The Caracas portion of my trip is just a fun side jaunt. There's supposed to be good hiking in the mountains to the north of the city, as well as great restaurants and some interesting architecture. The Brazilian part of the trip is a class through San Jose State University, where I'm working on an undergrad degree in biology (conservation/organismal emphasis). The class will focus on the Amazon: its flora, fauna, and ecology, its native inhabitants, its relationship to global climate, the politics surrounding it, its history, and anything else we can think of to talk about. We'll be based in Manaus, staying at a cheap-o hotel downtown, and we'll mostly take day trips out from there; maybe one or two overnight trips, we shall see.
I've gotten all my travel shots (a distant but painful memory), and I'm almost completely packed now, which is good since my friends Joe and Lisa come to pick me up and take me to the airport in an hour and a half. I've definitely overpacked, but I figure since we're staying at the same hotel for three weeks, there's little harm in that. Most importantly, I've got two kinds of bug repellant, lots of sunscreen, several good hats, and a waterproof camera. :->
I'm hoping to get some interesting photos, and I'll post the best here; I'm also planning to write a lot about the science topics we talk about in class. I'm actually keeping this blog to satisfy a journaling requirement for the class, so I may post some things that aren't of general interest. But if you're interested in the Amazon, then I hope this blog will cover a lot of fascinating things. Feel free to leave comments, I'd love to hear from all of you; and feel free to pass this blog's address on to others who might be interested.
OK, signing off for now. Next stop, Caracas!