Saturday, March 25, 2006

packing for the amazon!

I leave for the Peruvian Amazon Sunday for ten days. My fanny pack contains a roll of toilet paper, a pen, a CD player, and chocolate: essentials! :) I studied rainforest ecology in Australia in the early 1990s, and have seen rainforests in Mexico and Costa Rica, but this is The Amazon. Larger than life. I can't wait.

I'm going for an article I'm writing and my best friend Daline is coming with me before spending 6 months in a Buddhist monastery. She is so cool - upon leaving Moab, she got rid of everything she owned that could not fit into her truck. Wow. It reminds me of how Jesus told the rich man the way to receive the kingdom of heaven is to get rid of everything he owned. Which he couldn't do... but Daline, bless her heart, could and did. Such a brave and wonderful person she is.

Re our Amazon adventure: I love that after 12 hours of commercial flights, we have to drive twelve hours on a road that you can only drive on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays and the return direction on alternate days... Then there's a six-hour boat float down the river and finally we arrive at the Yine Lodge (, a community-based tourism project where a Dutch biologist and her Peruvian husband have taught the indigenous Yine Indians how to run a tourist project which they will ultimately take over within ten years. The Yine wear Western clothing but still hunt and subsist from the rainforests' bounty. I hope to also see another indigenous Machiguenga village, which is in quite a different state than the Yine.

So this will be the next in the adventures of the lemonhead sistas. First the Bahamas, now the Amazon! Daline & I met when we drove together to do a beach cleanup on Matagorda Island with Texas Environmental Action Coalition when we were both at Texas A&M. We're both scientists, environmentalists, spiritual beings, adventurers! soul sistas! Wish us luck and send your prayers our way. I'll report back when I return, April 6.

I leave you all with this beautiful and brilliant quote from author William Faulkner!

"I decline to accept the end of man. It is easy enough to say that man is immortal simply because he will endure: that when the last ding-dong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny inexhaustible voice, still talking. I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail.

He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet's, the writer's, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past. The poet's voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail."

-- WILLIAM FAULKNER, address upon receiving the Nobel Prize for literature, Stockholm, Sweden, December 10, 1950.

1 comment:

David said...

have fun!!