When we passed by the village of Nuevo Peru on the Yaguasyacu River last week, I saw a couple of kids swimming next to a few women washing some clothes. I most enjoyed seeing a girl repeatedly run down the bank and launch herself into the river.
When we passed by the village of Nuevo Peru on the Yaguasyacu River last week, I saw a couple of kids swimming. I most enjoyed seeing one girl run and jump into the water from the bank.
One benefit of the slow trip from Pebas to Brillo Nuevo was that I spent most of the trip watching the water (hoping to get a good look at a river dolphin - no luck), the forest on the banks and the sky above. I was rewarded with some nice shots of various birds - an Amazon kingfisher with a fish he/she had just caught, a hawk (possibly an immature bicolored hawk), a turkey or black vulture framed in some clouds, and a Southern lapwing. Also saw parrots, swifts, and a slate colored insect eating bird with rust and white bottom that I couldn't ID even after looking through my Birds of Peru book three times.
So it only took less than five hours to travel a good way down the Amazon River in the new fast ferry to the town of Pebas, but it took about 7 hours to go up the Ampiyacu and Yaguasyacu Rivers in Ricardo's peque peque because it only has a 5 hp engine and it kept sputtering. Yully relaxed while Tulio Dávila and I discussed politics and ecology (he relaxed some too). When the engine periodically stopped, Ricardo's mom would paddle the boat over to the shore or grab the branch of a tree hanging over the river so we wouldn't float back down river. It was good to finally reach Brillo Nuevo just before dark so we could set up our hammocks and make our dinner with a can of tuna fish and crackers.
Took the new ferry from Iquitos to Pebas on Tuesday morning. We got off the fancy boat at a landing near town and transferred our bags to Don Ricardo's peque peque (dugout canoe with 5 HP engine. Check out a few pics from Pebas including a butterfly, carachama fish in a tub (they can breathe both through gills and by gulping air which allows them to breathe air for awhile), and a general store that truly seemed to have a bit of everything including a lone watermelon in the nail section).
Getting up at 3 am to catch our boat from Iquitos to Pebas - the gateway town to our partner native villages in the Ampiyacu River area. In the past we have usually taken a "lancha" that is basically a ferry boat to make this trip. it is rather slow and makes a lot of stops en route so it generally took 12-15 hours going down the Amazon and 18-22 hours coming back - usually in hammock strung next to 100 other people packed like sardines. For the same price as getting a "camarote" (a cabin that is a metal box with two bunk beds) on the lancha we will be able to sit in comfortable airline style seats on the new Ferry and make the same trip in only five hours. During this trip we plan to make quick visits to Brillo Nuevo to visit artisans and have a meeting with the whole community and Puca Urquillo where we will meet with artisans and leader of the native federation FECONA. Below are some colorful woven chambira bracelets made by Brillo Nuevo artisans earlier this year. What do you think of them?
14 million Amazon animals and plants — caiman skins, turtles, parrots, orchids and more — are legally exported annually. Illegal trafficking levels are unknown.
One of the new bird ornaments that an artisan from San Francisco recently made from chambira palm fiber is an awesome rendition of the Tropical Screech Owl (Megascops choliba). I am more amazed every time at the level of detail that he adding to his work. This time he added a second color to the talons. Pardon the pun, but Kleiber is a very talonted fellow, yes? I was taking some pics of this ornament in a nearby tree when one of the neighborhood boys climbed up next to it to see what was going on. Thanks for your smile Jilton! Ornaments like this soon coming to the Amazon Forest Store and holiday craft sales in Pennsylvania.
Our current CACE house in Iquitos has been great for the past two years, but the owner finally sold it so we have to find a new place to store our equipment, distill our oil and have a place where I can stay when I come down. While one can find a few places online or through a rental agent, the only way to really find out what's available is to search the streets. I walked around our neighborhood first and then cruised around in numerous areas with Tulio on his motorcycle. We kept a sharp eye out for little paper or plastic signs that said "Casa para alquiler" (house for rent) instead of ones advertising houses, popsickles, or coconuts for sale." In the course of our ramblings, we toured some funky dwellings at the end of mud lanes and a spiffy place surrounded by a white picket fence. We made it to the Marona Cocha district where houses made of rough boards lay just above the land but in an area that would certainly flood in the coming rainy season. We had found a few places in between that might serve, but I was very happy when we finally got to see inside a house we had passed by the night before (while some festive neighbors played the Macarena). It offered just what we needed - a house in a safe (and kind of fun) neighborhood, adequate space to store our grinder, distiller, and other supplies, and a place where I and other visitors could sleep during our stays in the city.
Meet Negrita. He is the neighborhood black cat who insinuated himself into the care of Yully's mother when she was living in the house in Iquitos that has been CACE's place for the past two years. Even though she moved out when we moved in, Negrita still felt like this was his house. He has numerous battlescars on his head, neck and body to prove his defense of our domocile. I met him when I was here last March and we have gotten closer since. He likes to sleep on the chair next to me while I work at the dining room table (or under mine when it's raining hard). I now leave the door to my bedroom open at night so he can sleep on my duffle bag if he wants. I am not thrilled that he may have to go back to living life on the street with all of the other cats when we have to move out of this house at the end of the month. Yully would adopt him into her house, but her cat wants nothing to do with him so she will still give him food outside. There are so many animals in the street here, and a lot of them are obviously quite scrawny, ragged looking, and retain full ability to reproduce.
A bird on the head is worth two in the......? Thanks to a friend we met at the Rhythm and Roots Festival for this fun pic. It's been a fun day to be in Peru. Patriotic fever was running high since the Peruvian national soccer team has come very close to winning a spot in the next World Cup Soccer tournament for the first time in decades. They could have almost guaranteed a spot by beating Argentina tonight but seemed fortunate to avoid a loss to Leoni Messi and other very skilled players. They will play Colombia next Tuesday night. A win would secure them a World Cup berth. A tie or a loss would leave the door opens if certain others teams win and others lose.
This video features progressive singer-songwriter Colleen Kattau from Cortland, NY playing her song "May you find peace of mind." She played it in the booth of the Center for Amazon Community Ecology at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival this past August on her guitar equipped with her new anaconda model of the Amazon Guitar Strap. After the song, Colleen shares what using this fair-trade strap made by a native artisan from the Peruvian Amazon means to her.
It's Fair Trade Month! Happy that my CACE report What does it really mean to practice fair trade? just came out on GlobalGiving at: https://goo.gl/kZmkbn. Thanks for any support you can give our project tommorrow on Bonus Day at: www.AmazonAlive.net.
It's Fair Trade Month! Happy that our report What does it really mean to practice fair trade? just came out on GlobalGiving at: https://goo.gl/kZmkbn. Thanks for any support you can give our project tommorrow on Bonus Day at: www.AmazonAlive.net.
OCTOBER IS FAIR TRADE MONTH - a great chance to support true fair trade enterprises including non-profit ones like CACE who are members of the Fair Trade Federation and practice all nine of their fair trade principles. Thanks for supporting us on Thursday, Oct. 5 - GlobalGiving Bonus Day at www.AmazonAlive.net. Following posts will describe each fair trade principle in turn.