Different Cultures Different Challenges

Went down to Belen today with my Spanish teacher to finish the job we started on Tuesday. Found our mother with the first load of palm fronds installed on a small platform to live on. The water had encroached ever further. To get to her we had to hire a small boat, we chose an 8 year old captain with her 2 year old co-captain, a very narrow and small canoe. I was immediately happy I didn’t bring my camera because this was a really tippy ride.

I’m thinking, “We are going in, it’s part of the game, deal with falling in this nasty, dirty, litter filled water just don’t lose one of your sandals or you will be walking back through Belen without a shoe on; maybe the only thing worse than falling in this water is walking back through Belen with no shoe on.” Then I’m thinking, “What the heck is a 2 year old doing on a boat with an 8 old as the captain of the boat?” Only in Belen.

Cali told me she saw a parent in Belen one time who had a rope tied to their small child and was dipping them in the water from their stilted home, like a tea bag in a cup, to teach the child how to swim.

Fortunately our little boat captain got us to our destination. We pulled up to the ladder to the “house”, when Nebes, the mother, climbed down and a real taixista pulled up. We all jumped in the larger boat and headed back to the palm frond store. Another $50 and the roof was done. – Roof Belen Peru $100 – Baby Boat Captain in Belen $.25 – Putting a Roof Over a Mother and a Small Child – Priceless….

Later, I was sitting beside my friend Dave today when someone pulled up in a motokar, Dave leaned over and pulled out S/300 ($100) and gave it to the man and drove off.

I inquired about his purchase and he said his brother-in-law had his boat stolen the other night, which peaked my interest. He went on to explain that that his brother-in-law had tracked the stolen boat to a nearby port and thereby had the thieves but the motor had vanished from the boat.

“Okay, why did you have to give him S/300?” “Because the thieves wanted S/1200 to return the motor and he talked them down to S/300.” “But why pay these thieves anything?” “Call the police.”

David responded. “Well the thieves want something for their trouble and the police would want even more money to get the motor back.”

I was told the other day that along with evil spirits, tucha, the local Indians believe that the dolphin in the river can turn into a human and be very naughty.

They come up on land dressed like a man with a cap over their blow hole to disguise themselves and impregnate young girls which many times becomes the excuse why a girl got pregnant. Or then can even grab a man and do strange sexual things. Wow! I wonder who thought that one up?