Location: The Amazon

Our first day in the Amazon was long one, but rewarding. After waking up at 5:35, we had plantain empanadas and eggs. Then we took an hour or so long boat ride to the Limoncocha Biological Reserve with our trusty guide, Hector. There we cleared out about two tons of an invasive species of plant, water lilies. The pesticides that they’re using in the Amazon are making the lilies grow exceedingly more quickly, and since the manatees that used to eat them have died out, the growth of the lilies has gotten out of control. It was a long, repetitive day, but it was alleviated by moments of fun. Sarah even caught a chicken during lunch, and we came up with Boots Camp while we were on land hauling creates of lilies into a pile (Boots is one of our staff members and led the team on land). Despite the excessive number of spiders crawling over the lilies, we had an awesome time. Just before seven, we got back to our lodge in time for dinner, which was fish, rice, soup, beans, plantains, and then fruit for dessert. Finally, half of the group went on a night hike with Hector leading the way. We saw spiders (a large bird-eating one), toads, monkeys, a boa constrictor, bullet ants, and much more. Walking through the jungle at night was surreal and so incredible. We can’t wait for the next few days we’ll be spending in the Amazon.