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OVO in the Amazon

By OVO Energy Friday 31 August 2012

OVO's adventures in the Amazon. Enjoy!

So we’ve just arrived back in Satipo, after several nights in the Amazon rainforest. So much has happened since we last updated you it’s hard to remember it all! – I have pieced together the notes that we took whilst in the forest, and hopefully it comes out as something coherent – and more importantly an enjoyable read!

When we spoke to you last we were just getting ready to head to the local airstrip; from there we took a 3 seater plane out to the community of Cutiverini (‘Coo-te-veer-en-ee’) where OVO’s donations have had the greatest effect. We landed in the community and were immediately welcomed with smiling, curious faces and a gourd full of Massato (which is essentially Ashaninka beer – and not the most pleasant thing I’ve ever tried). We then spent the rest of the afternoon struggling to communicate as our Spanish slowly came back to us.

The next morning we visited a local community where OVO donations had helped to create what was essentially a town hall - we were again welcomed with Massato and warm smiles and then Jason was honoured to be asked to inaugurate the building our donations had helped to create. After that inauguration (which consisted of Jason and one of the tribe smashing a gourd filled with Massato) we were given a freshly caught bit of Venison for breakfast and Massato to wash it down with…a slight change from the usual cornflakes and milk!

We were then taken further down the river by boat to another community where we were asked to baptise an outboard motor – which provides a lifeline for many of the most remote communities; step up Tammy – she smashed the gourd of Massato drenching herself in the pink beer…This time we were given lunch from the fish farm that was created with funds from OVO Energy; a fantastic piece of fish too!

In the afternoon we were invited to partake in a community wide football tournament, with some of the Ashaninka travelling for almost a day to come and take part; the aim of this community wide event was to highlight Cool Earth and the work it is doing and to encourage more communities to join the scheme. Jason and I played an instrumental role in the downfall of our 7-a-side OVO/Ashaninka hybrid team after such a promising start! …4-1 and the OVO/Ashaninka team was out…Jason of course blamed me for the poor performance (who do you think got the goal though?!)…

In the evening we spent more time with the children of Cutivereni and learnt more about where our donations were going and how the Ashaninka work to steward the land in order to prevent deforestation; some fascinating stories came about, the most incredible regarding Uber. Uber was previously a logger who had come to deforest the land; the Ashaninka had shown him the error of his ways and he fell in love and married into the tribe – he is now an integral part of their community…I’m currently seeking the film rights to that one!

More to follow early next week. Stay tuned!