Moments of *{epiphany}* in Amazona

Trip Start Jan 15, 2010
Trip End Jun 18, 2010

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Where I stayed
Casa de Enrique y Casa Voluntaria

Flag of Ecuador  , Pastaza,
Thursday, April 1, 2010


I am officially back in civilization! 

And I say that soley out of habit and out of ease of explanation--- I actually didnt want to leave the jungle.. and I still cant believe the whole experience has come and gone.  : (    3 weeks of living in the Amazon, teaching English in the morning to local community children, and volunteering with the other volunteers doing outdoor work, was one of the best times of my life.


As I was trying to explain to a newly made friend on the airplane back to Lima-- its like youre always trying to find something that will change you, perhaps more subconsciously searching for-- an event, a fleeing moment of epiphany that makes you think- "Yes, this is what life is about, THIS is something spectacular, something that will forever change me and the person I thought I was"


In my life asofar Im only able to recall one of these moments-- a powerful thought and my subsequent series of musing during my first humanitarian trip to Guatemala during grade 10... I explain this in an essay here: . 


But for me, my time in the Ecuadorian Oriente, or Amazon, was another moment.  Im still struggling with the words to describe it, but I can remember a feeling of awe of the beauty and natural way of life there, and a thought that one day I would like to live like this..  It really made me further realize my yearning to work with indigenous populations, and quite possibly there, in the Amazon, with a culture that had taught me so much about life in the jungle, and in some way that I am not able to verbalize, about life in itself>>>


Here Ive included some pictures of us at work and at play.  As youll see, we worked with machetes clearing land for the paths they use to gather and plant food and to educate tourists, were able to make my idea of a paso de manos, or monkey bars, for the local children come true, and just experienced the culture and life of the jungle through jungle walks, traditional plant-extracted body paint, sharing of meals, and conversations with community members.

Looking back, I like how I dont view this tribe and others primitive or basic anymore (As much as I d like to say I never did, I think a little part of me did, as I think all Westerners have in them)...

Seeing photos of indigenous peoples in traditional clothing and in a setting as exotic and foreign as the Amazon, its tempting to view these people as a case study, rather than as people like you and me-- part of a living, but ancient and knowledgeable culture that only milleniums of living as one with the jungle could produce. 

I hope that through this blog, a little part of you can see this as well...

Con mucho carino

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Lauren Staub on

Lara! I'm so happy you're having an amazing time there. I read the machete has returned haha, i love that story (that julian repeated everyday) about you bringing a machete on the plane, good times. Anywho can't wait to see you this summer and listen to your spectacular stories of your experience. Have a safe trip home!

Shauna F on

You are beautiful girl. i have goosebumps just reading about your travels and what you are learning about the world about yourself.

Its funny because i LOVE when i meet someone who is just so wise and who i can literally look at and say "WOW thank you for teaching me something that will change the way i look at the world." I have ALWAYS felt that way about you. ahh i cant wait to hear everything!

Pascal on

Lara, I am soo happy you are having a great time! It is amazing to see all of the things you have done and you are soo lucky to go on an adventure like this! Can't wait to see you!


Julie Green on

Looks like you're having the time of your life. You look incredibly happy. Keep up the good work.

Bri on


You are such a beautiful person, inside and out.
I loved reading this blog, it really is amazing what certain experiences
can do for the soul.

I love you and miss you lots!

yaanua on

que hermoso es vivir en amazonia

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