18 students and two faculty members from Saint Mary's College are returning to our SMC home away from home in the Brazilian Amazon for Jan Term 2017. This page helps us to tell our story and -- even more importantly -- helps us to tell the stories of our friends and hosts in the Amazon . . .
Monday, January 26, 2015
Day Eighteen, Saturday, January 24: World Cup Rematches and
the Cultural Night
Nine and a half hours of sleep can do wonders, especially
when we have been totally sleep deprived for almost three weeks.We fell asleep as the rain fell and realized
that it rained all night long this time.We had arranged for a late breakfast (8:30) so we just stayed in our
hammocks from about 10:30 until 8:00am.
We got to have a demonstration of the incredible chainsaw
skills of a local craftsman named Ellison, who can use a chainsaw to mill
lumber almost as smooth and uniform as what we might buy at Home Depot.After Ellison visited, we had a visit from
the community barber, who provided some haircuts for a few of our guys (we
won’t say which ones and see if you can tell by the pictures we post!).
We spent some time getting organized for our departure, as
the moving of all of our stuff is quite a production.We are heading back to Santarém on the Anã
community boat so we will have to get all of our bags down the hill and across
the beach at around 9am on Sunday.
Even though our morning was intentionally lazy, a couple of
the guys took it upon themselves to take out two stumps that remained in the
walking path between the hammock hut and the dining area.Each of us has tripped on one or the other of
these stumps at some point so now that they are gone we are all wondering why
we didn’t think to take them out even sooner.In any case, we are glad to have improved things in one more tiny way,
even though we know that future visitors won’t even know the stumps were ever
Speaking of future visitors, we learned from Dona Odila that
Anã is in the final stages of a grant competition through a forestry group from
the U.S. who will fund projects in conservation areas.She said that her experience with us last
year and this year helped her group make a more clear and results-oriented
presentation than their competitors.Further, the U.S. rep of the agency was glad that the Anã people had
worked with Americans before (that is, us).Odila is confident that they will get funding for an extension of the
pousada to include more bathrooms and a smaller sleeping area in addition to
the big oca (hammock hut) where we sleep.We are pleased to have any indirect impact on the continuation of the
important work being done here in Anã.
The center of the day, though, was not about any of this
news or activity; this was a day for futbol (soccer), with a rematch between
our women’s and men’s teams and the Brazilians.We had more Brazilian volunteers who wanted to play on our side, so that
helped us quite a bit.
Let’s get the suspense over with and say right away that we
had an amazing pair of TIE GAMES against the Brazilians!The women tied 0-0 and the men tied 1-1.Our women got WAY more shots on goal that the
Brazilians did, with several near misses by both Marissa and Suzanne.We couldn’t believe how well the whole game
Same story with the men, though there was a long period
where we were actually ahead 1-0.Our
goal was scored by our Brazilian friend Alvaier, but we once again had many shots
on goal, including a couple of solid attempts by our last scorer, Jorden.They somehow snuck up on us and got a goal
near the end of the match but we still felt like we had achieved greatness by
finishing the game in a tie.
As we ended the game, we got to give away our jerseys, which
were donated by Marisela’s aunt from Mount Pleasant High School in San
Jose.She also donated lots of cleats
and other equipment, all of which were much appreciated by our Brazilian
After the game, we had to hurry home to get ready for
“cultural night,” which we understood to involve some performances by the
Brazilians and some by us.We were
totally unprepared to produce anything that would fit under the category of “cultural,”
so we were quite pleased when they just played some music for us and danced and
then we played some music for them and danced and then we all just danced
together for the rest of the evening.
We finally had to shut down the festivities because we knew
an early morning wakeup was going to be harsh and unforgiving, as our boat was
going to leave at 9:20am whether we were ready or not.A few of the guys decided to sleep down in
the dining area (outside, but under a roof) to soak up the last few hours of
Amazon life as close to the forest as possible.
We are dreading the pack out but even more, we
are dreading leaving this place that we love so much. . Daily Photos
One of the last times we will see this path on the way back
to our posada.
This is our freshly painted posada the day before leaving
This is a picture of the main path in Anã. This one path extends the full length of the village--from the pousada to the fish tanks.
shot of the river before the sun sets on our last night in Anã.