Monthly Archives: June 2014

Welcome to the Jungle!

Hey People!

Two days ago I went into the Amazon Rainforest outside of Manaus by boat from the Amazon River. I would like to post some of the pictures that I took and tell you about some of the things I learned.
Along the river there are floating villages of houses. The reason that they build floating houses is because the Amazon has high tides and low tides as well as a dry season and a rainy season. They build their houses to rise and fall with the water by making them bouyant. Traditionally, the people living in these houses would live off of the jungle by trapping, hunting, and foraging. In recent times, however, they have assimilated into the local city of Manaus´ society (joined the people of the city more). The men now often sell what they collect or fish from the Amazon in the city at the Market. Or they may even have jobs in the city itself, either for the Market or for the industrial sector.
One way that the children of these floating villages make Money is by trapping various animals for the tourists to hold and view. Until the age of 8 children are allowed to follow tradition and learn the ways of their people, but after that the Brazilian government sends a school boat to pick them up for schooling in Manaus every day. Below I have several pictures including a Picture of myself holding a boa constrictor, my father holding a caimin (a small crocodile), some of the floating houses, lilypads with a local bird walking on them, and some local children fishing on a small boat. Please be able to identify the caiman and the boa constrictor for the final jungle test. My next post will include my experience at the games of the world cup. Enjoy and God Bless!






Welcome to Brazil

Hey Crew!

Since I have arrived in Brazil people have been very friendly. Manaus does not have a big city feel even though it has 2 million people because it still feels like you are right outside the Amazon. There are no huge buildings to be seen, and the streets are narrow and hilly. Traffic is absolutely ridiculous. On the flight in, I could see the Amazon River, and since it was night time I would see a light from a small boat every mile or so along the water.

I am now posting this from my phone because the small hotel I am in doesn’t even have a single computer. Believe it or not, this is one of the nicer hotels in town because it actually has internet and decent water. Tomorrow will be my tour of Manaus and my first experience with the Amazon! I’m sorry but until I have access to a computer in a couple of days I will be unable to post pictures on here for you all to see. Don’t worry though, I’m still taking them to show you! No assignment for today because it is the weekend and you probably won’t read this until Monday! God Bless!

Mr. Tom


Flying to Brazil!

Hey gang!
     I’m getting ready to fly out of O’Hare airport in Chicago toward our first stop, Panama City. I won’t be able to spend too much time in Panama City because I will only have an hour to get off of my first plane and get onto my second and final plane to Brazil. Here is what my boarding pass (the ticket I show to get on the plane) looks like for my final flight from Panama City, Panama to Manaus, Brazil:

As you all may know, Panama City is the capital of the long slender country of Panama. I’m sure you have heard of Panama before because of the Panama Canal, a man-made waterway that creates a shortcut from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean without having to go Aaaallllll the way around South America. Since there is no straight flight from Chicago to Brazil I am taking a plane to Panama City in Central America and then from Panama City to Manaus, Brazil in South America. Here is a map of North and South America so that you can better understand just how far I have to go. Try and find Chicago, Panama, and Manaus, Brazil. Image

Similar to Costa Rica to its North, Panama has a variety of ecosystems including Rainforest. While I was visiting Costa Rica’s Rainforests last winter, I saw everything from sloths, to poisonous snakes (pit vipers), to monkeys hanging in the trees. Because Costa Rica and Panama are in the southern hemisphere, our winter in the U.S.A. is their summertime. In general, because Costa Rica and Panama are closer to the equator (the center-line of the earth) than the U.S. is, they have a tendency to be hotter and the weather is less variant (doesn’t go all up and down like crazy). This is because the equator of the Earth is closer to the sun. So the further away that a country is from the equator, the colder it gets. This is why the North and South Pole are sooooo cold, because they are as far away from the equator, and thus the sun, as possible. Enough with the geography lesson though, lets skip to the cute animal pictures. I would like for you children/young adults/tweens #teenagegirlsdontliketobecalledchildren #idc, to research what a sloth looks like if you don’t already know. If you do already know what a sloth looks like, then this is an excuse to look at cute pictures of sloths on google without people judging you. Be able to identify the sloth as this will be included on the final jungle animal test. I would also like for you to post a comment with any questions you have about this post. Relevant questions would include questions on rainforests, airports, flying, travel, Panama, Costa Rica, geography, native flora and fauna (plants and animals) of Panama, etc. I look forward to hearing from you and God Bless!
Mr. Tom #1

Welcome to my Blog!

Hey and Welcome to my blog!
    My name is Mr. Tom, and as you already know, I am a Blue Group Counselor. From June 18th through June 28th I will be in Brazil for the 2014 World Cup! Since your first 2 week session is a jungle theme, I thought that it would be fitting to blog about my time in Brazil, specifically the time I spend touring the Amazon Rainforest. The Amazon Rainforest is a 2.12 million square mile rainforest that spans across Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana! I will do my best to post about my travels every day that I am there so make sure to check in whenever possible! Have a fun two weeks, and I will see you when I return!
                                           Mr. Tom Staudenmeier