Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Our Amazon Voyage - More Daily Details - Continued

Thursday (continued)
Thursday afternoon was our visit to a shaman or maestro. The shaman's home had been flooded out and the village mayor took us to the home that was hosting the shaman until the waters receded. All 25 of us, plus both our guides, packed ourselves into a room that ended up being hot with no breeze. For some of us, including myself, it was a difficult hour. Towards the end I was beginning to feel queasy and I thought it was the shaman's smoke (see video) but once outside Jerry insisted I drink some water (I was soaking wet). That took care of the queasiness ... I was getting dehydrated.

Johnny, one of our naturalist guides, explained what the shaman does. There were samples of plants and roots curing in bottles and they were passed around for us to smell. There was no question that Johnny thoroughly believes in the shaman's skills. (He and Segundo, our other naturalist guide, will be spending several months with the shaman to transcribe his knowledge into a book.)

After the explanations, and a question and answer time, the shaman blessed Johnny and each of us received the same blessing as the shaman worked his way around the room.

As we started to leave the village, the mayor came after us in his boat. He had almost forgotten to show us something.

He had found a baby capybara in the jungle ... apparently its mother had been killed ... and he was raising it in his home. It was placed in the bottom of our skiff and, because it was no longer going to be returned to the jungle, we were allowed to handle it. I have seen them full grown and they aren't very attractive but, like any animal, the baby was adorable.

That night we had a power point presentation on the geographical diversity of Peru.

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