Location: The Amazon Rainforest, Ecuador
This morning we were allowed to wake up an hour later than usual. Once everyone was seated for breakfast, we were served our usual eggs, but there was a twist. We enjoyed a traditional Amazonian breakfast by the name of majado with plantains, eggs, beans and a side of homemade peanut sauce. We finished our meal and headed down to the canoes for a luxurious ride across the Amazonian River to Hector’s Monkey Island. Our guide, Hector, grabbed two spears, as well as one blowpipe for us to train with. We went to a nearby sandbar in the middle of the river to learn how to shoot with these native weapons. It was hard to learn but several of us got the hand of it rather quickly.
Instead of hardcore training, we decided to begin a contest; the teams being boys vs. girls. Only a few were skilled enough to actually hit the target; a gigantic lemon. Those few included myself (not to brag), Ryan, Orlando and Josh. Since there were mostly boys who hit the target, they came out with the 3 to 1 victory. We began another contest, however, this time we used spears that Hector had made himself. Throughout the whole contest Ryan was the only one to fully hit a banana tree stump, which was our second target. At the end, we decided to have a challenge of who could throw the spear the farthest, out of about 24 people Tommy launched the spear the farthest out of everyone even Hector, managing to win a free T-Shirt.
After a great time, we headed back to the canoe in order to drop off the spears and blowpipe, and continued to go on a short tour of his medicinal garden of amazing and very useful plants and vegetables at the island. His garden contained plants such as stinging nettle, cinnamon and sour cane. We learn that all of these things can be useful for surviving in the jungle. Towards the end of the tour, Hector found a shell and explained to us how it can be used as a phone to communicate with others in the jungle.
After the tour, Hector allowed us to buy some T-Shirts that would contribute to funding Amazon conservation efforts.
The amazon has been a challenge, but everyone had fun and learned a lot. Hector had so much to teach and he shared the documentary he produced for BBC about the Anaconda. Tomorrow we get ready to leave so we can start heading to the Galapagos!