I woke surprised by my surroundings and unsure what time it was, as it was overcast. After just laying there for a while, I got up and did some tai chi before going to the mess hall for breakfast. Breakfast was porridge with a sauce made from bananas, plus most of the same stuff we eat for lunch and dinner. Some of the guests were talking about going to the “the beach”, which was a sandy spot along side the river. I agreed to go along.
We took a long, covered motorboat to get there, which was fun. As I write this the world is still rocking back and forth. The beach was nice and I dipped my feet in the water and hung out with some of the other guests. I got to know a dutch woman named Lieke and a couple of americans named Jackie and Derrick. An older gentleman named Howard shared his sunscreen with me, which was nice. A vulture landed and paid us a visit, which was cool.
|Front to Back: Derick, Jackie, Lieke, & Elodie|
|Mushrooms growing in the bottom of the boat|
On the way back to the center Lieke said there was a spot where you could get reception, so I tried getting a message back to the world. As far as I know no one knows I made it here ok.
Lunch was the same, and from what I hear doesn’t change much. Bananas were on the no-eat list I was given so I’d been abstaining. They serve them here with every meal, so I’ve been enjoying the fresh, ripe bananas quite a bit. They have a variety that is about a third the length of the bananas we’re used to state-side, and they’re delicious! After lunch I wandered around the center taking pictures.
|pets or food?|
|Maestro Ricardo's pet parrots|
|the giant chicken run|
|The maloka where the ceremonies take place|
|bathrooms - shower side|
|bathrooms - toilet side, and the ceremony maloka on the right|
|Where laundry happens|
All day they have been erecting a tower to get a better wi-fi signal. It’s 30 meters high and hopefully when they're done I’ll be able to get a message home that I’m ok.
At dinner the kitchen must have been short staffed, as there wasn't enough fish to go around, the filtered water was really low, and they were out of hot water for tea.
After dinner I hung around the lounge because I knew my meeting with Ricardo (the shaman) would happen soon, and I wanted to see if the abysmal wi-fi had improved at all. Nope! At my meeting with Ricardo I told them in a very short and sweet manner about my divorce and stepfather. Mostly because I didn't want to break down. I have a feeling I’ll be doing plenty of that in the next few days. Afterwards on my way to the bathrooms I did end up crying for a bit.
So I composed myself and rejoined the group in the lounge to try the wi-fi once more. Success! I was able to touch base with Toni and chat with her for a bit, which was nice and calmed me down.
While I was texting I overheard the two chattiest members of the group talking about a myriad of topics including US politics and the American Civil War (by way of the film Lincoln) which I found interesting considering one was Australian (Damien) and the other Canadian (Jason). Eventually the Canadian relented and went to his cabin. I didn’t want to get cornered by the victorious Australian, so I took my leave as well.
The cabin I’m in is a duplex and unfortunately the separating wall doesn’t go all the way to the ceiling, so if I turn on my light it spills over to my neighbor’s side (the nice french woman I arrived with; Natalie), so I write my journal by candle light so as not to disturb her… which is actually pretty great.
The shamans are singing in the Maloka (the building in which the ceremonies take place) now, so I shall let them sing me to sleep.