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King pharmacist who travels world in search of medicines in nature makes film ‘Expedition Congo’

KING, N.C. -- Star Trek taught us that we had to go to space to go where people had never ventured before.

Amy Greeson may have found a similar place right here on earth.

Greeson is a pharmacist who also travels the earth in search of medicines she believes are hiding in nature – sometimes in the most remote of places, like her recent trip to the Congo. But it’s more than just about looking for new cures, it’s also a way to encourage today’s youth to seek similar adventures.

“We've always said that if we could, while were exploring the world, encourage students to explore the world with us, then they're going to automatically explore the world within themselves,” Greeson said.

This trip is more than they bargained for. You get into the remote jungle and none of your high-tech equipment works and it’s hard to even know where you are.

“This canopy is so thick that at any time of the day, you have no idea where the sun is. There's no natural guidance,” Greeson said in a scene from her documentary about the trip called “Expedition Congo” that has won a series of awards.

The documentary shows all the difficulties, including getting attacked by thousands of bees.

“We think it's because you are sweating so profusely, it’s so dry and it’s all this moisture so we think they were attracted to the moisture,” Greeson said. “I could look down and count 30-40-50 bees on the front of one leg, so if you sat there for too long of a period of time, I mean they are swarming in your glasses and in our ears so it becomes a psychological thing. So you have two choices: you either stay put and do what you have to when you are making camp and cooking and things like that, or you get up and move and the further you move the farther away you move, the fewer bees there are, eventually.”

When you see the film, it makes you wonder how anyone could survive such a trip. Something Greeson admits crossed their minds, in the middle of it.

“We were lost and we ran out of water and we all questioned if we would ever get out again and you play these games with yourself,” she says. “You have choices: It's either get up and keep moving or succumb to your circumstances.”

See parts of the film in this edition of the Buckley Report.

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