First Couple of Weeks in the Field
Visiting the Shaman
On the Boat with some fish
Waiting for Moths
Back in Quito for a couple of days sorting things out before heading back to the eastern lowlands. The first couple of weeks were pretty fun. We spent the first couple of weeks in the Cloud forest at about 2500 m. Fieldtrip staff were Richard, Jenny, Misty, Conrad, Emma and Me and we had a good group of students including two from the Catholic University in Quito. The cloud forest was good fun, very lush and very foggy and sometimes very cold. We met Nathan, a tall, blond and very friendly American chap who then accompanied us to the Jungle. He has also agreed to assist me in the field so we will be three including Olmedo, who is Kichwa and who has agreed to act as guide and translator to the communities we want to sample. Our stay in Payamino was good and very hectic. Misty was faced with some acute field-medicine experiences, including a lady who needed an operation in Coca and an old man with respiratory problems. The operation was an ordeal to organize and getting blood in Coca is not an easy thing, particularly if you get social services to pay for it... but we managed to get the 6 pints of blood and the lady is now recovering in the hospital (I have mostly been shooting film and not digital so pictures of all of this are not available). The old man decided not to go to hospital and opted for the Shaman. Misty and I were both invited to assist and it mostly involved lots of ayahuasca, palm wafting and sucking away the evil spirits (all in total darkness) and the old man seemed to have regained some of his appetite after that. The students did well in their project and this time round things did not seem as hectic as last time. Quito is fun and Nathan and I have been running around buying supplies and equipment to take bacjk out with us early next week.