"Ainda não caiu a ficha."
This is an expression we have in Brazil meaning that you don't know how great the situation you're in is. When I saw the message from Mick Collis to call him urgently, I thought he had another team that wanted me to row with them for the raft race. But it was Anton and Mark who were "recruiting" through Mick. I ran over to Mick after that and he told me all about this journey of rowing the Amazon. After a brief chat with all of them I was already convinced that I wanted to do it. They made me feel I was already part of the team.
A little bit about me - I was born in Central Brazil in the Pantanal, the greatest wetlands in the world. My dad would take me out nearly every weekend for fishing and camping, and I developed a great passion for nature. I studied and worked in Germany for five years, did some volunteering work for charities in Eastern Europe, intensive backpacking and travelled Asia, Oceania and South America. I was always looking for new wildlife sites and collecting experiences as a tourist and as an environmentalist that eventually helped me to build my own tourism and conservation business in Peru.
More than anything, I like to be in direct contact with nature and the jungle. I believe this is a great chance to call attention for the Amazon and try to motivate conservation and spread the word of preserving and loving the animals. Rowing the Amazon will give the physical feeling of its magnitude.
I hope this will be an inspiration for many others to experience nature, not just on the Amazon but everywhere, as it is, as raw as possible. I want to thank Mark and Anton for choosing me from among so many other knowledgeable and capable people to join them on this great venture. I don't know how high are the expectations they have for me, but I don't think they realise how high are the expectations I have for them.
Image: Garza Quebrada at Tapiche Reserve © Deborah Chen