Thursday, December 29, 2005

Fishing in the Macuma River

Stopping for minute to check out a creative fishing net on the Macuma River, just before we crossed the river for the second time. The young man pictured here was a member of one of the families who acompanied us. Now adays on the principle jungle trails the only real dangers are the poisenous snakes and swollen rivers.

Regional Airport

So Alex and I were waiting at the Macuma regional airport for a flight out of the town, but due to fuel shortages we were told there would be no flights until sometime the following week. So instead of a 30min flight to our desitnation, we would be walking 5-6 hours though the jungle and taking a 4-5 hour bus ride home. Here you have a sick Ingeneira Alex bemoaning the possiblity of the hike.

Macuma: Reproductive Health

Sorry this isn't a good picture, but it has a story: I was maybe a little bored with the idea of spending 4-5 days in Macuma just talking about latrines and hand-washing (though this is of very important), so I asked the gentleman who runs the town clinic (building in the background) if he knew of any reproductive health programs for the young women of the high school (girls in the foreground).... next thing I knew I was talking (with the local Shuar Pastor David Chu) to the 150 students (men and women) of the regional high school about sex education from a Chrisitan perspective and promising the director to return in Febuary with more course materials and dedicated teaching time. These kids live in a confusing clash of cultures where traditional Shuar culture demands that girls and boys grow-up seperately and the influencial un-censured sensual modern world says anything goes. You can imagine in such a world, the idea of discernment is a little hard to come by. Teachers in this high school have fathered children of fourteen-year-old students without dismissal and often young mothers are left of fend for themselves and their babies.

He who has clean hands.

While teaching a health and hygiene course in the Shuar town of Macuma one weekend to some community leaders, Alex and I took advantage of the moment and asked to speak with children... in the midst of playing games about hand-washing and trash-picking, we asked for evidence of their clean hands (this is after a very rigorous washing and examination).