Beyond the shimmering sun along the water, I make out faint images gliding toward us. Local Amazonian people in dugout canoes. As they approach and encircle us, we are offered to go for a ride, providing we don’t mind rowing. A young boy, no more than ten years old, pulls up and I hop in. The home made canoe takes some quick balancing to make sure I don’t tip us both over, but soon that is mastered and we are gliding along the Amazonian lake.

I use my Spanglish to try and communicate, but the boy just smiles, nods his head, and keeps rowing. I give up, and we just row past dolphins playing in the afternoon heat. After a time, the heat of the day in contrast to the cool black water becomes too much, and we end up stripping off clothes and diving in.

Refreshed again, we head to the local village on shore to scores of people waiting to see the newest visitors to their homeland. These people are not destitute and unhappy as my preconceived notions had concocted, but full of life and joy. I realize that the items I brought for them will not enrich their lives, but is more of an offering of thankfulness for being in their part of the world. It is a show of kindness and faith in humanity.
It is a well received message on both parts.

As we leave the village and head back to the Aqua, more children are playing along the river, nakedly jumping and splashing in the water, content in this beautiful land.
Who knew a canoe would lead to such a conclusion?

One Reply to “A canoe…”

Wench, bring my ale, what say you?

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