On the first day, the group of students and members of staff from King's was welcomed at the 9th Naval District in Manaus by the Commander in chief, who emphasised the relevance and importance of the parnership between the Brazilian Navy and KCL.
For most of us, who were in the Amazon region for the first time, an overview explanation was much helpful to understand the difficulties and challenges faced by the militaries in the region not only to protect the borders but also to support the Brazilian citizens who live close to the banks of the numerous rivers of the Amazon basin, which is larger than Western Europe altogether.
In fact, roads are almost non-existant outside the urban areas of the capital. Indeed, the rivers are the motorways of the Amazon. That's why the Navy has such a great role in the Amazon supporting the communities with medical care and other essential services that are very difficult to be offered without the appropriate infrastructure.
After the introduction to the programme of activities, we were then invited to navigate with the crew of the Montenegro Hospital boat, which travels throughout the rivers of the region stopping in communities to provide medical assistance that range from small surgeries up to complex lab exams and dental care.
Apart from witnessing the tireless work of the crew, doctors and nurses, we were lucky enough to navigate in a very clear and sunny day that made the famous encounter of the two rivers, with their distinctive colours, an even more beautiful spectacle.
After staying overnight on the boat and witnessing the beginning of works in the morning, we were taken back to Manaus for another busy day with the Brazilian Navy. That was just the beginning of a very busy programme of activities.