My trip to the Amazon!

I’m Janet. I’m 37 and a volunteer activist with Greenpeace. In fact I’ve been actively involved with Greenpeace since my first days at uni (and before that as a kid doing sponsored swims). I’ve never really won anything in my life (except a ‘guess the weight of a cake’ competition but that involved food which is a speciality of mine!). That is until a couple of weeks ago when my legs went weak, my face went red and I was a little overcome with emotion. “I’ve been chosen!” I said to my husband. He laughed and said ‘right’.

Greenpeace and the Amazon go together much the same as Greenpeace and whales. I’ve been a keen supporter all these years as it cuts me up to hear about the trashy way we humans regard our planet. We’re ruthless in our destruction; it’s always about the short term gains. But like many others I find this sickens to the stomach - I feel I must do something, consume with conscience, stop flying, tell people about it, protest!

The threat of the dam is looming like a big stinking cloud of bog gas

So this is where the Amazon comes in: the second largest river, most of it now dammed except for one rather large tributary called the Tapajos. 43 dams are now planned along its route. The first is currently on hold but its threat is looming over the people, flora and fauna that live there like a big stinking cloud of bog gas. The government of Brazil is in turmoil, with its president incarcerated whilst an interim is decided. As you can imagine, if this dam goes ahead, it’s not going to be all that great for the forest. The dam itself will be 7.6km wide, it will devastate the lands of a tribe called the Munduruku, it will affect fish migratory patterns, flood vast swathes of forest taking down everything that lives there (except perhaps leeches, ergh) and open up the area to illegal loggers. How many more reasons do we need to persuade people this is a bad idea? 

Oh one more perhaps - a really Greenpeacey one - the pink river dolphin. Wow, come on let’s get together and stop this happening!!

So back to the weak knees and emotional state of about two weeks ago. I applied – and was chosen – to go and stay in one of the villages of the Munduruku on the banks of the river Tapajos to help them spread the word of their plight, as well as dig in and lend a hand mapping their lands and scrubbing pots. My day job is a Support Worker in a hostel preventing homelessness in Mid Wales and I’ll be swapping it to prevent homelessness in the rainforest. I can’t wait, it’s been years since I’ve even flown (we try to be good about our carbon footprint) but I’m determined to make this flight and the time I spend there truly worthwhile. I’m going to work my socks off (apparently I need to wear them with my sandals to stop the bugs munching), I’ll attempt to fly the flag for all us Greenpeace supporters and I promise to keep you updated with all the goings on (I’ll be making lots of video blogs from the camp).

Please stand with me, and with the Munduruku, and let's Save the Heart of the Amazon.

Thank you

Janet