Feeling accomplished: 2 girls, heavy wood, and a river- adventures in Volunteering

It was a great day to be a volunteer in the Peruvian Amazon.

Dante and the river

After rescuing wood from illegal loggers on Amaru Mayu land, we had to go back and move it upstream further to prevent it from being swept away by the rising tide.

Deborah and Dante watch David get caught by a whirlpool

The original plan was we would all sit on a piece of wood, and float and maneuver it to the appropriate spot not too far down the river. Obviously, this plan would not work well because in the river lay whirlpools that we’d not be strong enough to swim out of, much less floating on a huge slab of wood.

Floating the wood down the river a bit

The plan was rehashed. We’d float the wood along the river bed further downstream out of the danger of the whirlpools.

Floating the wood across the river was our job

From there, we’d push the wood along across to the other side of the river. Deborah, having the stronger legs of us two, dragged the wood through small currents and I helped bring up the rear.

No anacondas here!

Deborah and I made a great team and the boys were astounded that two women were so good at helping out, and were somewhat surprised that we weren’t afraid of swimming in the river. We came to help out and we were going to be involved every step of the way, whatever it took.

Deborah showing off her guns

We settled into a routine as there were many slabs of wood to push.

Taking a break

As soon as we’d push a new slab over to the other side of the river, the men would use tire irons to hoist the wood to higher ground.

It was backbreaking work.

No easy task

Thanks to team work we were able to move all the wood to higher ground and make sure it was well out of reach of the loggers.


We took a much needed food break after that. Sitting at the edge of the river we listened in silence to the sound of the jungle.

Another day of feeling like I accomplished something real.

Peruvian wood


When was the last time you felt like you really accomplished something extraordinary?


This experience was part of my Volunteer work with Manu Park Volunteer. Find them on Facebook as well.


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