sampled the wines from multiple places, went horseback riding for an entire afternoon near the mountains, and went white water rafting in the glacier waters in the Andes Mountains.  We were able to stay at a really cheap hostel that seemed like another home, the people of Argentina are so friendly. The first weekend in June a smaller group of us went to Iguazu Falls, the most popular waterfalls in Argentina located in the subtropical rainforest near the Brazil/Uruguay border.  We took a tour through the jungle and took a boat up rapids and under the actual falls.  It’s crazy looking back at it, but definitely something to do once in a lifetime.  We also went hiking, canopying, and rappelling during our time there.  Just getting out of the city is money well spent.  Our travels might have seemed like a good amount of pesos, but when converted to dollars, the price was next to nothing. 

The first weekend here I was able to participate in the Dirty Weekend, a weekend where volunteers help out in the community by doing whatever projects come up that people need help with.  We went to a suburb of Cordoba and ...

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My summer in Argentina by Ashley Maxon
My summer in Argentina by Ashley Maxon

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