Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Jungle Experience.

    Wayusinsa from the air

Last week Tuesday my dad, his co-worker and I took a trip to the Jungle. After climbing into the plane we flew for 15 minutes and landed in the community of Wayusinsa, and also in a mud puddle, which decorated the plane nicely.We then met the community leaders and “drank” some Chi-Chaw.        

One sip of Chi-chaw, just to appease curiosity . A drink consisting of chewed up Yuca root, and spit. The Shuar people drink it in gatherings of any kind.
Two buckets of water to haul up the hill. I didn’t come with a particular purpose, but dad quickly gave me tasks to do, hauling water from the spring, holding things, and writing things down. I dubbed myself the “secretaria”.  The first day was very very hot. Luckily the heat didn’t last too long, and the day ended with a cool swim in the river.
Two and a half breakfasts on the third day. Two soups, from two different women, consisting of Wanta (an animal like a big raccoon). It still had hair on it! Plus two different teas from two more women, lemon grass, and banana (maduro).
Three bug huts.  Single tents made out of screen that we slept in, and got very good at putting up and down in a short period of time.
Where we stayed in our bug huts.
Four fish soups. For dinner we ate fish soup, meaning water, with a fish in it. An entire fish. With skin, bones, a head. Thankfully I’m relatively used to fish looking like that, or else I might have freaked out a bit. The next morning what turns out to be for breakfast, but fish soup ! Both of the  chief’s wives made us breakfast, meaning two more fish soups, with lots of plantains, and Yuca root.
Five pieces of chocolate to fill in the missing meals (where the people forgot we existed ).  Oh how wonderful chocolate is after eating the same thing for several days !
Six Kilometers to walk from Wayusinsa to Iwia (about 4.5 miles ). It took us 2 hours, through lots of mud. Boy do I love rubber boots now ! We carried backpacks with all our gear, tents, water filter, and sleeping bags. My backpack was the lightest, at 25 pounds. 
Seven wide open mouths each time I told them I was only 15. They assumed I was 27…. had a job…. went to college already... and was married.. Yeah, they assumed a lot. 

Eight conversations in Shuar, making fun of the white gringos. FYI: Its not very subtle when you use names when speaking about someone, in the same room as you. No matter the language.
Nine thousand stars on a cloudless night, we could see Mars and the Milky Way ! It was awe-inspiring.
Ten sticks I put in the ground to help with surveying in Iwia, only to have them kicked over and re-done by the fellow behind me.. But a young girl named Karla slipped her little hand in mine, and walked the airstrip with me several times in the blasting heat. Quite the dedication ! She continually pinched my skin, almost to see if it was real !
Karla (left) and her buddy

All-in- all the jungle trip was a great experience. We got to eat what the Shuar eat, be with the people, and help them with the process of achieving clean water. No access to the internet, no phones, no distractions. Sometimes its nice to get away and realize just how much I don't really need. But its also nice to come home again :)


   El Baño. This is why its nice to come home again :)

1 comment:

  1. i just randomly stumbled on this website because of googling the word hacksaw and a story of your dad and a landlord in Costa Rica bonding. im not sure where Wayusinsa is exactly or if you are still in CR but if you get a chance to visit Golfito in Puntarenas then stop by "El Restaurante Garden" at Kilometro 7. my mom runs it with my sister and tell them "Diego" says hi.

    aside from that im intrigued by your journey and want to mention that a 15 year old should not be drinking Chi Cha haha. god had obviously already blessed you with the opportunity of this journey but may he continue to do so in a way that you find contentment and happiness!

    - random person from the internet named Diego


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