Today was our “river day.” We were able to sleep in a little after our long bus ride yesterday and following a delicious breakfast we set out to explore the Rio Napo in motorized canoes.
The weather stayed true to the nature of the region (i.e. rainforest) so our river trip was even wetter than usual, especially for the folks in the front of the boat! The trip was also more exciting than usual given the swollen river and strong currents that the canoes had to traverse, and we all have a new respect for the drivers of the canoes! We were able to experience the culture and our surroundings through our stops along the river. Our first stop was the “Amazoonico” an amimal rescue that takes in injured and trafficked animals and seeks to rehabilitate them and return them to their natural habitats. We saw so many of God’s creatures that are unique to this area such as tapirs, macaws and several species of monkeys.
Our second stop was at a community who grows cocoa. We ate a delicious lunch prepared for us by the hostess of our hostel and then we learned how chocolate is made from the cocoa beans. We were then able to sample the delicious final product!
Our third stop was at a community called Shiripuno where we learned about their sacred rock of wisdom, witnessed and participated in a traditional dance and learned how to make a drink from the yucca root that is consumed for breakfast, lunch and for snacks.
We finished the day with a wonderful worship service and a visit from the missionary, Roberto, and his family.
Our group is coming together beautifully and we are learning about each other as well as our surroundings. It is so exciting to see what God has already done and we are all looking forward to seeing what he has in store for us!