Begin the journey to the rainforest with Storyfest 2017 winners

The Planet Forward Storyfest 2017 storytelling expedition to Brazil brought together Storyfest winners, Planet Forward staff, storytellers, scientists, Correspondents and friends of Planet Forward for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the hot and humid rainforests of Amazonas near Manaus. The trip was led by biodiversity expert — and a virtual encyclopedia of knowledge — Dr. Tom Lovejoy and Planet Forward's storytelling expert Frank Sesno.

The trip began in Manaus, Brazil, on the Rio Negro. Our first excursion was a trip via boat to the "meeting of the waters," where the dark waters of the Rio Negro meet — but never truly mix with — the muddy waters of the Amazon River. Later we stopped at a floating market to hike down a long, tall boardwalk amidst the trees to a collection of giant water lilies, where we learned about how the structure that supports them inspired architecture in Manaus and Paris.

Throughout the trip we studied insects, birds, fungi and more — and even encountered giant earth worms as big as a good sized garter snake. We dove into the pool by Camp 41, our home away from home, and were nibbled on by tiny fish. We took in the Brazilian culture, including its delicious local food and drinks, absorbed it, and left with perhaps a better appreciation for life and, especially nature, and all it offers us.

We offer a huge thanks to Tom Lovejoy, Ze Luis Camargo, INPA, and the entire team in Manaus and at the Camp for leading us on this incredible journey. It would not have been possible without you!

There was so much to see, hear, learn — and now share with you. This is the first of multiple posts we will be sharing about the experience. And, as such, we will begin with a slideshow. Enjoy the visual journey and look for more to come.

— Planet Forward Staff

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