Morning routine: Thank the birds for being just the loudest, stretch a little bit, realize I am still in the jungle, grab coffee, and journal. My favorite place to journal is a small side room down the way from the dining hall. It overlooks the dock and the entrance to the lodge. It’s really gorgeous in the mornings. Once it is time for breakfast, I head back to the room, deposit the journal and move to the dining hall. Breakfast this morning with Dr. Bee is pleasant. She is a caring and intelligent woman. There is one thing in common about most of the people that I have met in the volunteer world, the smile all the time, and they love to talk. Sounds like someone I know. After breakfast, we depart for Esperanza village. Today, it’s Dr. Bee, Dolly, Nixon, Nelly and I. No not the rapper Nelly, the guide Nelly. Nixon and I are charged with building new shelving units for the pharmacy with materials from the lodge while Dr. Bee see’s patients. Dolly helps translate with two of the nurse girls that live in Esperanza, while Nixon and I grab all the lumber and tools from the boats. With everything unloaded and ready, Nixon and I begin measuring. We have two handsaws that look like they’ve been used for a while, 4 planks of mango wood, a box of nails and one hammer, and the entire day ahead. There is no and battery powered tools are not possible, which I have been a privy to. As we begin to cut, the saws get stuck in the giant mango wood, which makes for extra slow progression.
It takes us a good chunk of time and sweat to make all the cuts for the wood shelves. We finish cutting, guestimate as to where to place the nails, secure the cabinets, and voila! The second cabinet took less time because we fashioned a workbench out of two outside benches around the hospital. After they were completed and set in place, we paint them with a watery-based paint that takes forever to dry.
I imagine the 98% humidity has something to do with it. While the paint is drying, we wait for Dr. Bee to finish with her patients. Around 5 pm we head home and along the way there is trash all throughout the river. This makes Dolly very upset. We pick up trash along the way and find a river bus stopped at a small village on the side of the river. Dolly asks to speak with the captain so she can tell him that it is not okay to let your passengers throw trash in the river. We are all upset to see this beautiful area become plagued by all the non-perishable trash that people throw into it.
We arrive back at the lodge after dark and grab a quick bite to eat. I am charged with the task of asking Dolly about taking a few of us over to a local village where they have a TV. Tonight at 9 pm, Peru plays Chile for an international futbol (soccer) match. This is huge for the area because everyone loves futbol and they rarely get to watch games. So with my tail between my legs I ask Dolly and she agrees to let a few of us go. This is huge! Claudio, Fredrik, and I head to Chino village where they have a TV powered by a gas generator to watch this epic match.
We pass caimans along the way, which are small crocodiles, small meaning 7 feet. We arrive in no time and climb the bank of the river, and make it over to Claudio’s house. The game is fierce. There were players kicked out of the game, many goals, tons of fouls, and a wild crowd behind us. There were people that travelled hours to come watch this game at this house, by boat or canoe. Such devotion. Peru ends up losing 4-3 in the last five minutes of the game. Everyone is captivated and a little bummed out. At one point during the game, the generator cut out and we had to go fill it up and everyone was so loud and cheering for the game to get back on. I am so thankful to be here in this country and watch such an important match with great people. The game ends around 11 and we head home. The boat ride home seems like the darkest dark I have ever seen. If you can even call it seeing dark? Exhausted I am back in my room, to pass out hard. What an amazing day.