We started the day with another fantastic breakfast, this time prepared by Jaimie and Marcelo. It was an unusual egg frittata, followed by red and green Jell-O. This combination was very surprising for all the non-Americans, who had never eaten Jell-O for breakfast. The general consensus was that breakfast Jell-O is definitely better than Australian vegemite!
After that, we set off once more to the forest for the last time. Amazingly, we saw a fresh puma footprint in the muddy path. Apparently, it's a well known local puma. We learned that each puma needs 8,000 hectares of rain forest to hunt sufficient prey.
When we arrived at today's plot we started to measure bee hives once more. This was followed by tree measuring and leaf litter collections.
We wrapped up the field work arround midday. We were thrilled when the Lead Scientist told us that the team achieved all the goals which were set for us:
- We measured 300 trees.
- We emptied 30 leaf litter trays.
- We weighed 15 bee hives.
- We classified and weighed 30 leaf litter samples.
Overall, the Alcoa team collectively contributed 135 hours of field research work and 45 hours of labratory work.
The team after the completion of today's tasks and achievement of all goals.
We then hiked back to our base camp, and caught a bus to Morretes, the nearest town. Once we arrived we were treated to a fantastic traditional lunch. It included Barreado, a local meal which is stewed for a whole day, and served with palm flour and bananas. Even after a short week in the forest, we were surprised how foreign it suddenly felt to be back in a small town, seeing houses and cars and power lines instead of towering trees, ferns and muddy trails.
After that we spent a little bit of time on sightseeing and souvenir hunting before returning to the Earthwatch camp.
Once there each team member started to brainstorm which unique sustainability project they wanted to deliver when they return to their own location.
It's certainly sad that we'll leave the field tomorrow, but we still feel inspired by the beauty of the Atlantic rain forest , and will ensure that we will follow up the expedition by sharing the experience with our colleagues and deliver our sustainability projects. Of course, we will also remain in touch with each other, even though we work at so many different plants.
Bloggers: Heitor Parenti Junior from Brazil and Cornelia Major from Australia