terça-feira, 15 de maio de 2012

Celeste, CANADA!

            Imagine this; waking to the gentle swing of a warm hammock as the golden sun breaks over the soft waters of the Amazon River.  Rubbing sleep from your eyes, you climb into the wooden canoe and silently watch the marveling sun rise as it turns the world a magical whirlwind of colours.  Pink dolphins splash nearby, playing for your attention.  Laughing and yawning you share yesterday’s stories (falling out of hammocks, ghost stories and dolphin tales) with friends over a delicious meal prepared by the dedicated chefs.  All sorts of yummy tropical and unknown foods fill the table and we enjoy the fresh fruits and tapioca pudding with an eager appetite.  Adventures await so you pile into the canoes once again and head off through the twisting rivers.  Clouds litter the sky but the hot sun soon pokes his smiling head over us as we motor past sunken trees, twittering birds and sleepy eyed monkeys.  Chatter goes on throughout the boat, “did you touch the dolphins yesterday? “Did you enjoy the traditional native dancing last night?”  You settle into an easy pattern; the steady rocking of the boat lulls you into a soft doze…. But wait!! There’s so much more to do and see!  Are those hungry little monkeys jumping from branch to branch way up there, looking for breakfast?  As our knowledgeable guide hands out bananas and our sure-handed captain steers towards the shore the little hairy rascals jump lightly onto our unexpecting heads.  Mother monkeys carry their tiny babies on their backs; clinging tightly so as not to fall as they steal away the fruit we hand out.  Quick, there’s one on your back! You try to take a picture but it jumps to a friend’s head before you have time.  Softly you run your hands through their golden fur; it’s sleek and lovely, yet wild and mischievous as well.  All too soon you’re back on the river, the dark waters rushing past as you try to explain to your mind that, yes, you are actually in the Amazon.  Next you visit a small village; learn to make tapioca and purchase some handmade crafts for those special people back home.  Lunch is consumed by eager mouths and then we relax in the shade as the hot sun and deep waters merge together through the afternoon air.  Perhaps you choose to swing happily in a colourful hammock, or tan on the bright deck, or possibly dance to the sounds of a singing guitar.  Maybe you crowd around the railing with the others to get a chance to hold the lazy sloth as it is passed around and laughed at.  Whatever you choose to do; the afternoon in passed happily enjoying wonderful company and a beautiful place.  Yet of course the day’s expeditions are not finished!  Once again we ride along in the “Amazonian car” through the rolling dark waves to a remote riverbank far away from the boats.  Fishing poles are magically revealed and bloody pieces of meat attached to attract the feisty piranhas from their watery homes.  Much time is spent sitting underneath the tall jungle trees jigging for these carnivorous fish.  Unfortunately your boat catches no piranhas, only a few cat fish that must be put back into the depths until they grow larger.  As the sun sets an atmosphere of excitement arises with the settling darkness.  Guided unseeingly through the water we find ourselves suddenly joined by some new friends, picked gently from within the reeds by the guide’s expertise.  The baby crocodiles, Jacaré, are carefully passed from hand to hand; everybody remarking at the fantastic creatures and capturing the moment with a strong flash.  Your hand is about the same size as the small baby crocodile, making it seem harmful and wonderful.  Yet the sharp teeth and beady eyes give away the fearsome animal it will soon become.  Sleepy and completely in bliss you boat back through the dark to the waiting dinner.  Over the forest shine the far away lights of Manaus; yet in the moment the world seems deserted and peaceful, a paradise to all of us.  A delicious dinner is had by all and slowly everybody drifts towards their beds; tired from the day’s expeditions, yet so ready for tomorrow’s.  Imagine if this was your day; so full of wonderful adventures and new amazing things to see.  Imagine that yesterday you had swam with pink dolphins and danced with natives on the river’s shores.  Imagine that tomorrow is another day just waiting to be discovered. 
Céleste Lessard-Kragen, British Columbia, Canada
Terra Brasil Amazonas 2, 2012

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