Trip Start Dec 29, 2012
93Trip End Aug 15, 2013
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I guess I'll start with our main guide. Xavier was passionate about what they are
doing with the Huaorani tribe and is extremely knowledgeable about the jungle
and the history of the tribe. Meal time
every day was spent listening to stories about the past, what the tribes of the
area used to do, how they live now, how they survived for thousands of years,
and oh so many other things about the amazon.
He has got to be one of the smartest men alive
generous, and translated everything for our other guide, from the Hourani
Emay was amazing. He has lived in the jungle all of his life, with the exception of the few years
the Ecuadorian government forced him into the war with Peru. He and some of his Huaorani tribesmen were paratroopers for the army. There he is still today walking through the amazon, bare foot, no shirt and living off the land. He taught us how to shoot blow darts and how to hunt for Peccaries (kind of like wild bore) with spears. Mr. Sze would have been proud of my spear
chucking skills. He took us out in the dug out canoes and taught us how to fish for piranhas. We caught one but before we could get it in the boat it bit the line. He taught us how to climb trees, how to make baskets to carry our stuff out of palm leaves, and also found or caught several frogs and snakes for the boys to check out. I loved the way he giggled and smiled at the boys with all two of his teeth showing, when they were trying all the things he taught them. He took to
calling them bongos (Huaorani word for monkeys)
Nemo and Nengi, Star and Moon and Michelle was Apakti (sun). I was named Jamos, after a legendary warrior who was taller than most Huaorani and feared throughout the surrounding tribes
for his ability to ruthlessly kill other clans or tribes. Kind of fits.
Just getting to the Jungle was an experience. Flying into the jungle in a 5-passenger plane
was pretty cool. One of the coolest things I’ve ever done for sure. It reminded me of a scene I saw in an old movie, either "Romancing the Stone", or “Jewel of the Nile”, or maybe one of the Indiana Jones movies. There in the middle of a sea of green trees, there is a short grass runway, surrounded by more trees, and several small huts / houses of one of the villages. It was
comical as we landed and all these kids came running out of the jungle chasing the plane. We exit the plane and are immediately inundated with humidity and the smiling faces (poor dental plan
though) of a small Huaorani village. A small drink is prepared for us of some sort of exotic fruit and we are whisked down a jungle path to the river where we hop in a dug out canoe and are
“polled” down the river to our accommodations for the next 6 nights, the Huaorani
The Lodge reminded Michelle and I of being at camp. Each “Lodge” was encased in screens and was wide open to the jungle. It was cool to just lie in your bed (bunk beds, just like at camp) and be able to look out into the jungle. Quite often you could just sit there and observe hummingbirds dashing from flower to flower. I am glad that I brought my earplugs though. I thought things got a little loud in the Costa Rican Jungle…Whooof, the Amazon was WILD!!! As soon as the sun went down things really got going. The frogs and insects that started singing were incredible. Of
course once the sun got up, the birds took over. There definitely was no peace and quite time
in the Amazon. Michelle will add blogs with more detail about what we learned and did in the Ecuadorian Amazon.