The biennial UC honors study tour to the Brazilian Amazon attracts adventure-seeking students for a variety of reasons. For freshman Mick Bonamer, the trip was a chance to explore his family’s roots.
Their motivations for embarking on the University of Cincinnati honors study tour of the Brazilian Amazon were as diverse as the 16 students themselves.
For some, it was the chance to set forth on an adventure of epic proportions in a place teeming with some of the world’s most beautiful, but deadly creatures. For others, it was a journey into an ecological treasure whose depths and riches are unimaginable but for those who experience its majesty firsthand. Others still wanted to immerse themselves in the rich culture and social fabric of Brazil’s Amazonas region.
For Mick Bonamer, the 10-day study tour offered a more personal connection: the chance to better understand where he came from – and where he wants to go.
A freshman majoring in chemical engineering, Mick had grown up hearing the fantastical tales of his father Andy’s formative childhood years in the Brazilian Amazon. Upon arriving to the Amazon, he quickly realized that his dad’s oft-told stories, as colorful as they were, “paled in comparison to the real thing,” he said.
It was Mick’s grandfather and his work in the mineral and metallurgy field that brought the family of eight to South America, first to Argentina when Andy was four, and then six years later, to the Brazilian city of Macapá, located near where the mouth of the mighty Amazon River meets the rush of the Atlantic Ocean.