Sunday, 7 March 2010

Such interesting people

It is fascinating the variety of people you meet when traveling. I spent part of the day yesterday having coffee and conversation with an older man from Germany and a much younger Texan. The former was a dreamer, schemer and /or visionary... but not much in the way of actual application skills. The Texan was looking to start a business, fast money, not quite a redneck... but had some very hard to swallow ideas about race and sexual orientation, among others.

Very good examples of why having just a little information can be dangerous.

After breakfast this morning I got chatting with a couple of businessmen from Lima, friends of Cindys` dad, and was promptly invited to join in on a planned trip to a small village nearby. We all pile into truck... 4 fully latin men, a french expat and me... sole Canadian and sole estrogen based unit.

Got to tell you, it was quite a ride. Great bunch of guys, but guys nonetheless and it was interesting. I was quite looking forward to observing them in action for the day... however after a short walk and easy river crossing we ended up at the riverside house of a friend, with many male & female friends in residence. Robbed of the chance for very interesting blog material.

I had met several of the people there in my time in Tarapoto, but it was neat to see them all in one place... very hippy like in attire and manner, but young. They were all there to celebrate the housewarming of this lovely open air jungle abode. Bio friendly with composting toilet and spring fed water.

I talked to a couple of young entrepreneurs who harvest / distribute various superfoods through their company based in Oregon. They were not just friends but also business associates with the owner of this new property, who himself is in the process of setting up a company to export pure sacha inchic butter. Using fair trade harvest from the local indigenous people, he hopes to encourage the end of clearing of forests in the area. Sitting with an interesting group of young people, setting their lives up while also contributing to the ongoing effort to try and promote living off the jungle. Excellent company.

See who you meet when you park yourself in a place for a while?

A ride back in the truck. We are now 5 men, 4 women and two very large dogs. I wonder what the roadside fine would be back home for this? 8 seatbelt free passengers (sole canadian being lawful, of course), 4 of which were sitting on the sides of the pickup box. Not IN the back, but sitting on the edges as we springboarded all over the rutted, dirt road, and then down the highway back into town. I kept looking back in disbelief... I couldn`t understand how they hadn`t all been tossed off.

Came back to chill and chat with the gent from France... interesting parenting conversations. Also discussed was his connection to a local chocolate factory (I mentioned it in one of my earlier blogs), and the work that is being done through them.

Next round went to a couple of young lawyers who are in South America with an international organization trying to launch lawsuits against the Peruvian Government on behalf of rainforest dwellers. One is for an apparently appalling 90plus percent rate of Hep B in some communities (no health care whatsoever), and the other is in response to the widespread environmental contamination as a result of the oil industry here.

Dinner conversation was lively as I sat with one of the employees of the family restaurant... Juan Carlos is sweet, and the conversation covered our families, work, food, earthquakes and Canada... we did ok given his limited english and my limited spanish.

Tomorrow I will try to reconnect with Millie, get my sandals back to the point where they might last my final couple of weeks, and maybe do some stone hopping up the river.

I have an invite from Cindy to go "to the land" this week. Their family is in the process of setting up a 3500 hectare nature reserve, and it is apparently stunning. So I suppose the anti-malarials should get started again. Arequipa is not looking likely at this point, but then with me who knows?

Bet you didn`t know I could be so social, did you?


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