A few final Amazon photos and a bit of poetry

At 4:30am our alarms sounded loudly and our day began. It was a very early start. We groggily drudged our way through a brisk version of our morning routine. The sky was still dark, starts still visible, and the air was a little chilly. Our group met up at the lobby and then proceeded to begin our short walk to the local Kichwa community for a traditional ceremony. We walked in near silence along the uneven gravel path, paying careful and deliberate attention to each step. When we reached the place of ceremony it was still dark. Our group of 11 students filed in saying aska pagaracho to each member of the Kichwa community present, and shaking their hands. It was a very warm welcome and an admirable custom. Once everyone was seated on one of the small wooden benches surrounding the fire, the ceremony could begin. With the help of Luis’ translation from Kichwa to Spanish and Kristi’s translation from Spanish to English, we could understand most of what was going on. During the course of the ceremony, prayers were said, stories were told, songs were sung, and there was a dream circle. Throughout the entire ceremony, we were being served small bowls of guayusa, a tread made from a plant sacred to the Kichwa people. From Luis, we learned the legend behind the guayusa as well, it was an amazing ceremony to be a part of.

After the guayusa ceremony we headed back to Huasquila for our last breakfast in the jungle. As we all munched on watermelon and scarfed down pancakes, we reminisced of our time together so far. Our experiences in the jungle with Luis were invaluable and definitely unforgettable.

– Rekha

To feel the passion Seeing the sparkling gleam Finding the meaning

All bark and no bite I have betrayed my instincts Where can I find pride?

The squirrel monkeys swing And the cayman swam slowly Beauty is evident

What is that small rock? Donde es mi tortugas? Ah! They are the same

Monkeys like to swing Alphas like to act like a king

If I did not fail I would not know that failure Is a thing of life

Monkeys go prancing Leaping along through the trees Carefree as can be

Animals are great Why do people mistreat them? People are the worst

Simple swirl, around Ripples of repetition Flakes of what we are

Sit on the monkey Chicha chiches boobs or yuca Act like you live here

Toucan on a stand Gold diggers are often found And chi chi are boobs

Monkeys are fluffy Retro’s the fluffiest He stares longingly

– Mady

Will showing birds to kids
Zach with blow gun
Skye in water
paillon del diablo falls in Banos
on boat to amazoonico
cable car at manta de la novia waterfall