An old man slowly sits next to me. His back is painfully bended forward and almost forms the shape of half a moon. With great effort he lifts up his head as far as he can to greet me. His face is deeply wrinkled by the many years of intense sun in this altitude. “Buenos dias mi hija.” (Good morning my child) he says with his toothless smile. “Buenos dias señor.” Even though I was used to the fact that elderly people would apply to me as their child, it still felt uncomfortable to reply with the common `Papi` or `Mami`. With a firm sip I try to suck the last bit of juice out of my glass. I sneak over the counter to see if the lady has a bit more left in the blender. There is, at least enough for another glass. I put on my charming best and do the trick I`ve seen other with Peruvians.
Tables have been turned again. After weeks, excuse me, months of being totally happy and in balance with myself. The little devil inside me has popped his head around the corner again. Fed by being homesick, I long to my trusty regular, comfy life back home. Spiced up with the condiments of fear and doubt about the future. Enjoying my current life I am eating through my savings, but will there be a job to level it up. And if yes, what kind of job?
“Hola, como estas jovenes?” An elderly men is descending the hill towards us. His arm spread wide like a Jesus statue and around his neck a cross. He`s only one black and white outfit away from looking like a priest. Sweat drops make their way down from my forehead towards my jaw. After our jungle tour we wanted to see a bit more from the Amazon. Puerto Nariño, a small ecovillage, a two hour boat from Leticia, appeared to be our Mekka. We walk up the muddy hill. It`s challenging us. With flip-flops, a backpack on my back and a smaller version on my front it`s not an easy task, especially considering the insane high temperature and the equally insane humidity. Juan, the hostel owner, shows us around. The dorm, the kitchen, the doors that everybody had to keep shut to keep the monkey`s outside, the parrots, the cats, the dogs. It`s a true Zoo. The atmosphere is laid back. Everything is possible. We settle into the dorm which appeared to be our own private gigantic bedroom for the next couple of days. During dusk, we say goodbye to the sun, which says goodbye to us in return by leaving an impressive coloring above the jungle when it sets down behind the horizon.
After a burn-out it was time for a change. I quit my job, sold my stuff and bought a one-way ticket to the Dominican Republic. What was supposed to be a 4 month adventure turned into 2,5 years and counting......
Photo by: Vanessa Marques Barreto