I n   B r a z i l :   O n   L o c a t i o n

March 19, 04:00

We arrived at Manaus in the early morning... a bag of video gear had gone missing, so instead of a quick, smooth transfer to the hotel, it was another half hour of paperwork. It’s like a game of Concentration as we pick out the most similar case from the sheet of examples: exactly what were the locks like? Was the label on the top or bottom?

It was almost 5 a.m. by the time we had checked in at the Tropical Hotel, close to the docks we’d be using next day, and fallen asleep.


Right on time a chipper Tom Lovejoy (from the Smithsonian-INPA research project) calls, ready for his interview. He’s here in Manaus for a “once-every-4-years” review of the BDFFP project you can read about in the Guide and online. Yes, he was calling by pre-arrangement, but who knew we’d be arriving just two hours earlier!

At least Scott Enlow, our cameraman, was already prepped, and so were we—after a bracing shower. Lovejoy was great on camera, informative and with some wonderful verbal images to share, and some tips about how best to experience the rainforest. “Use your ears and not just your eyes.” Look for his comments about a glowing beetle, as large as a mini-UFO, appearing in one of the videos!

Then off to the INPA campus, to deliver courtesy copies of the Guide and poster, and speak with the researchers who’ll soon appear on camera, including Antonio Nobre and Miroslav Honzak, experts on using remote sensing and high technology to understand the forest and its ecology. They have a most unusual lab. High tech computers inside, and through the floor to ceiling window a fabulous view of the rich vegetation on the INPA campus—samples of typical plants and trees of the Amazon region. INPA’s research interests extend from studies of tropical medicine, to recipes for the best use of regional fruits and fish! Antonio and Miro are working on how to identify trees from above, using the distinctive shapes and colors of their leaves—cutting edge computer science as well as ecology. Everyone was very friendly and confirmed plans to participate, live or on tape. (See Program 3.)

Geoff’s Journals In Brazil: On Location    1     2     3