Trip to Barcelos

Mario Cohn-Haft - Friday, September 20, 1996

    Back last night from 12 days in Barcelos with Gerry, a Chicagoan who’s playing a supporting role in my project. Barcelos is a small town about halfway up the Rio Negro between Manaus and Venezuela.

Overall, I’d say the trip was successful, and I was real pleased with certain aspects, but disappointed with others, which nevertheless were probably indicative of what lies ahead. The thing that most pleased me was the feeling that I’m perfectly competent to tackle all aspects of the study. Although that doesn’t surprise me, it’s rewarding to know that this study really is feasible. The main stumbling blocks are time and money, which are intimately related.

The way these trips work is that when I get to the area I want to study, I usually end up spending a few days in whatever little town is there figuring out where the good areas of forest are, getting permissions, arranging transportation to the forest, gathering supplies, etc. etc. etc. I almost always meet the mayor, talk to the town leaders; it’s the way to get things done.

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