– I wrote this post yesterday when I was still at the farm. Now I’m in Ambato, booked myself a night in a nice hotel to feel some luxury again 😉 Tomorrow I continue my journey –
My last day here, tomorrow I leave the Amazon behind me and continue my journey to the south of Ecuador. Back to the city life, in Cuenca. I hear a lot of good stories about it, that the city is a very nice and beautiful place, not that big. So, I’m looking forward to go there and maybe I stay there until after Christmas, who knows..
While writing this story, I’m overlooking the beautiful nature and hear the songs of the birds, crickets and life slowly waking up from the night. My night wasn’t the best, didn’t sleep that much. I felt a lot of itching and suddenly thought there were badbugs in my bed! Don’t know if its true, but during the night I changed my sheets for my own thin sleeping sack. Way better! 😊
The last 10 days have been very special. Remember that I first had plans to go to a Yoga Center more south of Ecuador to practice Yoga, be in nature and volunteer on the Eco Farm? However, that place was too expensive. Now, I exactly got what I wished for in a different place in the middle of the Amazon. Completely disconnected and being part of a family of other volunteers. The Wisdom Forrest is a beautiful place with a big garden full of fruits and vegetables they harvest themselves. There is an open house where we live, cook, eat and sleep. However there is also a bigger house with lots of rooms, used for people who like to stay there via Airbnb. That house has 3 floors and at the 3th floor you have a big terrace, overlooking the Amazon. That is the place where I’ve been every morning at 6.30 AM or 5.30 AM to do Yoga and Mantras & Meditation. They live here via the Hare Krishna philosophy. I didn’t know anything about this before I came here, only heard the name once in a while and felt it was connected with how people live in India. What I learned now is that Hare Krishna is a way of living where you are connected with Mother Nature. You are vegan, harvest your own food, live in an eco style, do little offers of greatfullness before you eat the food you cooked and sing mantras. It sounds very hippie, I know and very spiritual. It is like that, but in a good way. Nothing very weird or floaty, just different 😉 There were 7 other volunteers all from different parts of the world, France (Muriel & Eve), Colombia (Jonathan & Luigi), Spain (Alicia), Ecuador (Daniella & Gophal the Yoga teacher + our host) and me from Holland. Later during the week we were accompied by some young students from the US, but they didn’t stay long. With the others I became quite close and it really felt like being one big family. Everything was okay, no pressure, just be yourself, bring positivity and love 😊❤
The routine here was every Monday after breakfast we look into the week, what kind of work need to be done and what kind of workshops we can do afterwards. We start every day with Mantras & Yoga and after breakfast we work from 9.30 AM to 1.00 PM. The work I’ve done this week has been helping out in the green house, harvest fruits & vegetables and cook lunch or dinner for everyone. Again, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, I love it! 😍 Learning more about cooking, how to cook vegan, cook for a big group and being creative with all the food we can have & can make. After lunch you have some free time and then later in the afternoon we do a small workshop of something. The workshops we’ve done last week were Sugar Cain “smashing” 😂, Acrobat Yoga, Theater Improvisation and Making Chocolate. On Thursday’s we go to a school nearby and play with the children while teaching them things about recycling. Saturday is Adventure Day where we go on a adventure in the Amazon and Sunday (=domingo in Spanish) is Dormingo, dormir is sleeping, so Sunday is rest day, doing nothing 😉 The evenings are very relaxed as well, we have dinner together, sing, play music, sometimes visit the town nearby to watch the locals play volleyball and go to sleep early as the morning starts early again. Another fact of what we do is we sit and eat on the floor. There are no chairs, only some hammocks. So, as you can imagine I can feel my back pretty well after sitting on the floor for whole the week 🙈
I arrived on a Friday afternoon at the farm, so the next day I could immediately join the group for the adventure day. We went into the Amazon, to a place where they nurture rescued animals. These animals are for example rescued from Zoo’s or the Circus. They can’t live on their own in the wild as they are so traumatised. One of the volunteers in the group had been volunteering at the center for a period of time so she gave us a tour and told us all the stories about the animals. There were some monkeys who were living in the wild and some who were in cages because they were very agressive and can kill the other animals if they would be free.. After this tour we went to the river and were swimming at a place where there could have been Anaconda’s but luckily weren’t there 😉 On our way back we hitched hiked with a boat and later a truck going back to town. A great experience on my 1st day!
Jonathan, Luigi & Alicia are traveling together with almost no money. The 2 guys work on the street as acrobats and do tricks in front of the traffic lights to earn a bit of money so they can eat. I’ve seen a lot of these actors on the streets during my travel and now I had the priviledge to actually meet 2 of them, really great guys! They went to the theater school together in Bogotá. Luigi has done a lot of acrobatica so sometimes they were trying things out together in the house, even with me!! Haha 😄 They also have done some improvisation theater so together we gave a workshop one afternoon to the others with some funny games. I really like sharing these kind of experience with the people I meet during my journey.
The other Saturday, yesterday, we also had a really great adventure day! We went to some caves in the Amazon. I’ve been into caves before, but not like this! Wow, we were climbing all the way down through the narrow caves, in the water, crawling on our hands and feets and full of mud. Haha! It was really cool doing this and I definately didn’t expected that at all. I was right behind the guide which was a young, small girl crawling through the caves like a professional and me super clumpsy with my long legs! Hahaha. I was having a lot of fun with myself 😂😅
During my time at the Wisdom Forrest, I had a lot of time to reflect, write and being concious of myself in my travel journey. As I said before, I feel very free and live in the moment. I go where the wind takes me 😊 This remind me of one of my favorite songs “Follow the Sun – Xavier Rudd”. One of the reflections I had was about the language, Spanish. Everybody in the house spoke Spanish, very fluently and I was the only one who struggled the most. It isn’t easy and sometimes I really didn’t like the fact that I can’t understand everything the people say or laugh about the jokes they make. Sometimes they translate for me, but that is always different then really knowing what the people say in the moment. My Spanish is every day getting better and I practice a lot, but I found out that because of not understanding everything I can be more quiet and connected with myself. Normally I talk a lot back home, always wanting to share everything and include myself in all the conversations, but now I “can’t” so this gives me the ability to be more silent. Definately a new experience for myself, however it’s necessary for me to be silent so I can be concious about my environment and feelings inside 😊 Other reflections I have are about love, life and finding out what makes my heart sing ❤ Here I had 2 experiences where I was coaching 2 girls of the group in their personal journey and I helped them to get more in contact with themselves by doing exercises with them I’ve done before with my Coach or I read about in books. I use my empathy to share my experiences, perspective and this helps them to get a bit more out of their struggles in life. Lots of people I met tell me that I’ve helped them and advice me to do more with this. It gives me a really good feeling 😍 So who knows, maybe my purpose in this life is to become a Life Coach 😉 I definately would like to explore this more in my journey here.
So, as you can read the experience in the Amazon has given me a lot of insights and practicing Yoga every morning was really good for my body. To be honest, 1.5 weeks in the Amazon has been enough for me. I get a bit fed up with all the insect bites, itchyness and sitting on the floor. Can’t wait to plop in a comfy couch again or having a hot shower! Ufff… how I missed that 😅 Or just eating meat, haha! After all, I’m more a city kind of girl, ghehe. So Cuenca, bring it on 😉
One thing I don’t like of traveling is having to say goodbye to great people I met and spend some very precious time with! I miss everyone of them so far and I already feel a bit sad today knowing that I have to say goodbye to the people here.. 😢 Missing your precious people back home is also hard, especially on a day like today where my dear lovely dad who I miss a lot is turning 60 years old! Happy Birthday Daddy 🎈🎉🎂 I love you a lot and think about you 😘❤
But well, saying goodbye and missing your people is part of the journey… So, how does everybody feel, just a couple days before Christmas? How cold is it now back home? Holidays started or one week left? I would love to hear more about you too 😍
Sending you all lots of love ❤ and already a very happy and Merry Christmas next week 🎍🎄 I’m curious where I will end up and with who, but I have the trust it will be okay and even if I would end up alone, it’s fine. Just going to a church, attend the Christmas service and sing Christmas carols in Spanish 😊
More to come soon! Love you all xx
Abrazos y besitos para ustedes 😘😘