8 Cuauc (storm) 12.19.16..0.19
It has been 14 days since I arrived here in Peru. So far it has been filled with many highs, and a few lows revolving around misplaced luggage in Lima, and just total physical and mental exhaustion. All in all it has been an incredibly awarding experience thus far and this is only the very tip of the iceberg.
It took nearly 36 hours to arrive in Iquitos from Philadelphia. I had layovers in Ft. Lauderdale, Bogota' Colombia, and Lima, Peru. I packed all I would need for now into 2 carry-on bags and even used vacuum sealed bags for my clothes so that I could bring twice as many. I wanted to avoid feed for checking the bags and not have to wrry about getting delayed or the bags being lost. Before I got on the plane to Colombia, however, I was told that they were only allowing 1 carry-on per person, to be placed at the feet, because the flight was so for. Naturally, the bag did not make it to Iquitos when I did! And to boot the flight was cancelled an I had to spend 13 weary hours in the Lima airport. I had been up for almost 2 days straight and they bright, unnatural fluorescent lighting made for difficult napping. I did manage a few cat naps which helped.
I spent the night in Iquitos before departing for what will be my primary new home, Villa de Jenaro Hererra, which lies on the banks of the Ucayali River soome 300 km's upstream and to the south of Iquitos. It is a beautiful village spanning a few square miles and surrounded by unspoiled jungle on 3 sides and dotted with several farms. It is home to 5000 people although you would never imagine that many dwelled here--everything is so nicely spread out. I live at the Chinchilejo Lodge, which is Infinite Light Peru's main hub. Chinchilejo means 'dragonfly' in Quechua, which is the language of the ancient Inka Empire and still spoken by many modern day Peruvian groups. Spanish, of course, is the national Language. Less than a 5 minute walk from the lodge leads to a rainforest trail lead into a living, breathing pharmacy. Also nearby is a deep creek for swimming spanned by a Templ of Doom style bridge. I had planned on fix the bridge, since it is great spot to jump in, but only a few days after my idea many of the locals where already making repairs and laying down fresh boards. It only goes to show how the energy of your mind can quickly manifest things here. The rainforest is a place of your dreams. Magic is real... in fact, it is all that is real in the universe. Despite the west's best efforts it lives on here and is the ruler. Pachamama is the queen--Mother Earth.
I have returned to Iquitos for a week and will head back with the next group to Jenaro on monday. I have been sleeping here in Iquitos, but for the the remainder of the weekend will be staying in the much more trranquil Villa Padre Coche. In Iquitos the buses and little mototaxis zip around constantly like when Frank Dux is in Hong King in the movie Bloodsport. The programs last 9 days and then there is the option for me as an apprentic to return to Iquitos on Luco's long boat, which gets us there in about 3 hoursw depending on the currents. We are in the rainy season and it rains most days but not all day long usually, although the nights a generally cloudy which is frustrating because I hope to start monitoring and charting the night skies. To earn some cash I draw and creat Mayan Calendar and astrological charts for people, and teach private English classes or tutor. My official English classes in JH (Jenaro Hererra) will began next week and will be held on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays; 2 classes per day at 10 Am and 3 PM, with a office hour after each so people can ask questions and receive extra help.
Today I am putting in a shift here at the Cyber Cafe because it is the first day where i have the brain fuel to write. Later, i will be setting up a stand in Plaza Del Armas, the main town square, to sell my fine wares ;)
I will check in again before I leave on Monday, and hopefully will be able to post photos. My camera charger and USB cable is in the bag that got help up somewhere between Bogota and Lima. I have a slew of pics already!