THE DAY Tues 8/17/09
My husband and I have come to Amazonia to visit with our daughter and some Shipibo people. We are living in leaf-thatched huts on stilts in a small clearing in the jungle, a 10-minute walk from the Ucayali, one of the main tributaries of the Amazon, about an hour by boat from Pucallpa. Our day is very short. It begins at dawn (around 5-6) when we finally decide we’ve had enough rest and crawl out of our hut. We do our things, mostly eating, healing ceremonies, meditation, and sitting around talking. Then as it gets close to sunset, around 5 or 6, we clean up camp, retire into our huts and into our mosquito nets.
You want to be in your net when the mosquitos come. You can hear them come, an insistent whining from the jungle around us, a voracious presence rising from the damp forest floor. During the day there are mosquitos, but at night there are MOSQUITOS. After 2 or 3 hours, the mosquitos settle down a bit and you can climb out of bed if you don’t put on a light to attract them. If not, and you stay in your bed, you have 12 hours to read, sleep, journal, or meditate. It is an enforced retreat, and nothing like it for recovery from busy-ness.