Student - 11 februari 2019

Blog: Wild solo camping in the jungle

tekst:
Donatella Gasparro

One thing about Wageningen is clear: it gets the whole world in a small spot. But it also gets you wherever in the whole world. And that's why blogger Donatella Gasparro is ten thousand metres up above the Atlantic Ocean, on her way to Brazil.

© Sven Menschel

At this very moment, I’m 10,000 m up in the air. Somewhere above the Atlantic ocean, between the Canary Islands and the Azores. Heading all the way to the South. Way further South than what I’m used to call South.

I’m on a plane with destination São Paulo, Brazil. The screen right in front of me shows a cartoon-like plane flying around the globe, which is huge, and beautiful, and I’m cutting it in two with my trajectory. I am incredibly excited..

Grasp
One thing about Wageningen is clear: it gets the whole world in a small spot. But it also gets you wherever in the whole world. As I mentioned somewhere in another blog, second year master’s means you’re left on your own to do your thing, a thing mostly known as thesis. But this was rather incomplete. Most of my friends, me included, are curretnly spread all over the world, some in Uruguay, some in India, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Indonesia, you name it. Second year master’s – and thesis – also means: visas, 10+ hour flights, vaccines, goodbyes, adventures, excitement that keeps you awake at night. Thesis work gives many students the chance to not only go to the field and have a grasp of what’s going on out there, but also do so almost anywhere.

Thesis work gives many students the chance to have a grasp of what’s going on out there.

It’s the first time I go to South America and it’s the first time I go to the tropics/subtropics. My mum’s idea is that I’m going to do wild solo camping in the jungle. And actually, that’s also what most of my friends gave me the impression to believe. Besides all sorts of very much welcome advice, I also received all sorts of (also very much welcome) survival equipment, ranging from head mosquito nets to pocket knives, from trekking pants to portable sowing kits. Again, no wild camping intentions here (I’ll be pretty spoiled in hostels and farm restaurants), but: how special is Wageningen? So full of adventurers ready for everything. And so packed with kind souls ready to help. I’m so grateful!

Collecting data
But what am I actually going to do all the way in Brazil? I’ll spend some weeks collecting data on a regenerative agroforestry farm in the São Paulo state. But more about this in my next blog, which will be written directly from there. ;)

Donatella Gasparro is a master’s student in Organic Agriculture; she hails from Italy.

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