I’m a river rat. I grew up on the Allegheny River. I swam in it, fished with my grampa in it, and canoed on it. Most of all I watched it flow by our house. Sometimes it passed by gracefully, like a gauzy ball gown during a waltz; occasionally it unleashed its fearsome might, roaring past as if it were angry, in a terrible hurry.
I loved that river. My heart and soul was nourished by its energy. My Mom taught me to be respectful, “The river is beautiful, powerful, and dangerous, but without its water nothing would exist.”
Along both banks of the river were the Allegheny Mountains. In spite of the scary Brothers Grimm stories, my friends and I played in the forest. We built shacks and tree-houses, (ok all shacks), ate fresh raspberries, blueberries, and elderberries, and explored caves Indians might have slept in.
I loved those woods, too. As a little kid, I knew, somehow, even though the critters that shared the forest with us kept themselves pretty much hidden, that they, the deer, raccoons, wolves, bears, beavers, rabbits, and even the snakes…, were our neighbors-that we shared the resources. “Pay attention, you aren’t the only animal in the forest,” my mom would laugh.”
In August I will be going to live for awhile in Leticia, Columbia, on the Amazon River. The Amazon River is the largest drainage system in the world! Its length is the equilivent of the distance from New York to Rome! The Amazon River basin is home to the largest rainforest on Earth! ON EARTH!
It’s size is roughly as big as the whole USA. Scientists say the rain forest is ‘THE LUNGS OF OUR PLANET-without the rain forest, the earth will die (or is dying) a slow death. We will die with it. The magnificent rain forest houses over half of the world’s species. Many folks aren’t being respectful, they apparently don’t understand that we all breathe the same air, with the same lungs.
In Leticia, I’m going to be a small part of Fundacion Entropika, a non-profit organization comprised of dedicated conservationists, that under the direction of Dr. Angela Maldonaldo, is fighting the good fight, for our planet, and those of us (all of us) who live here.
Entropika.org, ” works to contribute to the long-term conservation of tropical biodiversity by facilitating local community-led projects, establishing educational programs and research, while working closely with the local indigenous prople.” And, much more.
Dr. Maldonado is a force. I met her last month at an IPPL conference, and immediately knew I wanted to work with this group of people who are dedicated to keeping the lungs of our earth clear, and the habitat for the people, and other species of animals, who call the Amazon home, safe.