Today the Waorani people of Amazonian Ecuador are increasingly threatened by Western ways and diseases. In many areas their water systems have been polluted by crude oil and chemicals thanks to irresponsible oil drilling. Roads cut into their hunting grounds have been populated by colonistas and people of other tribes eagerly seeking land.
The Waorani say “The Government want our land, the oil companies want our oil and the missionaries seek our souls”. They are very much aware that they are at the top of a slippery slope that will lead to the loss of their culture and the destruction of the abundant sources of food and natural medicines on which they depend. Amongst their problems many of their communities urgently need clean drinking water.
The Western Amazon basin is one of the last great wilderness areas and it is possible to walk from here to Southern Venezuela, a distance of 2000 kilometres without crossing a single road. Members of s Scientific Exploration Society Team were privileged to be in the core of the Yasuni Biosphere and Waorani Ethnic Reserves during an expedition arranged after the Ecuadorian Environment Ministry, that is doing its best to assist the Waorani, asked Colonel John Blashford-Snell (JBS) and his colleagues to help. Recording wildlife in the Amazon forest
Thus in September 2012 with support of the Just a Drop water charity and the approval of the Scientific Exploration Society (SES), a team went in to install clean water systems in three villages. The expedition also aimed to provide medical and dental aid, school books and reading glasses, whilst listing the fauna along their route.
A farewell Burns Supper was held to mark the completion of the Scientific Exploration Society’s 2012 Expedition to Amazonian Ecuador. Tom Gallagher recited the ode to Stahlys Quality Haggis in broad Geordie and a dram or two was sipped in memory of the poet.
Stahly’s canned haggis has seen all five continents – it travels well and does not need refrigeration, so it is always the first choice for The Scientific Exploration Society. Col John Blashford-Snell (JBS) always ensures that Stahly’s haggis, brought specially from Scotland, is amongst the provisions on every one of the SES’s expeditions.