Good things happen when you go looking for Mangoes: Back in Pucallpa

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November 13th 2010
Published: November 16th 2010
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So, what is a lady to do after a mind-blowing month immersed in jungle life?
I have been asking myself this same question now that I am back in this wacky city of Pucallpa.
Here is an update on my life over the past few days. I have been:
-Processing the whole experience way off in the woods (and missing everyone from the camp)
-Having classes in Shipibo! This has been delightful as I am learning from a friend. It´s lovely when the universe hooks people up for different transmitions. I am teaching Francisco English, and he is teaching me his first language. Of course, it´s very informal (I´m sure you have caught on by now that this is my mode-of-opperation), and poco-a-poco, but I now know the basics of this beautiful language. Gramatically simple but filled with difficult-to-pronounce vowels, Shipibo is delightful and I am looking forward to practicing around town with folks, especially artesanas.
-Pondering where to live. At present, I am back in my home-base hospedaje, where the dueña is more than happy to rent me out a cheep room. However, in the next couple of days I am probably moving into a tambo (hut) to return to my hammock-living. I am still excited to live with a Shipibo artesan family, but would like to make sure that we know one another well-enough before the fact.
-Investigating (read: eating and enjoying) more of the edible plants around here. Yum! Funnily, whenever I go strolling through Yarina for mangoes I meet folks and have adventures.
The most recent of which was with Roy, a super-duper excited virgo (read: friendly and organized workaholic). Walking along the road, he offered to give me a free lift to a specific mango groove in him mototaxi. Why not? After the mangoes we walked to the papayas, and the oranges, lemons, chilis, lemonbalm and oregano, and delicious little fruits I can´t for the life of me remember the names of. All of this hidden around in huge chakras (fields) of platano. Satiated on fruit, we returned to the mango grove, which happens to house his work site. It is half-cantina, half-distillery and processory for aguardiente and sugar cane juice. I spent a good portion of the day tasting different preparations of jugo de caña with various medicinal herbs thrown in, and even a little of the alcoholic version (but not too much, mom!). I also helped process the juice strait from the cane, in a super old-school machine that squelches out the juice. Maybe in some time I will learn to use the still.
Anyway, I was concerned a little about drinking so much of the ridiculously tasty juice (¨isn´t this just sugar-water?¨), but the company of Roy and the other folks assured me that it was actually nutritional, with iron and heaps of other benefits. As I later research, the juice apparently isn´t just straight carbohydrates, that it is actually quite alkaline and tones many organs. Ok!
I also made friend with the dueño of the whole opperation, and the tambo is his. He offered it up for a place to stay very generously.
It´s looking like my life will consist of living away from the noise of the city, continuing to eat wild foods and learn about the plants here, and Shipibo lessons. Considering my more remote location, I am thinking bout throwing a bicycle into the mix, as well!
All is well and fine here, and I am still working on integrating in with the nice and friendly artesanias here.
Chau for now! I hope you are all enjoying fall-winter!


7th January 2011

Sus, reading your words and visualizing your experiences has been one of my grounding tools. I love to get one and see what you have been up to and what is next. With this in mind, a friend sent me a site with other women´s travel experience and I thought I would share it with you as well. It´s a very unique experience to be a woman travelling on our own and I am so glad we get to share pieces of it together through our words and circumstances. Much love, Kelsey

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