We are planning our next trip to the jungle. I have never been to the south side of the Napo River, where 'Shiripuno Lodge' is located. We will fly to Coca, take a three hour drive, and then a four hour boat ride to the lodge, deep in Huaorani territory. We will leave Thursday morning and return by Monday. Maya is very serious about preparing for a Christmas performance and does not want to miss any ballet classes, so I am making last minute arrangements to have her stay with Isabel, who will take take wonderful care of her. I am also hoping that Maya will learn more Spanish when she does not have an opportunity to ask for a translation.
The Huaorani are an indigenous tribe who live deep in the jungle and have never been truly conquered. Their language and origins and character are quite different from the Quichua we usually encounter when we visit Sacha Lodge or Casa del Suizo. They are unpredictable. We will be visiting a Huaorani village to learn about their customs and traditions, but most of our time will centre around seeing plants and animals, which are different again from the north of the Napo, where we have visited before.
Eric will be setting up his equipment to record bats and fish, so this will be a working visit for him (of course every visit to the forest is a working event for him). His student Pamela will be helping him, and a student from Spanish school and her boyfriend will be the tourists on the trip. I will be both a tourist and all around helper in the advancement of science!
My greatest challenge is to recover from the flu, which appears better at times and much worse at others. I am afraid I infected my Spanish teacher, who spent all weekend in bed fighting a cold. We coughed our way through four hours of Spanish class, and both plan to spend some time in bed tomorrow to try to beat this very intense and protracted illness. My approach thus far has been an effort to ignore how ill I am and continue with my usual activities. Eric and I both had salsa classes today and then tried to practice together tonight and nothing quite worked when we tried to dance together. We are having separate lessons with different teachers, but evidently they are not quite teaching us the same moves, so we are dancing different dances, and cannot quite make them synch. The salsa challenge is much greater than I imagined.
El Quinche Faces: