Wednesday, January 22, 2014

"Landscaping the Rainforest"

SMC Amazon 2014: Day 13

Well, all of our good luck and pivoting came to a crashing halt today, as Jaclyn woke up having heard a huge pop in her knee (twice) that rendered her largely immobile.  She started as goalkeeper in our World Cup preview game but stepped out after going down for a save.  She rallied and walked home feeling fine, but sometime between that initial twist and this morning, things deteriorated. 

We got the local medic on the scene and he was pretty convinced that nothing was out of place or broken.  He tested her in a few ways and got even more hopeful.  Still, she was experiencing pain so we all decided it was best to call the ambulance boat and send her into SantarĂ©m to have a hospital check things out.  Jesse and Jenny T. went with her for translation help and moral support.  As the evening begins to fall, we still have no information about how things have progressed. 

We hope to have her back among us tonight or maybe tomorrow, though we will cope with the situation somehow if she decides that going home is the best move for her.  Jaclyn is a very sunny person with a twinkle in her eye, a huge smile always shining and a low song humming all around her no matter where she is or what she is doing.  Thus, she is a very important part of our group and we will all be diminished until we know that she is well. 

We woke up to pouring rain this morning, making the whole day somewhat more complex than it otherwise would have been.  It continued to rain through breakfast but stopped pretty soon after we finished eating.  Dona Odila has wanted some landscaping done here so we decided to work on that job for her while we waited for the palhas to dry out a bit on our usual worksite. 

The hammock hut where we live had some trees and bushes around it that were not conducive to excellent shade or privacy so she wanted to replace them with others that will do a better job on both of those fronts.  So, we dug things up, saving as many good plants as we could, and then amended the soil to make it even better for the new plantings that will likely go in tomorrow.  It took most of the morning to complete this job, which we took to be perfect because we were expecting a wood delivery for the nursery project today.

After lunch and our sesta, we headed to the nursery site and discovered that the wood had not yet arrived.  We decided to open palhas for as long as we could, which turned out to be as long as it took to get them all done.  We played music and talked and laughed as we practiced our now acceptable skills with the palm fronds. 

We learned that the boat with our wood on it had turned back and would not be coming today but we did not learn why.  Maybe tonight or tomorrow more news will come. 

We worked hard and kept our spirits up today, but having one of our team members in limbo was definitely a blow to all of us.  We decided to break out a secret weapon to help ourselves cope: more inspiring letters from the sixth graders at Happy Hollow Elementary in West Lafayette, Indiana.  Those letters really made a HUGE difference for us!  Almost all of them contained jokes to help us take our minds off our troubles and we were hooting and hollering and sharing our jokes with each other as soon as we got a chance to read them. 

Thanks again to those students, the third graders at Southwestern Elementary, and the fourth graders in Pittsburg, California.  We are very grateful that you are interested in our work and that you are supporting us from afar.  Watch for shoutouts once we manage to post our videos!

We’ll keep you posted on Jaclyn’s progress and we’ll tell you more about our upcoming plans.  We hope you are as interested and invigorated by hearing about our experiences as we are in having them!

1 comment:

  1. Happy to hear that you guys have a secret weapon to combat spirits being down. Sending good thoughts your way especially for Jaclyn and her knee!

    Keep enjoying and experiencing everything you can while you are there. Remember to keep up with your journals because you will be lucky to have them later :)

    - Ciara, DIRT '10, '12