Week 4 - 5 girls and a Volkswagen Beetle

My last full week at Iracambi has come around so quickly. I feel a whole mixture of emotions at the moment. I'm so sad to be leaving such a beautiful place, but equally excited for the next step in this adventure. I'm off to Rio next week to meet up with my husband and we'll be travelling  across Brazil and Argentina for about 10 days (stay tuned for the obligatory Instagram pictures- probably involving copious amounts of wine)

This week was about reviewing as much of the new website as possible. The bulk of the content is there, so it's about tweaking the design, checking links and CTAs are working etc. There will still be more to do when I get back so I've offered to keep working with Iracambi in my spare time to help them over the last few hurdles before launch. I also presented my social media plan to Rogeria, who was fully on board and we'll look to roll this out with the rest of the staff in the next few days. 

On Tuesday night I went with Rogeria and a cou…

Week 3- sunshine, social media and self-confidence

As I came into the third week of my placement I felt a lot more settled after the emotional turmoil of the previous few days. The sun really put on a show this week which did wonders for lifting the spirits and allowed me to get out and about a bit more - exploring the river, the medicinal plants trail and one of the many gorgeous waterfalls in the area. It also meant I was able to enjoy the luxury of clean, dry laundry! 

Living in close proximity to such beautiful surroundings has been incredible. Not to sound like I'm getting on my soapbox- I am- but it hits home how important it is so protect these habitats. We need to do so much more if we're going to get anywhere close to slowing down the climate crisis. As a large company I think that Octopus has a responsibility to set a much better example with their environmental practices- a lot of which is already being addressed by the new working group, and I'm looking forward to seeing these put into practice when I get back.


Week 2- moving house, exploring and a roller-coaster of emotions

Some bad weather knocked out the WiFi again over the weekend so I went to Binka and Robin's house to work, which was a lovely change of scenery. I helped Binka prepare a proposal for some new potential donors, including creating a one pager for each of their main projects. The aim of these was to really help tell the story of Iracambi in a concise and professional way, and give them something they can use over and over at future meetings.

On Tuesday I got some first hand experience of one of Iracambi's main projects- tree planting! We went to work with a local farmer who was interesting in planting coffee, but also in creating an agroforestry space (where you plant lots of different types of trees in between the coffee plants, which helps with irrigation and soil composition). It was hot, sweaty, dirty, muscle aching work and I loved every second! It was great for me to also get a real insight into how the projects work day to day, which will help me massively when trying to sh…

I'm (most definitely not) a celebrity, get me out of here!

** WARNING- if you are at all squeamish about bugs, then I would probably not read this**

This short post is dedicated to all the delightful critters that call Iracambi their home. I'm 2 weeks in and this is hands down the biggest challenge for me personally. Having lived in London for 10 years where the most I've had to cope with is the odd wasp and spider, I am now residing somewhere where insects are just part of the fabric of daily life.

Here are some of the exotic specimens that can be found in the forest, the kitchen, the bathroom, the office (basically everywhere). And no, that is definitely not me holding them. I'm not that brave. Full bug handling credits go to Keira, our volunteer from Canada.

I would love to say that I've fully acclimatised, but that would be a lie. While I can appreciate the beauty of thing like the beetles, grasshoppers and the preying mantis I don't think the moths and I are ever going to be best friends (for scale, the one above was nea…

First week in the rain forest

One 10 hour flight, an over night stay in a hotel (where I promptly realised I'd brought entirely the wrong adaptors for Brazil), a 5 hour bus and a 2 hour taxi and I finally make it to Iracambi. At this point I really should give a shout out to the wonderful taxi driver who battled some seriously muddy roads to get me here. He didn't speak English, I don't speak Portuguese. But by a combination of the odd word in common, some Spanish and a lot of hilarious miming we managed to communicate and get me to the right place.

I arrived on a Sunday when most of the other volunteers had gone on a camping trip. There was also no WiFi due to a storm so it was definitely slightly surreal. If I'm being totally honest this was my first wobble (not knowing really where I was and not being able to talk to anyone from home). But never underestimate the comfort an emergency stash of tea and biscuits can bring.

On Monday I had a meeting with Binka (the founder and president of Iracmabi) a…