Flying from Lima to Peurto Maldonado was uneventful (as you always hope with flights). Saw some pretty cool mountains before it got too cloudy. Then when I landed, I was looking around for someone holding a sign with my name and SUPRIRSE, Ian was there! It was pretty awesome to see a familiar face (particularly one I haven’t seen in so long) after a long journey. After I got my bags we went straight to the Fauna Forever house. It is really quite nice. Pretty open with lots of windows and an open kitchen/dining room/lounge area which is nice. Two bathrooms, one with a shower which is nice and a room with 4 bunk beds which isn’t bad either.
Lunch was taken in town, as well as dinner. Both were very good. I got Ian’s help with ordering as I am still not confident ordering in Spanish and certainly not able to read a menu. Lunch was a burger and dinner a stir fry sort of thing. It’s kind of fun and feels like a family because David, the head honcho has been going with us to lunch and at the end pays and would give us taxi money. (By us I mean the group of interns which I will explain more later.) At dinner we have a limit for how expensive we can eat and then if we go over we pay for things ourselves. It’s kind of a cool system. I treated myself to a Pisco Sour which is a local drink for my first night. Weirdly, I haven’t been very hungry, though I am told that will change once I’m in the jungle.
Also I saw the town monument, the “Obelisk,” which is an interesting little structure in the center of a roundabout. Unfortunately there is no tunnel to it like the French have for the Arc de Triumph so you just have to run. (I’m pretty sure a bunch of Frenchmen just rolled over in their graves for me even comparing the two, but with my limited exposure to roundabouts, particularly roundabouts with climbable structures in the middle, it’s what I thought of. The view was pretty good. You could actually see all the way to the edges of the city which was pretty neat. Way less tall than something like the Arch, but without any tall buildings, it is very effective for seeing it. (To be fair the Arc de Triumph was probably about 8 times better than this.)
Right now there is not too many people in Puerto Maldonado. Ian and I, Harry and Matt two younger English university students one who works with herps and the other with owls, Jiles who is a freelancer journalist writing about various things in Peru and helping Fauna with publications and their website, and David general head honcho and coordinator. Then there’s Sandra who is David’s wife and Nya their little girl. There’s someone I’m forgetting I think too. Also today some of his friends from England got here as well as so we were entertaining the four of them. And at dinner we met one of guy who will be doing work harvesting blood from mosquitoes to look at the DNA and try to look at species in the forest via that.
All in all, it’s a pretty interesting mix of people. All guy interns right now which is kind of weird especially since I don’t hang out with many guys at school. There is internet at the house though I’ve only had very rare moments where it works on my laptop so I will continue trying to post. I’m learning a lot just being here mostly unconnected to the US and not really knowing what’s going on. I know in the jungle I’m really going to be in for an experience. But I am looking forward to it!