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  • Visiting the Amazon!

    About a month ago, we went to visit a Kichwa community in the Ecuadorian Amazon.  It was truly an amazing experience, even if we only stayed there for about 20 hours (we drove nearly 24hrs back and forth!). That's the best we could do during a long weekend!

    Still, it was enough to spend valuable time with the community, admire the amazing landscape of the Amazon forest and realize how people can still live "comfortably" without all the modern amenities. With that in mind, I was amazed to see kids smiling, playing, and having fun with such an amazing playground called nature! 

    We were fortunate to go there during the dry season, and it was still quite muddy.  I can't imagine in the middle of the humid and rainy season...

    We didn't have too many issues with bugs, but that highway of working ants amazed me!

     We slept in a little cabin that was very rustic, but really comfortable. We woke up at 5am to do the traditional guayusa tea ceremony around the fire.  There again, someone "cleaned" us using the red-hot coals from the fire!! Believe it or not, he was rubbing a piece of coal taken right from the fire in his hands before giving us a soft massage... (and he was really going for the red ones!!).  Unfortunately, because of darkness, I don't have anything to show you... :(

    One of the cool things we did was to experience how to shoot a dart with a blowgun. We were all surprised how long the blowgun was (probably longer than a billiard cue) and how heavy it was too. That said, it's amazingly easy to handle and VERY precise. Even on our first try, we were all very close to the target that was maybe 50 feet away. We learned that they only use poison when they are hunting a big animal.  Otherwise, the dart itself will easily kill a bird or a small mammal for instance. The great advantage of the blowgun versus a normal gun is the silence. A gunshot will afraid animals miles around, while the blowgun allows you to miss a few times without the animal notice.

    One of the reasons of going there, was for Laurie-Ann and I to be "cleaned" by a Shaman. They called it Limpia. It's a much more complex ceremony than the one I'm sharing with you below, but since it was done at night in complete pitch dark... well, I have nothing else to share with you.I can't say if the Limpia (the real one, not the one below) helped me or not, but it's been a very intense moment for me. 

    I can't say if the Limpia (the real one, not the one below) helped me or not, but it's been a very intense moment for me.