M a n a u s :   P i z z a   W i t h   T h e   L i z a r d s

Claude Gascon, field director for the collaborative U.S.-Brazilian research team, met me at the airport. In fact, he’s Canadian, and the small team of researchers—including Aussies, Brits and Germans—seems a model of the international cooperation that characterizes contemporary science. Rio had been pretty comfortable, but Manaus was as hot and humid as I’d expected. But Claude said this was actually unusually dry: El Nino, the ubiquitous explanation for unusual weather across the entire planet, had apparently delayed the arrival of serious, daily, almost continuous rain, and had played havoc with the hydro-electric generating station that gives Manaus most of the power for its burgeoning 2 million population, and resulted in 2 or 3 brownouts and power failures each day.

But even in this extended dry season, I soon hear about the visit of the three U.S. Senators who got totally soaked out in the forest just a few weeks back while on the same type of "get acquainted" tour I hope to have. Did I really bring enough plastic bags, I wonder? Can you ever have enough in the rainforest, even in the dry season?

Dumping luggage at the hotel, we set off on an evening of discussions, with me frantically scribbling notes to try and get up to speed on the specifics of the research, the people, the places, the scientific principles which could be enlivened by the kind of educational experience PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE has developed over the past few years.

Geoff’s Journals Manaus: Pizza With The Lizards     1     2