Una despedida

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...

Yes I painted all the black lettering!

Marco and Danny, the other volunteer from Canada that came two weeks ago.

Finished!  (Minus some vines painted on the posts)

Con María.


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!