neotropical forest

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Rainforest Observations

Coming from South Korea and this being my first South American trip, I expected to see many scary animals such as alligators and snakes. I did see several snakes and I will never forget the shape of the green viper which surprised and jumped away from me as I jumped the other way. I also to expected to experience the type of “jungle” where we would use machetes to hack our way through, like Kungfu boys. But in a primary rainforest, it is actually quite dark, with very impressive massive trees that form a canopy, where you might expect to see dinosaurs. The jungle I expected was only along the rivers or in disturbed areas where all the plants were racing to the sun. As I expected, Neotropical rainforests present an endless learning opportunity for me.
 
A brief stop in Lima was necessary to collect the important export permit, which allows us to take specimens out of the country. A Friday night in a big city is like in any other: everyone relaxing, very friendly, smiling, readying for a late night at the start of the weekend. We took the chance to enjoy Peru’s famous cuisine in a nice restaurant in the Kennedy Park area, near the beautiful church, Iglesia de la Virgen Milagrosa, where we recapped the events of our trip.
 
Then we returned to the airport, with a precious cargo of specimens to remind us of every moment of this brief but productive expedition.
 
It is unbelievable that our most distinct memory of the Amazon is of the cold, which we will tell others, with minimal exaggeration. After returning home, we learned that Peru’s government declared a State of Emergency because of the extreme cold. \
 
—Choru Shin