So, what did I learn, and continue to learn from the Rainforest? So much more than the trees, birds, monkeys, dolphins, fish, or the things that glow in the dark. I experienced scientific content in a multi-dimensional way. I floated on the Napo River at night with a million stars overhead. I got to learn alongside amazing researchers and experts. I had conversations with famous authors in canoes and in hammocks. I stood in treetops surrounded by bright colors and sounds. I experienced the local conservation efforts of the Maijuna. I got to dream of long-term projects to protect the rainforest and support the local efforts of her people.
It is rare as an educator to be fully engaged with like-minded professionals over an extended time. The Morpho Institute gathers outstanding professionals to facilitate thinking, doing, planning, collaborating, and meditating on science manifested all around us. We walked near the sky; we looked into the leaves, we saw creatures and organisms in the darkest dark; we spent hours learning from the Maijuna and each other. These professionals have become true friends.
The Educator Academy in Amazon Scholarship enabled me to reconnect to the Forest and her people. I once again hear the songs of the Amazonian rainforest; this time, among new kindreds– teachers and learners of all types and ages. We have continued the connections made and are making plans for ongoing projects. We are all eager to learn and tell more stories. We are eager to catalog the diversity, the changes, and the data. More than that, we are committed to using that data to help the students in our classes, the indigenous peoples, and the scientists who continue to champion its survival.