Photo by Semok Peacemaker, The Shaman's Pharmacy 2010

Amazonian Caterpillar

“I remember walking behind the group during our first adventure into the Amazon rainforest. Being a huge lover of bugs, I was keeping my eyes peeled for insects of any sort. Then, almost directly in the middle of the pathway, I almost walked into this caterpillar(!) It was dangling down a vine and never moved, so I guessed possibly it was getting ready to form a cocoon.

I have always been a lover of nature and traveling, but never had the opportunity to even dip my feet into it. I would watch nature shows on the TV for hours and wish to someday get to travel and see and experience a whole new world. I had never even left the East Coast, let alone the US, so this UMass course plunged me into an exciting adventure. I recall my first steps off the plane and into the humid landscape of South America. All around me the trees and everything, including the people, were bursting with a kind of energy I thought was lost eons ago. It seemed that everywhere I looked there was something new to take my breath away and leave me speechless.

I could go on for a lifetime explaining the experiences I went through on that trip. From venturing through the very thick of the Amazon to swaying gently in a hammock and watching the millions of stars present themselves like never before, each moment gave me the satisfaction I had always dreamed of. Though I might be back in the States, the Amazon left and imprint in my mind so huge I have just to close my eyes and I am there again, with a fuzzy tarantula on my shoulder and a capybara at my feet.

I felt like at the end of the trip we were more of a family then a class. I kinda wish I hadn't graduated so I could take the class again! I'll find a way to get back to the Amazon, though, that's for sure."

- Semok Peacemaker, Student, The Shaman's Pharmacy 2010

(Semok graduated May 2010 and is now an Indiana State University graduate student, on full scholarship, majoring in Experimental Psychology.)