My Trip to the Amazon, Part III: Disappearing World

My thanks to those of you who have been following my Amazon posts. I know the last one was a little wordy for some. I just wanted to condense everything I knew about Ecuador, the Yasuní, and oil drilling into one, clear post so that everyone could understand the stakes. I think that’s easier said than done.

For Part III, I had written a 2,000+ word blog post about my time in the Amazon rainforest, but I’m going to take the advice of a trusted reader on this one and skip the words in favor of this series of images.

Taken during my four day stay in the Amazon, these photos are of a world I witnessed hovering somewhere between untamed wilderness and “civilization”.  Over the next 20 years, the forest you see in these images will almost certainly have disappeared.

The sacred waterfall was a refuge where Waorani women could hide during intertribal wars.

The sacred waterfall was a refuge where Waorani women could hide during intertribal wars.

My companions continue past a massive Strangler Fig Tree

My companions continue past a massive Strangler Fig Tree

Strangler Fig or Kapok Tree? I'll be honest, I don't know which.

Strangler Fig or Kapok Tree? I’ll be honest, I don’t know which.

Domingo had just cleared some trees from a lookout point. I had followed just because.

Domingo had just cleared some trees from a lookout point. I had followed just because.

A Waorani Family in Nenki Pare

A Waorani Family in Nenki Pare

Waorani Children in Nenki Pare

Waorani Children in Nenki Pare

Domingo with Blowgun and Spear

Domingo with Blowgun and Spear

I'm a fairly good shot with the Zarapatana -- (provided a stationary target, anyway).

I’m a fairly good shot with the Zarapatana — (provided a stationary target, anyway).

Trying my hand at the Waorani technique for making a fire. It's hard.

Trying my hand at the Waorani technique for making a fire. I’m not very good.

Waorani handicrafts in Quehuere Ono.

Waorani handicrafts in Quehuere Ono.

Domingo makes repairs to the public lodge in Quehuere Ono.

Domingo makes repairs to the public lodge in Quehuere Ono.

After collecting materials during one of our hikes, Domingo demonstrates some Waorani crafting techniques.

After collecting materials during one of our hikes, Domingo demonstrates some Waorani crafting techniques.

Though our naturalist guide could not identify this fish, the Waorani had their own word for it. After this shot was taken it was violently thrashing about in the bottom of the canoe until Domingo calmly killed it with a blow to the head.

Though our naturalist guide could not identify this fish, the Waorani had their own word for it. After this shot was taken it was violently thrashing about in the bottom of the canoe until Domingo calmly killed it with a blow to the head.

Schools like this are built by  the oil companies in exchange for passage into Waorani land.

Schools like this are built by the oil companies in exchange for passage into Waorani land.

Waorani clear a large strangler fig from the Shiripuno River where it had fallen during a recent storm.

Waorani clear a large strangler fig from the Shiripuno River where it had fallen during a recent storm.

Moi Enomenga alerts the Waorani about "illegal" activists collecting signatures for a national referendum on the Yasuní drilling.

Moi Enomenga, a lifelong opponent of oil drilling, is now supporting extraction. In this memo he alerts the Waorani about “illegal” activists collecting signatures for a national referendum on the Yasuní drilling scheduled for February 2014.

 

Thanks for looking! I’d consider it a personal favor if you’d share this post to help me inform people about the threats facing the Amazon and its indigenous people!

If I’ve piqued your interest and you would like to learn more about the Yasuní, the Waorani, or oil drilling in Ecuador, Joe Kane’s book “Savages” is great place to start. It’s a quick, riveting read and will give you a far better understanding of the subject than I can do.

In my next post I will show you what happens when we allow oil drilling in the Amazon.

Part I 

Part II

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