Still in Tarapoto. Still thinking about leaving for Chachapoyas. If only the opportunities for enjoyment would stop I might find it in me to actually go. Note to self: must buy hammock for home. And some latin music too. :)
Yesterday was a return drive to Lamas, and my back seat companion was a lovely, curious, very itchy little girl... mosquito bite city. She lives with her family deep in the jungle, is in town visiting with her parents, and came along for the ride. Taking the back way into town the road and driving conditions were perfect for making funny faces and doing exaggerated movements as we were flung back and forth, and side to side over the rough dirt roads. A real ice breaker. I picked up some more of the mindblowing chocolate and shared. I think that helped too.
We went through an extensive rice field area, and at one point we stopped so I could run over and grab a sample. How delighted my new little companion was, as she cradled it carefully in her lap for the rest of the journey home.
On this trip I also met a new friend, Millie, who talked about getting married and following the curves in the road of life to Norway in the summer. We fell into an ease of conversation (english, of course) that had a familiarity about it, and we continued today as I made my way to her home for an afternoon coffee.
No need to worry about losing weight on this trip. Between the bread for breakfast & dinner and the full 3 course vegetarian meal most lunches I believe I have actually packed on a few. Not enough trekking obviously.
The parrots have been cooperative, and I have been having great conversations with them. Not that they speak english or anything, but the interesting responses I get give the impression of understanding.
There are a trio of young canadian biologists staying at the Hostal right now. I can almost remember being that young and enthusiastic about a cause. They are looking at starting a little conservation area just outside Chachapoyas, and have been studying the flora and fauna for the past couple of months. Young. Tri-lingual. PHD's on the way. When I look at them I find hope that this globes problems might yet be solved by our children. We sure as hell don`t seem to be doing a bang-up job of it.
"Yesterday, when I was young"... one little tune I wish would find a home in someone elses head
I have been doused with water, and had my face dusted with flour, all in honour of festival... I wonder what the flour symbolizes?
And now I will subject you to some of the words that seemed compelled to come out of my mind and into my notebook about last evenings storm and festival celebrations...
The faces of mischief, waterfights and water balloons. Swarms of youth gathering. Celebration is in the air. Dark grey clouds crowd in overhead, seeming eager to join the party readying to start.
The music comes with the dusk, on the wings of thick humid air. I welcome the bats out into the night, their strange winged flutter so delights me.
The rains join in; droplets, warm and heavy... one, two, hundreds, thousands, more.
The wind moves. Buffets. Warm, yet a cool refreshment after a heavy day.
The bats take refuge and I stand alone in the open garden, welcoming the dance of the storm. On the street, the crowd does the same. Arms raised to the sky in delight I am enchanted with the movement of the water... Soft. Determined. Relentless.
I am pushed from the deluge to observe from the relief of a banana palm, and find a symphony. With eyes closed to focus my hearing, I am serenaded by large droplets bouncing from the palm blades to the tune of the breeze, in contrast to the jumping chorus of heavy droplets dashed against the earth around my feet, and the whisper of smaller sprays bouncing off the leaves in neighboring trees.
Not to be outdone by water, the trees call out with their rustle. Curious, my eyes open to allow me to see the storm through their dance.
Rounded boughs, opening and closing as they strain to catch the breeze.
Straight fingered branches pointing and directing, doing the winds bidding.
Tall Ficus branches, nodded heads leaning in as if to share a secret.
Blue lightening arches the skies, bringing a wider focus. The shout of the storm on tin roofing, and overflow waterfalls reigning downwards onto the patterned concrete sidewalks. In the showers I wander the paths under the trees in the bird sanctuary, and I spare a thought to the parrots no doubt hunkered down against the elements. A storm mist accompanies me as I move under thatch roofing, which has a notable silence contrasting the elements whipping around it.
Faster now, wetter, the trees shouting their messages to me as I try to gain their meaning. Loudly the storm roars a directive and the wind pushes her encouragement as I move quickly from garden to street, where the bodies press tightly together in revelation.
Sheets of rain give their blessing to an overwhelming press of bodies rejoicing in the roadway. The heart stopping beat of the music commands the crowd, and Uva liquor makes its rounds up and down the street, elevating spirits and multiplying the intensity of the crowd.
Joy and exultation. Slick, wet bodies, sending water flying skyward as dancers gyrate. Arms raised in homage to the cleaving of elemental forces. Wind. Water. Sound. Spirit.
So much joy and energy... I am swept away into the one of the crowd. How can one not be?
Later, standing in the garden the sky rumbles more softly, as though clearing its throat after a long song, and the flashes in the night now seem more a backdrop spot, etching the horizon into a memory. The garden spirits are quieter now that the battle between earth, air and water has given way to the receipt of nourishment after a long, hot day.
How I do love a good storm, and this one has been outstanding. I am electrified, amplified, compelled to experience and record.
Above me she speaks again... she is not yet done with me.