A Week With the Brazilian Navy: An Excursion to the Amazon
From 10 to 16 July 2016, a group of students and staff from King’s College London went on a study excursion to the Brazilian Amazon. This expedition, promoted by the King’s Brazil Institute (KBI) and organized by the Brazilian Navy, was part of the collaboration between these two institutions.
Similar to the KBI trip to the Brazilian Pantanal in 2015, the group from King’s was welcomed to the 9th Naval District in Manaus. During this week, through lectures, visits and workshops, the group learned about the geopolitics of the Brazilian Amazon and the roles and work of the Navy within this part of the country.
The visit started with a welcome reception by the District Commander, Vice-Admiral Luiz Antonio Rodrigues Hecht, at the Navy Headquarters and was followed by many activities, including a trip in the waters of the Amazon River on board of one of the Hospital Ships from the Brazilian Navy.
This sort of activities enriches the students experience, providing them with vivid learning possibilities.
KBI thanks the Brazilian Navy for this amazing excursion!
Reflection by Professor Anthony Pereira, Director of the Brazil Institute
One of the highlights of this excursion was a trip down the Amazon on a Navy hospital ship. The ship was the NAsH (Navio de Assistência Hospitalar) “Doutor Montenegro”. The ship was equipped and staffed with the help of the Ministry of Health, with which the Brazilian Navy has an agreement. When the ship stopped along the river, long queues of people, including pregnant women, waited to be attended by the medical and dental staff on board the ship. For some of these residents, we were told, the twice-yearly visits by the NAsH was the only opportunity they had for medical and dental care. This service enables the Navy to extend healthcare to areas of the country that might otherwise be without coverage.
Another memorable visit of the group was to the Centre for Instruction in Jungle Warfare (Centro de Instrução de Guerra na Selva, or CIGS), in Manaus. There we were met by the centre commander, who gave us a lecture about his institution, and then taken to a spot in the jungle where soldiers were taught survival skills. We were given several interesting pieces of fruit, as well as insects, to eat.
The excursion strengthened the ties between King’s College London and the Brazilian Navy and gave the Brazil Institute’s students and staff new insights into the Brazilian Amazon, a unique and fascinating part of the world.
Excursion Participants from King's College London:
Professor Anthony Pereira, Director of the King's Brazil Institute
Dr. Vinicius Mariano De Carvalho, Lecturer in the King's Brazil Institute
Dr. Felipe Botelho Corrêa, Lecturer in the Department of Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American Studies
Pedro Silva, MSc Candidate in the King's Brazil Institute
Carlyn Rodgers, MSc Candidate in the King's Brazil Institute
Simon Schlegel, MSc Candidate in the Department of War Studies
Lena Schubmann, 3rd Year Undergraduate
Basia Armstrong, 3rd Year Undergraduate
Daily Reflections: Lena Schubmann
Pictures: Felipe Botelho and the Brazilian Navy
Web Design: Lena Schubmann & Carlyn Rodgers
Special thanks to the everyone at the 9th Naval District in Manaus for being such gracious and incredible hosts.