Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ecuador's diversity

I have less distinctive pictures of Tena, Puyo and Iyarina to show the contrast than I thought I did. To give you an idea of the town and the rainforest though:
This was a pretty typical street in Tena, with one of my BYU peers posing for me.

The street in Tena where the LDS church building was located. It was a small branch and a rented building but had the nice detail of green tinted windows which I thought were quite pretty actually.
Here is a view of the Napo river from my room at the field school.
This is a typical house outside of Tena on the same road as the field school. The Runa who worked at the field school and were our Quichua language consultants lived in similar places. To me it seemed like not a bad lifestyle as long as you have enough land to be self-sufficient. I imagined myself settling happily in the rainforest, as unrealistic as that sounds.
One day we discovered a caravan of caterpillars, which these Runa ladies became quite excited about and began harvesting to eat later. I never saw them on the table, but we did eat grubs once.
This was just a cool bug that was hanging out on our window-screen one night. I think I saw at least 3 new bugs per week. And the ones that were familiar (praying mantis, walking stick bug, caterpillars and butterflies) were usually much larger and odder than any I have seen in the states. (It felt like Jurassic park when I saw a walking stick as thick as a branch and about a foot long.)

Obviously I took less pictures in town than in the rainforest because (1) I spent more time in the latter and (2) was much more enchanted by it. Puyo is a bit prettier than Tena at least; and I found more to like about Tena after returning several times and going to the right places. I learned not to judge locations too quickly, because cities are far too large to know at first glance, if that makes sense. Just like people, they have this kind of infiniteness that is impossible to quantify.


  1. Love these photos. Very visually helpful to get an idea of the experience.

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