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I’m back with another rainforest blog!


As I promised in my bird blog (BIRDS!!!), I would try to hunt down the famous owl photo from Ricardo. Well here it is:

Tawny-browed Owl

Latin name: Pulsatrix koeniswaldiana

English Name: Tawny-browed owl

Portuguese Name: Murucututu-de-barriga-amarela

I want to once again thank the birdwatchers who came from Ecoavis namely: Ricardo Mendes, Fábio Giordano, Tomé Silva and William Maciel. Ecoavis is an association with more than 400 birders whose members collaborate to monitor birds around the country. At least once a year, Ecoavis sends a group to Iracambi to monitor the birds that live in our area. The passion they have for birdwatching is astonishing and I very much hope that Ecoavis sends groups more regularly.

Check out their website:


Pizza and Football with the Monks

What started out as a one off dinner has become a feeding epidemic. In an attempt to bring volunteers in to contact with people from the community, in a social and laid back environment, I asked the farmer/activist/monks (that I mentioned in my first blog and from now on will be referring to them as Act-Mon-Farms) whether I could cook for them and the volunteers one day. They accepted. I cooked Indian food with the help of the volunteers and was poured beer (literally the second my glass was empty) by the Act-Mon-Farms.


Rich tomato curry with golden potatoes, organic carrots, baby peas

Black beans, green pepper, onions sprinkled with cumin and coriander and drizzled with ripe lemon

Crunchy fried aubergine sprinkled with cumin

White rice

Drinks Menu:


dinner jen cookingdinner with monks

We had a great time cooking together and enjoying the lively conversation. The only issue was that my curry was a bit too spicy for some. Hey, it not Indian if it doesn’t burn!

It was such a success that the Act-Mon-Farms invited us back so that they could cook for us.

Brief explanatory interlude: Tom, the Belgian Green Management student, has been craving pizza since he arrived. I have heard him, while sleeping on the hammock at the center, mutter under his breath “ummm.. pizza, so much pizza”. Okay, well that was a lie but still he really wants pizza.

Back to the story: The Act-Mon-Farms offered to cook us pizza. Ahhh, now it all makes sense! Tom shed a tear of happiness and kissed each one of the monks while ecstatically chanting “halleluiah”. Okay, I have to stop lying but still he was really happy.

We return the next week and did it all over again!


Vegetarian Pizza

Vegan Pizza (so basically bread ahahah)

Drinks Menu: 

Beer again

dinner pizza

Our dinners have become such a success that it has now become a regular event and has allowed us to extend further into the community, for example, by being invited to play football at the local pitch where many people show up to show off their skills.

Football was awesome! Bonding over running around on grass with a ball between your legs is like no other activity. Allegiances were formed, comradery was built and then we went to war.. And my team lost. Our defeat can be summarized in one word: Pavao. Pavao is one of the Act-Mon-Farms. If football was an art, he would be Picasso. He would give Cristiano Ronaldo a run for his money.


Next blog: Science Fair!!!!!!!


Discover More

A visit to Iracambi

Iracambi is an NGO located in the Atlantic Rainforest and during my recent visit….

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