The Amazon Continued

Trip Start Dec 29, 2012
Trip End Aug 15, 2013

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Flag of Ecuador  , Pastaza,
Monday, January 21, 2013

Our next hike began with Emay finding an Ecuadorian poison dart frog.  They are beautiful, all decked out in the colours of the Ecuador flag; red, yellow and blue.   Emay stopped below a giant Kapok tree and showed the boys a strong vine that they could swing from.  Then he told us a creation story of the Huaorani where there was a giant Kapok tree that was taken down by the animals.  Almost all of their legends and stories involve animals.  

We hiked to Emay's village, which is the same village that our airplane landed in a few days before.  We were to meet Emay's family and then greet a few new guests.  We met Emay's wife and viewed their home, a wooden structure on stilts.  All the living areas are open air though.  His parents live in an adjacent house that is built in the traditional style as they refuse to live in a wooden house, preferring the palm style.  Emay's wife proudly showed us her yucca crops and how she plants and cultivates this staple food.  We tried to lend her a hand in the planting.  Upon coming back to the house, she offered us a drink, Chicha.  I asked Xavier if is safe to drink - he said yes, but just a small sip.  So we all sipped and Xavier reminded us that Chicha is a drink that is made by the women who bite off a piece of yucca, chew it, spit it out and then let it ferment for five days.  Hmmm... it actually had little taste to it but it was, I think, a sign from us that we respect their culture.  

The boys then heard an approaching plane and asked if they could go greet it.  So we ran off to the grass runway that we had arrived on days before and like the local kids, chased the plane as it landed.  Out of the plane emerged our new friends, Ignasio and Nicole who were to spend the next three days with us.  We were all led down a path where we indulged in a river side picnic followed by a swim.  I reminded the boys not to pee in the water as this river has microscopic fish that use urine to find victims.  It swims up one's urethra and embeds itself inside your body.  I can't remember the effects it has on the body, but it couldn't be a good thing.  Some of the local young men joined in the river swim and began jumping off a small cliff, which of course my boys had to partake in.

After the swim, we bought the boys a small souvenir blow dart gun which they proceeded to practise with for the rest of our stay.  It actually works, so we had to stipulate that they were only to shoot at non-living, stationary objects like trees!

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Colin Brown on

I can see the boys are still hating every momemnt they are away from home and school!!

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