I’m not through with you just yet Friday, Mar 19 2010 

So for my own bookkeeping purposes I’m going to continue this blog.  Any notion that I even went to South America seems like a dream– it’s too bad that things we leave in the past can’t be recalled fully in the present. I want to remember exactly what it felt like to squish muddied clay roads under my toes; I want to once again pick the ticks of a loyal street dog.

I’m also left wondering about these people that so fleetingly passed in and out of my lives, staying just long enough for me to fall in love with them as my brother, sister, friend, only to disappear from my life. What became of the children that I so often doodled with on 30-hour bus rides? How is Don Pancho doing? His mighty 99-year-old self may have 10 years left to chop wood and stew Ayahuasca.

Unrecorded memories of South America keep making their way into my brain, and now, a year (?!) after my departure I’m trying to record in web-permanence some memories that I have yet to write down on paper.

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To begin, here’s an essay that I recently wrote about my time in South America.

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Times like these made me feel so grateful to be in South America. The clouds licked at our faces and obscured our bodies, huddled in a warm mass under a gigantic wool blanket. Just a few hours before I had been waiting impatiently for a bus to show up in the town square of Ollantaitambo, a small town in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Across the cobblestone road I watched as a little old lady athletically hopped under the tarp of a mighty, 20-foot-tall produce truck; my heart quickened, and I knew that I had to hitch a ride if I could. Yellow backpack in tow, I asked the driver if he was headed to Santa Maria. He looked at me with shock and awe, as if to say “Are you crazy? You want to ride with us?”

Here’s the cast: one tiny old woman, perfectly wise and kind; a little girl, quiet and spunky; the uncle that still hasn’t gotten married, and the big, grumpy aunt that makes everyone laugh and shake their heads, smiling. The next twelve hours were spent in joyful community; each Quechua song that the little old lady would teach me was returned by my singing her one from The Beatles. As our little engine- that- could chugged ever higher up the treacherous pass, the frosty mountain air made the hairs rise on the back of my dust-caked neck. My socked feet were cemented to my hiking boots, (which might as well have been mud-pies.)  And I couldn’t have been loving it more, sitting on top of potatoes and beans stacked 6-parcels high in the back of a produce truck.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what gives this memory its symbolic value. Maybe it’s that hitching a ride in rural Peru gave me a sense of divine freedom that comes with experiencing something completely unfamiliar. Maybe it’s that I lived for these sorts of experiences, the memories that could never have been created if I were at university or if I were part of a guided, expensive tourist group. My decision to take a year off to work, save money, and embark on an unplanned, self-funded three month adventure through South America has been essential in helping me realize that I had been looking in all the wrong places for spiritual and philosophical inspiration, that God can be found as much in the smiles of strangers as in the mist surrounding clouded mountains.

In my hometown I was disturbed by the common expectation that one should sacrifice freedom for the sake of normalcy, and I quickly grew restless and felt the need to explore the world. In this way, my decision to journey alone to South America was an effort to right myself spiritually. I expected to be enlightened in a way that could give guidance to the years in college that lay ahead; what I found was that my adventure broke down the Western notion of independent enlightenment, and replaced it with one that is distinctly communal. In South America I did not find the kind of self-serving “enlightenment” that many associate with travel. Instead, I was surprised to have this expectation of a lonely journey for truth, so familiar to Western youth, destroyed by memories like my ride in a produce truck. South America never failed to turn on its head my expectation of an existential journey for truth—I now laugh at this concept and its inherent self-pity. In the United States, I found humans beleaguered by their routines; in my iconoclastic search for self-definition, I was among them.

In South America I found an immediate sense of the brotherhood of mankind. Many things that Anglo-Saxon culture would consider uncouth—public breastfeeding, naked children, affection to strangers—were commonplace in Peru, Bolivia, Brasil and Colombia. The attitude that made all human beings equal in our common experience of life was evident everywhere in my journey.

The South America I fell in love with burst at the seams with love and celebration of life. Celebration was on the smiling lips of children running butt-naked down a muddy Amazonian road to their swimming hole. Celebration was in the loving eyes of a mother breastfeeding on a crowded bus in Bolivia. Celebration was infectious in the incessant, morning-to-midnight dancing of families and their neighbors on stoops in Colombia. I’ve learned that I want to live with a full-throttle, urgent love of life. To live with our hearts, doors, and produce trucks open to strangers is the only way to create a society in which love is the first order of importance.

back to the land i love the MOST Thursday, Jun 11 2009 

But first, a couple of things that I have yet to tell you.

 

-went to Parque Nacional Tayrona, which was beautiful. Secretly camped on a beach that happened to be infested by giant, 2-foot-wide crabs.

-saw a squid while scuba diving that changed its color and its pattern based on its surroundings- SO COOL

 

and after being lost in Barranquilla on foot for 4 hours, I finally found my way to the airport. Flew to Cali, then to Medellin, then to New York. Got here this morning at 6:30. I started smiling uncontrollably when NYC appeared below the clouds- we really live in the best place in the world. I’m psyched to be back in the States.

 

 

 

 

oh:  a very silly thing that was written about the park- http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/AmazingAnimals/story?id=7803259&page=1. The show goes on tonight, IMA GONA BE A STAR MAW! but really, this whole thing is ridiculous.

GLARRRRRRRRRRRRP colombia BLAHRRRRR Thursday, Jun 4 2009 

I´m in Colombia and I am lovin every second of it BABAY.
After a terrible 35 hour total (stopping in between) bus journey to Lima, I stayed the night and bought a plane ticket to Medellin for the next morning, at 5:50. As always, I thought to myself that 550 ain´t too bad a time to wake my lil self up, and ignored the fact that a 550 plane yields a 230 wake up time. So I cursed my ignorance and stayed up the whole night watching Benjamin Button, which was an amazing movie. This trip has been so good to me- lately I have been fascinated by death and life and everything that I´ve read and a lot of the movies I´ve seen confront those questions.

by the way, I´m nearly finished with For Whom the Bell Tolls (such a score in the book exchange) and it´s excellent.

SO, I got my little self to Medellin and immediately slapped my self across the head because I forgot my tent at my Lima hostel, cleverly hid under the bed, too cleverly hid for my poor forgetful self to remember. After 3 months of trekking around with this great burden of a tent, JUST to camp on the beach, and then to FORGET it right as I´m going to the beach? lame.

How are the people in Colombia, you say? THE BEST i´ve met in South America! So amazingly loving and friendly and trustworthy. More trustworthy than any other South Americans I´ve encountered. And that is a big deal when you´re a little lady going around solo. When I arrived in Bogotá, a kind man, a father of 5, bought me food and coffee as a surprise and sat down and talked to me about his wife and kids and politics and witchery for an hour. When I got in to Medellin, there were so many guys who went out of their ways to help me stay safe in the night time. It´s great! not to mention that everybody, strangers and family alike, calls one another ´mi amor.´ That is a healthy amount of love for a country.

But there are also some scary things about Medellin- bastánte gente loca. I was literally the only traveller I saw all day, a rare rare thing. Everyone looked at me surprised that I wasn´t scared to come here by myself. There are more homeless than I´ve seen in all my travels in Medellín, and not the kinds that you can be friends with. Lots of tarted-up junkie guys sell their bodies on the main roads at night, which is too bad, I don´t want to know what happens to them. There is also a huge population of roaming homeless, parentless children under the age of 12, their feet tarred with months of city barefootness, their mouths blistery, their faces sad. I talked to a man at my hotel about them, and he said that nobody helps them, not the government, nor the church, nor any non profit organization. I have to return and help them. They are a scary bunch, and they run in packs down the streets at night.

I left the next morning after eating a delicious bunuelo (try this if you are in a Latin neighborhood, the best fried thing you can eat for breakfast, ever). The bus to Santa Marta was 16 hours of rolling green, fluffy, voluptuous colombian mountains sprinkled with cows. Lots of men dressed in suits of ammo and automatic guns roam the streets.

I´m going to miss South American bus rides. There´s always one old lady and one little kid that I become best friends with, without fail. At the end, when we part, the most we can give to each other is saying that we love the other and telling them to take care of themselves mucho.

SO, I got to Santa Marta in the middle of the night, and me and this funny little lady of 60 years searched near and far for a hotel, except –>I<– knew where it was all the while, and she kept on insisting no, no, and ringing the doorbells of poor families at 2 am. It was a laugh. We shared a bed in the hotel to save money, this stranger lady and I. She was a great character in her shiny black heels.

THEN I immediately went to Taganga, 45 minutes outside the city of Santa Marta. It´s a tiny fishing village where the waves roll slowly and the donkeys pull carts along the dirt roads. Every day I engorge my belly with cup after cup of all varieties of fruit juice. Ones to note: Tomates del Arból, tree tomatoes, that taste unlike anything I´ve ever tried, very delicious. Also, Zapote, Carambola, Maracujá (passion fruit). It´s the lamest thing about where I live, the lack of fruit. Our variety of native fruits is no good.

I WENT SCUBA DIVING TODAY! It was completely amazing! So exhausting! I freaked out when I got to the bottom, because my brain was telling me that I shouldn´t be able to breathe under water. This messed with my heart rate and my breathing was stressed. After that it was all smooooth sailing. The fish are SO COOL, they don´t give a crap that you are swimming right up in to their business, they just carry on. They are so graceful and beautiful. My dive instructor was hitting on me SO HARD in such a smooth latino way- he kept on holding my hand under the water, which I at first thought was regular dive procedure, but came to find that it was just part of his strategy. Distracting to have a colombian man caressing my hand exessively while I´m trying to soak in the wonders of life under water!

I spent the whole night yesterday drinking 75 cent beers and pulling ticks off of this cute little dog with cocked ears. I think he´s sick because for hours he sits in one place and looks out smiling, tilting his head, looking at the goings on about town. He doesn´t even flinch for the girl dog who´s in heat, who has literally 20 or so boy dogs chasing her around in triangular formation, head mate dog in front, dog who´s not gon´tap that at the back. He´s a cute dog. I wish I could take him home with me, but instead I just slip him my leftovers. We have some sort of understanding.

apologies for making this so long, but I must tell you this hilarious thing. There are two black sheep wandering around the beach, seemingly following me everywhere I go! What are they doing here?! None of the locals know what brought them here. There´s DEFINITELY no grass to munch on. They are probably spying on us humans and plotting a revolt.

That´s all for now. I head to Parque Nacional Tayrona Friday, after I get certified for diving.

http://travel.nytimes.com/2007/11/11/travel/11Explorer.html?scp=1&sq=tayrona%20park&st=cse

Love, blessings to all.

OH! Monday, May 25 2009 

thanks to everyone who wished me a happy birthday! I had a really good night of jungle adventuring. i feel so ancient! what happened to bloody knees, ice cream cake, guinea pigs with ribbons and turning double digits! damn

leaving a place, once again Monday, May 25 2009 

It always seems that once I start calling a place home, I have to leave! I had to force myself to leave Parque Ambue Ari the other day. My love for that place is all about the cockroach-infested hay mattresses, the 2 pieces of bread I get for breakfest, freezing cold showers after sweating in the rainforest all day, waking up at sunrise to birds and monkeys all around my cabin and the late nights with candles spent playing Israeli card games. I love it ALL! Life is exhausting, but so deliciously good in its exhaustion.

A couple of days ago I got to spend some time with puma triplets. Pumas are the most athletic big cats of the Americas. They have the perfect tail for balance, and so they are very graceful when they run incredibly fast or jump great distances. These puma triplets were rescued from a market in the Bolivian altiplano. They were raised by humans from the time they were little babies, so they are very affectionate. I can´t believe I was so blessed that I had the opportunity to cuddle with a 60 kilo puma sitting on my lap. They were in heat, so they were screaming all day at the top of their lungs and all they wanted was love from me.

On my last day at work I got to walk a jaguar named Amira through the forest! Amira is a baby jag, one and a half years old, that was rescued from a wealthy Lebanese family who were involved with drug trafficking in Bolivia. Nothing could have prepared me for how incredibly striking she is! I turned a corner on the path through the woods and seeing her took my breath away. I can´t believe how incredibly beautiful she is. Amira  is about 70 kilos, hugely powerful and muscular, but a huge sucker for a belly rub. She´s a lover, not a fighter! All day she lazily groomed me with her spikey tongue and nuzzled my side. Amira is also the only cat at the park that swims underwater.  She has really endearing antics- when she first decides to get in the water, she is uneasy about getting her paws wet and tests the temperature like a baby. Once she´s in, she tumbles around and somersaults with joy. There is a wooden raft in the lagoon with her that she´s really afraid of for no reason. She swims a huge circle around it, looking at it fearfully,  just to get out of the water.

Hilarious thing about jaguars- did you know that after jaguars poop, they sprint and jump out of the forest? Nobody can explain why, but all jags do it. It´s hilarious, and when Amira sprints,  she carries she drags two men behind her attached to a rope.

I hiked a tiny mountain two nights ago to get a good view of the surrounding forest. I saw an incredibly lush explosion of green living things, but I also saw terrible things. The park in which I was working is a small oasis of protected forest. the rest is up for grabs for ground-burning farmers and clear cutting. Every year the forest around here is less and less, and nobody with any real power does anything about it. The only people protecting the land are the small social entrepreneurs who work years and years to secure a small piece of land to protect. It´s a terrible situation. There is good money in the clear-cutting business, and much demand from western countries to buy the fine woods that are found here.

I was hitch hiking the other day with two men who worked in the clear-cutting business. You really can´t hate these guys, because they are really hard workers and really love their land. They just don´t have time to think about conservation. An 18 wheeler completely full of planks of wood passed, and I asked them how many trees they needed to cut down to produce one bus load of wood. They said that they needed to cut 24 trees, a meter in diameter, to produce that much. They are cutting the oldest trees in the forest, and in the place of these trees, banana leaves grow like weeds all over the place! The wood industry is not sustainable, and it´s getting worse every year as demand from the United States increases. Much of the furniture that we buy in common stores in the United States sells wood that is either illegally or legally cut down in the jungles of South America. To everybody- please make sure that you know where your wood is coming from. It´s such a shame to sit by the side of a south american highway and see huge trucks full of ancient, 8-feet-in-diameter trees speeding down at all hours. It´s really, really a shame.

Anyways, I´m really sad to leave, and I reccommend this place to ANYONE who wants to really experience the jungle. This is a spectacular landscape, and I wouldn´t have done it any other way. I am in Villa Tunari right now, on a wild goose chase for a letter that my family sent me. Looks like it´s not here! oh well. I´m off to La Paz hopefully tomorrow, and after that, Lima. I think I´m gonna be flying to Colombia, I have an (unfortunately) EXTREMELY short stay there. Everyone I have met in my travels says that Colombia is way way better than all the countries they´ve ever been to. I guess I´m gonna have to come back!

something to contemplate

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTE-b6aRKTE

doin´that thang Thursday, May 21 2009 

hello everybody!

I´m closing up my time in Bolivia. how unfortunate! Bolivia is a GREAT place. I love it here. I head to Lima this weekend i think, and I might take a flight to Medellin if I can afford it. I want to go up to the north of Colombia as quickly as possible so I can get my diving license.

So what IS NEW with me? I got egged today because it is my birthday. That was cool, except I don´t have any soap or shampoo because they were stolen, so I have little elastic bits of egg white all over me. I guess one has  to be egged SOME time in their life, though. My ocelot is in heat again. She is very affectionate and temperamental. I awoke her from her hours-long nap in the sun the other day because I was flanked by mosquitoes on all sides, and she attacked! but it´s all good, because she´s pretty small and she only bruised me badly.

OH, by the way, ABC filmed a Nightline special at Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi while I was there. It will air sometime in the next couple of weeks; they´re trying to make the park seem like a tourist attraction for adrenalin junkies, which it is not. They might have me on tape singing a song to my cat, but I have no idea.

I CANT WAIT TO GO RELAX ON THE BEACH! I am exhausted from life in the jungle. Today I carried a huge bag of bricks for a mile through knee-deep mud and water, no hands free to kill all the mosquitoes that were gladly and selfishly sucking my blood! I am so pooped.

My brain is fried. I´m gonna have to fill this in at a later date, because I can´t think of anything interesting to say.

i love all of you,

caroline

greetings earthlings Saturday, May 16 2009 

hello

I am in an internet café in guarayos, bolivia at the moment. for about two weeks now i´ve been taking care of an obese ocelot named Lazy Cat. We burn lard every morning on a jungle trail. EXCEPT, it´s not so sweet now because the other day she shat out 3 intestinal parasites! I do not want these in mah belly. So I´m not giving her so much love! 😦 All day I am bored out of my mind without a cat to play with, and there are too many mosquitos to ever be sitting still, so I can´t read or write. Usually I go exploring the jungle, trying to climb trees only to discover many varieties of stinging ants. I like chopping lots of things with my machete, singing Beatles songs to my cat, trying to sing the guitar solos. I pass hours and hours following huge lines of thousands of marching ants, trying to figure out what they are doing. I think they just march because they don´t know what else to do!

Yesterday I had a good day, 8 hours straight of bordome yielded one long, brilliant green poisonous snake, and an ant war. (giant black one with huge-ass pincers versus quick stinging red ant, it was a draw). Another let-down (or not?!!) is that there is a huge wild male jaguar roaming around camp. For three days in a row now I´ve heard him grunting (it’s this sort of deep, infrasonic, mighty, guttural noise) about 50 yards away from me, somewhere in the forest. Too bad they have perfect camouflage and are quiet as hell when they stalk things! otherwise I would have more peace of mind while I am off exploring the jungle. So basically I just stay in one place, near my cat´s cage, because my soft human flesh is surely delicious.

Also- a giant fire ant was latched on to my cat´s leash, so i chopped its stinging body off from its head so that it wouldn´t get us: the body stayed alive for 2 hours, stinging MADLY away at the air, the ground, anything really. In a social experiment of sorts I put the headless body in the middle of the marching line of ants to see how they would react. Some tried to eat it, others tried to help it, but in the end they just altered their path slightly so they could avoid this unpleasant distraction to their hard work. How telling!

AND! the birds! I love them! there are a ton of parrots on camp. They are so intelligent. I sing to them every morning and they are such a good audience. They all gather in one corner right next to me and start dancing, which means the move their little feathery bodies up and down to the beat of the song. It´s really cute. The macaws are the biggest fans of singing. They´re so smart! Whenever I am walking towards them, I can hear them practicing language together- Hola! What´s up! Hello! Cool! Yo! Nooken in the Cooken! (sex in the kitchen in Dutch) and then when they realize that I´m passing, they stop talking and start screeching inarticulately. It´s so hilarious! this happens without fail every day. They speak with each other perfectly in various languages, and then when there are people in sight, they feign stupidity. I think they are secretly plotting a total human takeover.

PS: sorry about the lack of photos, I promise I will put them on the internet somehow, even though I am returning home very soon. I just can´t find a good way to do it, and I´m never on the internet!

Çómíng home June 10th

-Have had only one shower a week since March 12th

-I need to get to Barranquilla, Colombia by the end of may, but flights from Lima to Colombia are all several hundred dollars. I may have to travel by bus for one week without stopping, which will SUCK big time!

LOVE TO ALL

bye

life in the jungle Saturday, May 9 2009 

so, i´ve been staying in a cabin in the middle of the jungle here in bolivia for a week now. I was working with a BEAUTIFUL ocelot named vanesso, but he hated my guts! he would full-force attack me and try to end my life all the time. So the switched me with this other girl, and now i´m working with an obese, affetctionate ocelot named lazycat. She´s in heat, and she´s so exhaustingly horny all the time that she won´t walk more than 3 meters without resting for 10 minutes. Apparently my old ocelot really loves the new volunteer. I wonder why he didn´t like me?

Life here is tiring! it´s emotionally frustrating to work with these cats. we get up at dawn every morning and go to bed late after many games of chess or cards.  AND, there are  SO MANY different kinds of cool bugs to look at! All the time you see ants of all different shapes and sizes organizing themselves or building something incredible. They have such civil societies! On my walks with my cat I have seen butterflies with clear wings, insects that look exactly like leaves and twigs, and all sorts of different kinds of mosquitos. I´m bitten all over, but apparently during the wet season there is a record of a man slapping his arm and killing 40 mosquitoes in one go! damn!

There are tarantulas everywhere! two nights ago I had one in my bed, under my mosquito net with me while I was sleeping. I also saw one the size of a man´s hand with the fingers crawling around my bed. They are really nice creatures, though. They won´t hurt me.

SO MANY MONKEYS! every day I see at least 15 on my walks with my cat. Capuchin monkeys follow me and my cat everywhere, singnaling warnings to their family and sometimes making weapons to throw at us. There are really cute tiny little spider monkeys too. The best monkey, though, is Marocha the spider monkey who lives on camp with us. She spends her entire day being a bully. She chases wild pigs around and pulls out their legs so they fall over, and steals candy from the kitchen and gets high on sugar. She´s so cute and really manipulative!

The wild pigs are supposed to be the most dangerous animals in the jungle. A pack of wild pigs can kill a jaguar. They´re really vicious.

What else should I tell you? EVERYONE here has some sort of gross health issue. Most people working with the jaguars have jungle fungus that goes all over their feet and up to their knees. One girl got Bora-Bora, which is when you make the mistake of wearing wet clothing (impossible to avoid this) and then somehow a week or two later a caterpillar hatches out of your skin. I do not want to get Bora-Bora.

For fun people go to the next town and listen to the minimal selection of songs on the juke box, which is pretty much limited to reggaeton, 90s hits, and michael jackson. we also drink terrible alcohol, suc/h as potable, which is rubbing alcohol that is safe to drink (hence it´s name, which means ´drinkable.´) This is 190 proof straight alcohol that practically turns to gas when it hits your tongue. It doesn´t even feel like you´re drinking anything! It´s a strange sensation. I don´t get obscenely drunk down here, though, because it´s money that I´ll never see again that I need for further traveling.

I miss you guys! I have to go get cash from the western union. I will see you soon. My birthday´s coming up! I will have survived against all odds for 19 years on the 21st.

have a american springtime, i can´t believe i´m missing it

caroline

ps. happy mother´s day to my MOM! I love you mom! you´re the best!

HEY YOU Monday, May 4 2009 

Hey people of the world, I´m gonna be without access to internet for the next few weeks while I work with animals at Comunidad Inti Yara Wassi. They were psyched that I came because there is an ocelot named vanesso who hates men  and needs a friend. I felt gypped at first because I think huge animals are much sweeter, but then I said to myself, SELF: what are you complaining about? life is good!

i´ll see you guys later!

caroline

Uyuni! Sunday, May 3 2009 

By the way, I uploaded a picture of the old house in Potosí, but it ended up in a place called ´the gallery.´I had no idea I had a gallery! Damn! Fancy! If you can find it, then that´s great. I have no idea where it is.

SO, I took a tour. I felt like such a yuppie tourist! But it´s all good because I would have never survived on my own. We left to Uyuni on the night bus from Potosí to save the 4 dollars we would have spent on a night in a hostal. Stupid frugal us! turns out that it gets to be below freezing in Uyuni during the night. I spent the entire time on the bus colder than I´ve ever been in my life.

Uyuni looks like it´s a town out of an old west movie. It´s got a main road with railroad tracks through the middle, dust in the air, and brick buildings and desert for miles, and that is IT! It exists pretty much for the thousands of tourists that stream through it to see the neighboring salt lake.

The salt lake in Uyuni is the largest in the world. It´s bigger than the Netherlands! It´s so close to the sun and the sun just bounces right off of it, so it´s also really bright. My instincts were telling me that it was ice as we drove over it at high speeds in our jeep. The floor of the Salar is patterned in pentagons and hexagons of salt. It´s really a remarkable place. I wonder what the ancient people thought when they stumbled over here with their horses. They must have thought something crazy created this huge, white world of salt.

We woke up at 4:30 every morning to fit in our jam-packed tourist schedule! We got to see a lot. The landscape here is striking. The desert is paradoxically full of coral and volcanic rock. It is the strange shapes in this desert that inspired some of Dalí´s paintings (according to our guide, I don´t know if this is true). It is like another planet. The most abundant plant here is a giant bubble of moss-like plant that takes thousands of years to grow. The green of this plant is so alive that it looks out of place in this driest of deserts.

There are hundreds of lagoons that are different colors- turquoise, dark green, pink, red- covered by dusty desert mountains on all sides, and full of hot pink flamingos. The whole place is a trip. The landscape makes no sense!

My favorite place of all was the city of rock, which is a 20 km long stretch of volcanic rock that has been carved in to odd shapes by thousands of years of rain. Inside the vast stretch of rock are pockets of green oasis paridises where the animals aren´t scared of humans and the water is pure and blue.

Immediately after returning from Uyuni, I left for Ascensión de Guarayos (where I currently write). Yesterday morning at dawn I witnessed a really scary robbery! Two young men smashed the windshield of a car and put all of a family´s belongings inside. The family ran outside and tried to block the car with their bodies, but the two guys almost ran over the mom! I couldn´t believe how terrifying it was to see this go down right in front of me, to hear the screams of the mother who was trying to fight back for a portion of their livelihood.

Yesterday I also got food poisoning from the mystery meat that I ate on the road! For the entire 14 hour bus ride it felt like switch blades were having a drunken party around my whole body. I started hallucinating that a hat I had bought had a curse attached to it that was bringing me pain. I hope that it was only a hallucination!

Alright- today I leave for the middle of the jungle. I won´t have contact with any electricity for the next three weeks or so, so I don´t think I´ll be able to keep in touch! Send me all of your good thoughts until then!

All my lovin´

caroline

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