The hurricane had brought us a day so magnificent it felt apocalyptic. As the huge, ominous storms poured down on the cholla cactus and the mountains, we saw funnels building and dropping, downbursts of fierce rain, lightning bolts striking. Our cameras never stopped clicking.
His survival depended absolutely on my care, and I had an obligation to do it well. I felt and assumed that much responsibility and commitment with Sacha, and that’s carried over to each one of the 2,500 animals that have come into the Sacha Project's care since.
The hardest thing about living in the countryside is the dedication required in terms of time and money. It is hard to go into debt in order to be able to buy all the supplies a crop requires, but many small farmers like me have no other alternative.
I rushed home, but there was nothing left—not even my house. The water had washed away virtually everything. My family was nowhere in sight. I couldn't believe the scene before my eyes.
It was a terrible, sinking feeling to be in such a remote place, several days away from the mainland, and look out from our boat deck and see large plastic objects bobbing around: balloons, buoys, even a punctured ball. We were in the middle of nowhere, yet there was always something floating near us and microplastics in our water samples.
When I made the decision to stay on this land, I did so with the conviction that it would only be with the mission and purpose of being a bridge between travelers and the indigenous communities of this territory.
Despite everything, I maintain my eco-hope. I know, in my heart that no effort in favor of life is in vain. During our meeting, Greta said, "Never stop,” and I never will.
I decided to help that little animal in the middle of a storm, during the night, and I guided him to his freedom. The winds hit hard and the tree branches passed over my head by the dark path of the muddy river.
Vaibhav was knocked unconscious by the lightning strike. I couldn't see him breathing or moving. I escaped death. Vaibhav died on the spot.