I travelled to the Napo-province last Wednesday and have settled down here in the home Runa has for its volunteers here in Tena. It’s a lovely place to be able to call home, with just the right amount of foreigners coming in and out to not be constantly stared at but not so many that the locals have lost their spontaneity with us gringos.
I met the people at Runa on Wednesday and went up to Alto Tena with them on Thursday to meet one of the communities there and shoot some footage for a promotional video one of the interns is making. Friday I went up to two different communities near Cotundo to meet the artisan groups there and introduce myself to them. It was great to get to know them and I am definitely going to do my best to learn some Kichwa, which I will be needing to keep up with the local gossip. I’ll tell you guys more about the stuff they make in a future post (when I actually understand more of it myself) but I can tell you right now that they make some really beautiful products just from the stuff they have growing in their gardens.
The main goal at the moment is for the artisans to build their stock of seeds and pita-string so they can get straight to producing once the final designs have been chosen and ordered by the Andean Collection. I will be helping them through this phase and am excited for it all to take flight. I’m positive I will be learning tons from these women the following weeks.