Page 2 of weave the world Travel Blog Posts

South America » Peru » Ucayali » Pucallpa November 13th 2010

I certainly did. I have long identitfied as an ¨environmentalist¨, not only because of my concern for imbalanced global human ecology but also because just seems natural for me to live a lower-impact and simplistic lifestyle. It is interesting to recall the connotations of the Amazon from my life back in the States. Everything from it being hailed as the biggest, widest, most biodiverse, etc. river-rainforest ecosystem in the world; to its destruction for soy crops to make tofu for rich people (I often heard this as a critique of diets that included soy as a protein source- relevant during my 8 years of vegetarianism and veganism). Anyway, coming from a forested region myself (where clearcuts scar most horizons), and being a student both academically and otherwise ecology, I was naturally quite interested to investigate human-forest ... read more

South America » Peru » Ucayali October 17th 2010

After staying in the logging camp for two weeks longer than I had expected, it was past time for me to return to Pucallpa, or at least somewhere I could e-mail my parents or the university from. Luckily, the opportunity came for me to travel down river with Ireny´s family. From them I got an invaluable glimpse into the lives of rural, selva-inhabiting Peruvians, and my heart was touched by their concepts of family. The adventure started again with the trip back from our logging camp to the ¨last stop¨ camp on the río Nishia, where there was the big field and various fruit trees. I walked with Ácido, which definitely helped to alleviate the waring effects of a five hour hike in substantial sunny heat with a mighty backpack. We stopped to drink and splash ... read more

South America » Peru October 16th 2010

Now that I was securely in the middle of nowhere in the Peruvian Amazon, with only loggers and a cook for company, I was suprised by the sequence of events that occured. Honestly, I pitched by bug-proof, water-proof hammock a very short distance from the encampment, and spent a large portion of my time relaxing, singing, reading, and simply listening and watching and being part of nature. Typical days were usually waking up at five, helping Ireny cook breakfast, saying bye to the guys, bathing in the quebrada (creek), being in the shade during the heat of the day (so hot! So humid!!!), helping with lunch, conversing with everyone until evening, and slapping lots and lots of mosquitoes. Sometimes I went for hikes with Ireny or with Lucho, our gamekeeper. Often Ireny and I would visit ... read more

South America October 14th 2010

After my first night ever with a very necessary mosquitero (mosquito net), I awoke in Doce de Mayo. Where I had watched a firey sunset over Lago Imiria in the night, I now saw a sparkling and immense lake under a partially grey sky. I left the structure where three of us had slept to search the others and see if I could help prepare the next boat ride. As it turns out, most of the things were already loaded, and I added my backpack to the mix. In the late morning, with everthing packed and all the bellies filled, we arranged all of the people. And, for a small-ish peki-peki, there were many of us. It was Alejandro, Brayan, Ácido, Pelau, Tío Lucho, Tío Pedro, Ireny, Carlos, Artemio (the father-in-law of Pedro), and I. And ... read more

South America October 13th 2010

So, with all of our supplies prepared and feelings of readiness permeating the humid air, I went back to Yarina for my final night in the city. I woke to a rap at my door at 6 in the morning. Dratted, non-functional alarm clock! I opened it to find Alejandro, and told him to wait just a moment as I gathered up the last tid-bits into my backpack. Once we got outside, as dawn was becomming day, I felt much more tranquil and at peace about wandering off into the woods. I had sent e-mails to the folks at home as to where I would be and with whom, which were all of the details I had access to. I had prepared myself emotionally to be open to new experiences. I was ready to leave the ... read more

South America » Peru » Ucayali » Pucallpa October 12th 2010

Little did I know, embarking nearly four months ago to South America, that I would have the opportunity to learn firsthand about the controversial topic of logging in the Amazon. Even less did I anticipate that I would come to know a group Madereros like family, and how much they would teach me. In Pucallpa, it´s hard not to know people. It seems that the abundance of the land here, with her wide stretches of fresh water and ample edibles, is mirrored in the open hearts of the people. One friend leads to another, and I soon found myself aquainted with the entire family of my friend Alejandro. One afternoon, as I sat chatting in the family´s yard, drinking juice with the uncles in the shade, watching copious nieces and nephews playing volleyball, the subject of ... read more

South America October 6th 2010

Hey everyone, As my writing may reflect, my life here hasn´t been incredibly organized. As I have been meeting friends here and practicing Spanish, I realize that what I am doing is quite different than I had anticipated coming to Pucallpa. Project report: Similarly to the Sierra, there is not a huge amount of tourism in Pucallpa over textiles, and most of what I am doing is speaking to artists as I meet them. There is a ton of jewelery-making here as income for native women, and I like asking them what kinds of plants their materials come from and such. I have met several Shipibo folks simply by walking around who have offered to introduce me to textile artists from their community. I also have met not one but two folks who have offered to ... read more

South America September 29th 2010

Can you feel it? The steam of the jungle air hot in your throat, the curiosity and warth of the people´s gazes, the cleansing that comes with a gentle sweat, the profound beauty in a small breeze, the perfectly creamy mud from the bottom of your lake smoothing your skin with its richness, the relieving splash of cold water dripping from the top of your head down? Can you hear it? The laughter barely underneath the words in people´s mouths, the din of the drone of motorcyles, a buzz of salsa and cumbia and reggaeton, the shells and beads clacking playfully from mobiles for sale as they´re held by indigenous vendors, and a Spanish somehow easier to understand even when peppered plentifully with jerga? Can you smell it? The heat, the wetness, the dust, the sediment ... read more

South America » Peru » Ucayali » Pucallpa September 27th 2010

Hi everybody! Wow! I am finally in la selva del Perú, something that I have been anticipating for months, and I was still caught off guard by the heat here! It hit me in the middle of the night, all of a sudden, on the bus ride from Huancayo. Under a near-full moon and lightning, I woke up from a nap (because I can´t quite sleep on busses) to sweat and humidity, and had to peel off my layers. I was slightly sad it was too dark to watch the geographical transition from la sierra to la selva, but when the sun rose it was nothing but green. I almost cried with relief. The andes are beautiful, but there is something special about places with more than one layer of vegetation. People have been telling me ... read more

South America » Peru » Junin » Huancayo September 13th 2010

Hello all! I have been living in a distict of Huancayo called El Tambo, doing various things and meeting various folks. I thought I´d give you an update on how life has been. I also hope that the Autumn is settling in beautifully and gently for you all in the Northern Hempishere, and have been thinking of how I miss this micologically-ripe season in the states. Anyway, I have been living with Bregje, helping out as I can (there is not a ton of work to do, as it so happens), and have commenced Spanish lessons in the evenings. This is always nice, and lesnd me a feeling of productivity for my otherwise mellow days. My tutor is a professor of English named Juan, and teaching me is his fourth job. He is ridiculously busy, but ... read more

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