Well, dear donors, we’d like to thank you so much for helping us raise the first thousand dollars towards buying the Van for Valdinei. We weren’t able to promote Valdinei's project quite as well as we would have liked, due to the fact that project leader Binka was felled by a vicious attack of dengue fever which reduced her to her bed and meant that the rest of the Iracambi team not only had to look after her, but also had to take on her work as well as their own.
But the good news is that the dengue fever is now a thing of the past. And our Junior Science project did really well over the last quarter of the year. So we did manage to raise the money, not only to fund the project, but also to buy the van for Valdinei – and his colleagues! We are now scouring the web to find the perfect van – not quite so easy as you may suppose since we’re looking for one that hasn’t been too badly beaten up on our challenging dirt roads. In fact we will probably have to go to São Paulo and buy one that has been gently treated (if such a thing exists.) We’ll be sure to post a report with a picture of the one we find, and we’ll update you on our progress once the school year begins and our science program gets back in gear.
And there have been some exciting developments in the science programs here at Iracambi. This year the Junior Scientists will be taking their new found skills into the Environmental Protection Areas to work with farm families on practical conservation projects connected with soil and water monitoring, and reforesting around springs and stream banks. They'll also be spreading their contagious enthusiasm for saving the rainforest, and learning how to manage environmental areas. Plus, they will be joined at Iracambi by undergraduate interns from the local federal tech institute who will be studying sustainability in environmental management. These college students are polishing up their skills in science and language to position themselves to be able to participate in the government program of Science without Borders, with its component of overseas study. So Valdinei and his colleagues will have the opportunity to develop friendships with a group of young Brazilian and international scientists, and discover for themselves just how cool it is to choose science for a career.
Valdinei told us that the biggest dream of his life is one day to be able to pass on what has learned to other researchers. And thanks to you, dear donors, he is on his way - not only to join the world of scientific research, but also to put his skills to work on practical projects that will make a difference now. It was your donations that helped us kick off the Van for Valdinei fund and give the project the impetus it needed to take off. We couldn’t have done it without you, and you will be fondly remembered among our young scientists as they (and the gallant van) start out on the first of what we hope will be many years of Science on the Road.
Thank you, and love from the rainforest!
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