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Leeanne_helicopter - credit Tim Burton

Advance Team prepares the way

Leeanne Alonso – ​Prior to these dates, an advance team of 21 men from the Amerindian villages of Apetina (Wayana) and Palumeu (Trio and Wayana) along with staff from Conservation International-Suriname and local film-makers led a 10 day reconnaissance mission prior to the RAP to locate and set up the first RAP base camp (RAP Site 1). The team traversed and carried six heavy boats around many treacherous rapids to get far up the Palumeu River. The water level was very high, which made the trip all the more dangerous and lengthy. They reached Juuru camp on March 6, a site where the Trio and Wayana occasionally camp on their way to Brazil. From this site, a trail to the border with Brazil commences. The men from Apetina quickly got to work to clear a 30 m x 30 m site within the forest within which a small helicopter could land. They chose the site of a former small agricultural plot so cutting was a bit easier. They also set up a very large base camp consisting of two large tents (tarps over poles) for hanging hammocks in which to sleep, a kitchen tent, an eating tent, and a laboratory tent for the soon to be arriving scientific team. The camp was at the bottom of a steep hill, right along the Palumeu River, which at this point was a fairly small creek.

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