Sunday, September 06, 2009

Family Update, Jungle Thinking

Well, Sunday night. Chepa and the babies just left, with Madeleina, 12 going on 40 and when did that happen?, in tow. Italo and Sarah, who's beginning to show with my grandbaby, left a little earlier to go Chepa's as well. Sarah has rented a large room at Chepa's house and outfitted it into a lovely nest. I'm a little sad about it because it means that Italo, even when back from school, spends most of his time there, and nearly all his nights. Heck, if they had their own apartment I'd be sad too. I mean I'm glad, but it gets lonely around here sometimes. Marco is still hanging out but he's had the door to his room closed since he was about 12, so it's not like he's great company most of the time. He just likes being alone, puttering around with electronics and such. Someday he'll probably come up with something fantastic, so I'm all for it, but again, the selfish part of me likes to see and hear and smell my kids around, not just see their laundry and dishes they've hidden for days and weeks.
On the animal count, we lost one of the dogs to a truck Friday. Kairy had somehow gotten out of the fenced in back yard and into the side yard, then got through that fence as well into the unfenced front yard. She was playing with Boots, the blind wonder dog when I went off to Chepa's to get Madeleina for school. By the time I got back, maybe 20 minutes, there she was, middle of the road, neck broken. Dumb dog. We tried to teach her, but she, like 10 or so others over the years, just never learned. The only ones who understood it were Spike--who simply walked off a couple of years ago while I was away in Peru--Spike's daughter Roxy, who'd been hit but survived and learned her lesson; and Boots, who had his hips broken, recovered and has stayed out of the road since.
Marco buried Kairy, and Boots has dug her up a couple of times already. So we'll rebury her and keep putting more clorox in there till he finally gives up.
The cats are doing well though, as are the birds and goats. And the chickens and ducks are doing great. Haven't lost one of those in nearly two weeks. I will say I had no idea how much they could eat: They're nearly through their second 50 pound bag of food, and lately we've been giving them a cantaloupe--it's not expensive here now--some bread and a pot of cooked rice most days. They went through a pot of rice that weighed about 7 pounds today in maybe 10 minutes. They're going to make nice eggs one of these days. I am surprised the hawks haven't gone after them: Maybe they're too big for hawks now or maybe the fence is not attractive to them. But I'm glad they have not.
So kids are good, animals are good--with a tip of the hat to Kairy--and I'm working my butt off. I could use some more tourists for January so that I can make a trip, but I'm figuring they might come along after Labor Day. If they don't, well, maybe it's time I do one of my explorations down there in the deep green of the Amazon. There are a few I've put off for lack of funds for years, but these days I'm feeling strong and feeling like if I've got to put a few grand of my own money into one of them, well, somehow I'll get it back. Maybe sell a story about it, maybe wind up with a grant for further exploration, who knows. But I've been feeling that sort of inner strength that let's you do things with confidence and I don't think one of those trips would be hard at all. It's been a while, so maybe it's time to push myself in that direction again, rather than wait for someone to back me. In truth, no one has ever backed me much. I always got nice letters from the American Museum of Natural History but the funds were always mine and the pieces I've got in their permanent collection of South American Ethnology were given freely. Shaman Pharmaceuticals backed me for part of the two trips I made for them but I always wound up spending a few thousand of my own on top of what I got. Same with the Fidia Research Institute of the University of Rome: They gave me money for the frog/frog sweat I brought out, but it was less than a dime on the dollar to what I spent. Trip to the pyramid shaped hills I want to do? Probably a minimum of $12,000 to actually be able to get enough scientific research out of it to interest people in more extensive expeditions. And that's more than my life savings. But I could probably do something for half of that, about $6,000, that might produce enough pot shards, earth and stone samples, pressed plants, gps readings and so forth to generate at least a little interest. So that's what I'm thinking about doing.
Sorry to have you all just reading my musing, but I needed someone to talk with and you're it right now.
Thanks for listening.
I will say that it feels good to be over, or nearly over, all the physical junk of the last few years. The ankle I broke in January still hurts sometimes; the flesh eating spiderbite still itches like mad occasionally; the stomach still cramps now and then in an uncontrollable way, but those things are pretty minor compared to how things were there for a while. So now might just be the exact right time to head out to the jungle for a deep exploration. Or in January if a trip with guests doesn't materialize. It'd be fun fun fun after all the physical difficulty. Ah, hell, it's just hiking, really. And probably just what I need to go do.

1 comment:

Serhio said...

I'm back , Peter.
And i do have two burns on my shoulder :). It wasn't too harsh comparing with the last time. I probably gave myself a little and (or) may be the 'set and setting' helps. This time i had it in a beautiful place, by the river. In a village of my grandparents. I always 'recharge' my batteries here. And i felt ready to go..
My previous sapo I had back in London, it was two years ago. I had only one burn, and i went trough more difficult time....
I would love to go down with you Peter to explore those hills. At the moment i have no idea where to get money even for a ticket. :). But who knows?!...
Are you definitely intended to go there in the January?