my thoughts and observations about what lies along the trails of existence linda paul bascom tim mary rachel

Wednesday, May 26, 2004


Junior dropped his machete into 20 feet of murky Amazon river water.

When without a second thought he climbed over the side of the canoe and slipped into the water to join the piranha and caiman, disappearing below the surface for 15 seconds only to return with a huge grin on his face and a machete in his hands, I knew I was in the best of company. He said he had found it by stepping on it. Apparently it had stuck into a tree branch as it drifted towards the bottom. Junior’s definitely the guy you want in your canoe.

Junior gets water from a vine.

What else does Junior do? Junior catches caiman and boas so that you can get a close-up look at these animals. He also likes to grab bats, lizards, tarantulas and a huge rat we saw swimming across the river to find some dry ground. He knows the names of hundreds of birds and the calls of many of them, and often lures them closer by recording their songs and playing them back over a tape recorder. Junior speaks English better than a few people I know and can order a beer in at least 7 languages. He makes a mean Caiparinha and dances Forro and Samba like a true Brazilian. He’ll whoop you in Dominoes and give you a run for your money in Backgammon. Junior looks you straight in the eye when your talking to him and when he’s talking to you. He has a great aptitude for teaching you the things he knows and loves about the Amazon and you can’t help but become infected with his enthusiasm. Junior’s the guy that won’t just drop you off at the airport at the end of your trip. He’s the guy that’ll come inside to have a few last beers with you at the terminal bar and try to teach you last minute phrases of Portuguese before sending you off to Rio.

That’s Junior.


Bascom Guffin said...

Hey Tim,
I love these first two posts. You've got a great style, and it makes me want to go to the Amazon even more.

7:14 AM


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