Saturday, January 22, 2011

Movin On Up!

For the past 3 months or so I have been living in the district of San Juan, in Iquitos.  As I explained in my first blog post, originally I was volunteering for AVIDA and living at Marcos’s house since he is one of the founders of AVIDA.  Well, if you have been reading my blog you have seen that in reality I have been volunteering for CONAPAC, I don’t think I have even mentioned AVIDA again since that first post!  AVIDA has been slow to get off the ground and they simply don’t have anything for me to do. CONAPAC on the other hand has plenty of things for me to work on!  I don’t think I wrote too much about CONAPAC before, I think I just included a link to their website.  Well, CONAPAC is the non-profit branch of Explorama Lodges, the lodges we’ve been traveling to since 1998.  “CONAPAC is a Peruvian non-profit organization whose mission is to promote conservation of the rainforest through education of its stewards, the people who live along the Amazon and Napo Rivers. Our centerpiece project is the Adopt-A-School program, which is strengthened by workshops and complemented by service and sustainable projects in river communities.”  I have really enjoyed volunteering for CONAPAC, it is a pretty amazing organization.  CONAPAC has also enjoyed having me volunteer for them, and they have asked me to stay on as a volunteer for at least the next six months!  While I was excited to see where things would go with AVIDA, I am very excited to be working with an established organization, with 20 years of experience. And not just any organization- CONAPAC, the organization that has been a part of all of the wonderful experiences I have had here traveling with Explorama, experiences that have driven me to where I am today. 

So what about the big move?  Well, while CONAPAC cannot pay me to work for them at the moment, they wanted to support me in some way.  Explorama owns a house downtown Iquitos and they have offered to let me stay there rent free. It is the house of Explorama’s founder, Peter Jenson, who passed away in June. I never had the chance to meet Peter personally, although I think he spoke to our first group in ’98. Even though I didn’t know him I feel very grateful to him, the experiences I have had at Explorama have really shaped my life. And now I get to live in his house!  He hasn’t lived there for a a while, he lived at Ceiba Tops lodge before he passed away.  

My New House!

I will miss Marcos’s family, however I am looking forward to being a little more independent, and a lot closer to everything!  This map isn’t exactly to scale, but you can see where I lived  etc.  I tried to find a regular street map that shows downtown and the San Juan district where I lived, but none of them show streets that far from the center of town!
(My old house is further away than it looks here!)

I am now close enough to walk to the office, and pretty much any other place I need to go!  Before I had to take moto-taxis everywhere- which adds up!  I have a beautiful, spacious bedroom and private bathroom.  I share the house with Enrique who also works at Explorama.  Enrique’s two nephews, Mad-19 and Jordi- 17, also live there, they are studying for university entrance exams. I guess sometimes their dad is there too!  Luckily it is a big place!  They have a new puppy named Luna and Peter’s cat Tony lives there.  

My Bedroom

The Kitchen
The Kitchen/Courtyard

My New Street

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