Thursday, 27 February 2014

Magic Mountains

Magic mountains blow dream worlds of wonder as Condors rising on currents of sharp waves of dryness that leave lungs wanting.
Patchwork inclines sewn with broken backs, threads of ancient wisdom strain under the modern cries that echo through canyons and paramos knocking on the doors of thatched roofed huts, whispering in the ears of poncho clad natives, weaving webs of lies in tired minds.

Sitting in the folds of Antisana on the shores of Mica Lake, the paramo rises and falls like folds of wrinkled skin caressed by storm laden clouds.  Lone fishermen stand along the edge of the lapping waters with birds singing them on.  Tufts of mountain grass bend in the breath that bursts through these mighty lungs yet mine stay empty.  No maps, no compass, just the sun overhead, so close it caresses my body with waves of intense heat against the glacial Antisana winds.  The water harp softly soothes one to sleep backed by the shiver of pampas grass.
Storm clouds gather on the opposite shore waiting for an opportunity to envelope all and send us on our way.

Now for Megan's poem - 

The waves crack as the clocks strike twelve.
Clumps of mud lie everywhere like stepping stones that lead to the hiding places of the pumas and the deer.
On the opposite side smooth mountains sit like patchwork quilts sloping up and down.
As the rain starts to fall people drive away and ducks head for cover.
I seem to be the only one who stays.

By Megan - aged 9

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Huasqquila Lodge - Napo - Ecuador

Stopping off at Papallacta hot springs on the way down to the Napo province in Ecuador.

This was originally a cattle ranch but is now extensively reforested.

Waterfall walk on back road to Cotopaxi Volcano

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Trip to the Oriente

Spent 4 days and 3 nights in the Napo region of Ecuador with Y5/6 children.  The community of Rio Blanco really looked after us and it was a wonderful experience being led through the rainforest by their elder and shaiman - Fabio.  He taught us different survival skills and gave us different plants and lemon ants to eat among other things.

 The Camp.
 The Rio Napo and the boats waiting to take us down river.

 A Capibara.

How to get a snack in the rainforest!

Fabio from the Rio Blanco community who had a wealth of knowledge.

The Rio Blanco community.

 Children playing football.

 Birds nests.

 A butterfly emerging.

 All over we saw piles of wood that had been cut and extracted from the forests.

 The road had just been built in the last few years and Fabio described some of the negative influences that it had brought with it such as alcoholism and the easy access to alcohol.

This ancient Ceibo is over 400 years old and the locals believe that it is the source of the Amazon river.

The Journey Begins

In actual fact the journey began some time ago. The Design course has reinforced decisions that had already been made and given me the tools to put together some sort of plan to make that first step a little less daunting. I returned from the two week course today and although extremely tired I have been so motivated not just by the course, but by the people I had the good fortune to meet, that I have created this blog. I owe a great deal of thanks to those people, for their inspiration, support and a great deal of laughter. I'm not sure what the outcomes will be, but I am sure it will be an interesting journey and welcome you to join me.