Saying hello to our friend by the river. Up in the Andean cloud forest in Kosñipata Valley we were always close to the river. The flow was roaring most of the time but it was way below us, a couple of hundred feet in the valley, down a steep incline from the edge of the mountain road. On this November photo journey with Summit Workshops our guide, Ian Segebarth (Rainshadow Expeditions) arranged for a visit down to the river to look for birds, butterflies, insects and frogs. Greening us with a smile and wanting to shake hands with all of us. This old woman allowed our group to go behind her property and make our way to the river’s edge. To get there we had to machete our way through thick forest jungle. We did see some interesting species down there. But I was moved by this woman and how and where she lived her life. She must have been in her 80s? Lived by herself with the nearest house miles away. No electricity, no running water or sewage. The shed behind her one room wooden-board ‘house’. A one room wooden-board ‘house’ with a small shed behind it. A few corn stalks growing in the side yard, a puppy, four or five chickens running around and a few guinea pigs in a corner in the shed. The shed was also her kitchen and den for the guinea pigs she was raising. A fruit bush on the side. She was very friendly and so happy to see us and wanted to shake hands with every one. She makes a few soles from giving people access to the river below and from collecting butterflies and selling them to local guides. Heading down to the river. The path to the river is not traveled very often. Had to machete our way down. Only thing she complained about was some stomach discomfort and asked us if we had any yogurt to help with her ache. We left her place a couple of hours later, gave her a few power bars and juice and promised her some yogurt or some medication for her stomach. Life in the small villages of the high Andes is very hard. Poverty rate is close to 50%. Most of the younger people have left, leaving the older folks to fend for themselves. . . .
To see the Peru Amazon rainforest gallery click here.
She was very happy to see us and have our company for the short time we were there.