I lived in a wooden tree house pearched on top of the riverside. Tucans and motmots would fly overhead hourly. The beautiful, everchanging river passed below. I sat in a hammock overlooking it all whislts the rains passed and we experienced those beautiful days when the river was full and warm and I could swing with the kids all afternoon on the vine swing in the quebrada.
I lived in the center of El Naranjo....an extension of one of the largest families in El Naranjo. I'll try and break it down.
Acosta is the family name.
Abrosia Acosta is 107 years old. She has 15 kids.
Each of them have about 8 kids.
Each of those kids have about 4 kids
I don't think any of those kids have kids yet.
That makes about 480 Acostas running around my house.
Okay so it wasn't quite like that, but sometimes felt that way
I really admire this family. They have a totally different set of priorities from myself, but they take in and care for guests. I was so well cared for. I was another mouth to feed and a body in the bed. Beans and rice it was.....sometimes i secretly bought churroz from the pulperia to add a variety to my diet. Sometimes I bought 15 packs of churroz so it wouldn't have to be a secret and we could eat them together. Living in a family like that, you are obligated -- and you want-- to take care of your brother, sister, cousin, second cousin, third cousin, sister in laws cousin AND the strange gringa that is living in your house and washing her clothes so peculiarly in the pila. Honduras is a selfless place. Hondurans take care of one another when it comes down to it.
Two of my dearest honduran friend are Wilmer and Christina. Wilmer sort of loves me and I sort of love him.......Iit is not a romantic love, anyway. It's brotherly. And Christinia is a woman I will respect until the end. She is single handedly raising three children. The youngest with Down Syndrome. She does not give a shit or put up with shit, yet is so full of compassion and love and can't even be in the same room as her without wanting to jump into her arms.
I am not quite una mujer completa....which is okay with me.
I lived with the artisanas Saravia. In a tree house, in the main house, in a hammock, in a tent on the beach, at the top of the waterfall. I climbed through the jungle. I climbed over the rocks, I climbed into caves, I climbed into the crystaline blue waters of the Rio Cangrejal. I refined my bird eye, my bird ear, my bird love.
Donki the jungle dog lost a leg in an accident and now lives in a yard in the city of La Ceiba
The ocelote (jaguar like animal that lived at the lodge through the rainy season) ate one of the Scarlet Macaws.
i miss my pets.
I stopped working at the Banana Republic and Jungle River Lodge. (not because of the pet accidents....because it was time)
I didn't work at all for awhile.
I started working at Omega Tours. The competition.
Julie came to visit.
I got to know the peeps at Omega.
Tangwen, Oh why we didn't meet before.
I learned all about the geography of the south island of New Zealand
I learned all about Argentinean cuisine
I learned that the Black Forest is in Southern Germany
all in one night.
I work with people just like me everyday.
Living a life on the road, dreaming becomes reality. Honoring your life however unconventional. People of the modern world. Educated in a similar manner as I.
I feel like I have crept out from under a mossy cave. I love that jungle, I love that river with everything in my pores. I know that I still have a bit to learn from the place. All the birds yet to know. All the adventures yet to have. To the remote, inner parts of the jungle. To higher waterfalls. Crazier birds and lizards. I know how to watch out for the tamagas negra. I know how to climb the rock faces by using the vines. I know how to make some badass green bananas in the campfire and where to find the camerones to cook on a stick.
And I have time for that. I also have a little time to hang out in Ceiba and figure out some life plans while I take care of a 2 month old baby. Thats this months adventure. The creature of the moment is not a jungle creature but a tiny little baby. Zeke is his name and I will write more about him in the next posting.
I know oregon home is on the horizon. I want to see how I feel about the jungle from my mind's eye. And I want to keep in mind the rest of the world. I know though that I want to spend Thanksgiving with my family.
Now I am going to bake some cookies in honor of the holidays. (Earth Day is the 22nd, don't forget to do something kind for your planet).