I said goodbye to the new family I´ve found in the jungle yesterday. Marco left in the morning to conduct a malicagua ceremony for a visitor, and Maria and I cried into each other´s arms for a few minutes in the living room. I will carry the best of memories from Quindi Pakcha, the Waterfall of the Hummingbirds: ever-riveting conversation and stories from Marco, heaps of organic home-grown food, sprinkling corn and collecting pasture grass for the birds and guinea pigs, and even hearing the many stories of suffering and challenge from the extended family. I left feeling enriched. My last week there, we managed to finish one project that I helped fund with a generous donation from a friend. We painted the main gate a bright turquoise, sanded several wavy boards of acha caspi wood, and painted them into beautiful, welcoming signs for the entryway. A taste...
And now, I´ve arrived anew. Just a couple hours north of Puyo lies the town of Tena, another busy industrial town that´s turned heavily toward tourism in recent years. Well, in Tena proper the main attraction is rafting, but I´m already overwhelmed by the number of indigenous, community-based tourism projects lie deeper in the jungle nearby. It´s impressive, and encouraging, to see so many communities taking the future into their own hands.
The place where I´ll stay this week is a bit different, though. It´s called Saraswati, and it´s a finca run by an English-Colombian couple and two young men that all practice Hari Krishna. They are vegetarian, make food offerings before each meal, and practice bhakti (devotional) yoga every morning at 5:30, followed by ¨regular¨ yoga that I´m excited to join. Their property is spectacular, with very well-tended papaya, cacao, sugar cane, banana, and many other typical plants. I am looking forward to a calm, purposeful week of learning and seeking.
I hope you´re all well!