We are at the end of our week together exploring the Upper Peruvian Amazon. When we go home, will we hear car alarms in parking lots? Or will we hear black-fronted nunbirds, which could easily be the sound that was copied? We have investigated the big and the small, from towering fig trees poking their leafy tops through the forest canopy, to frogs small enough to fit on your thumbnail. Our trio of hardworking, informative, and enthusiastic naturalists–Jorge, Javier, and Ricardo–brought everything we saw to life. We have them to thank for making sense of this massive and diverse batch of biology. During the week, we took piles of pictures. We won’t have Jorge in our living room to remind us that a certain photo features a long-billed woodcreeper, but we can now feed our images into the application called “SEEK.” This application will remind us not only of what we saw, but it will also tell us some of the most interesting facts about that organism. I’m thinking we’ll hear the text play in our minds in Jorge’s voice.
Our last day to explore the Amazon’s richness has arrived. With nostalgia, we began the day with a fabulous breakfast made by the hands of our expert, native Amazonian chefs. The river was calling us again. With the skiffs ready, we boarded them and set off to enjoy the Amazon one last time. Our destiny was a wonderful creek with many stories to share. Birds flew by like they did all week. We observed one sitting on top of a large tree. It was noticeably large in size and had a strikingly colorful bill. “It is a toucan,” the guide said. What a privilege to observe such a beautiful bird. The journey went on. The river is endless and majestic, harboring all sorts of life everywhere. The Amazon gives us the best gift, the gift of life. We enjoyed a brief moment of silence to hear the sublime sounds of Mother Nature. The last outing of the journey had arrived, this time to visit a small community of the Amazon. They welcomed us with a display of handcrafts made by their skillful hands. We bought some of their wares, which they sell to help support themselves in this difficult and remote place. Our guests enjoyed discovering a different culture, with traditions and a unique living style. Deep in the jungle, isolation makes it necessary for people to learn survival skills, like our ancestors did before they moved to the urban sectors. It feels great to contribute to the economy by purchasing the people’s creations. We are now saying, “See you soon, great Amazon River. See you soon, great people. It was a great voyage. We will never forget you.”