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Isabel Godin des Odonais
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    (January 28, 1728-September 28, 1792)
    Born in Riobamba, Ecuador
    Sole survivor of a 3,000-mile expedition through the Andes mountains and Amazon Basin that started with 42 people
    Daughter of Don Pedro Gramesón y Bruno, an administrator of the Viceroyalty of Peru
    Separated from her French husband Jean, who traveled to French Guiana to claim his father's inheritance back in France (March 1749)
    Began her expedition from Riobamba (October 1, 1769)
    Reunited with Jean at Oyapock (July 22, 1770)
    Left French Guiana for France with Jean and Don Pedro (April 21, 1773)
    Died in her home on the Rue Hotel-Dieu in Saint-Amand-Montrond, six months after her husband's own death
    She got married at the age of thirteen. (December 27, 1741)
    One member of her expedition was her 10-year-old nephew who ended up dead like other members of her expedition.
    The Indians who rescued her in the forest probably found her somewhat delusional from nine days of traveling alone in the jungle.
    Her journey popularized misconceptions of the dangers of the tropical rainforest.
    In addition to French and Spanish, she spoke Quechua, which allowed her to ask the Indians who found her to rescue her.
    She knew how to use quipus, the Inca method of communicating information through knotted strings.
    Her three children died from smallpox while her husband was away.
    Her husband tried to pick her up from French Guiana, but was unable to do so because the Spanish and Portuguese authorities forbade him from re-entering their territory again.
    Despite nearly two decades of separation from her husband, she remained faithful to him and was determined to see him again.
    Her expedition in the jungle left her with skin problems and PTSD.
    She defied prevailing expectations of how a noblewoman would fare in the wilderness.

Credit: Big Lenny

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