Tenacity of Tena City

All though I have been trying to deny it, it is time to face the reality of the fact that my time in Napo has run out. I postponed my departure a couple of times but tomorrow morning I really do believe I will be sitting on a bus back to Quito, where I will spend a couple of more days before I fly back “home”. Home between parenthesis because, as big ol’ Pumba once said, “Home is where the rump rests”, and Tena has become a place where my rump has become very comfortable doing just that. But that’s not all it has done! Hiking, running, jumping, swimming, swinging, rafting, cycling are all things I have done here as well and there is still so much left to see and do!!

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If I look back at the goals I wrote down at the beginning of this adventure, I see that my first goal was to create a network for myself that would help me forward in some way. I feel I have definitely succeeded in this. The people I have met here at Runa are people I have come to think very highly of and I am sure that they would let me pick their brains about anything they have stored up there at any given time. There is an incredible amount of know-how walking around in that little office in Archidona and I feel proud and happy that I can call them my friends.

Another goal I wrote down was to learn a bit of Kichwa. I feel I could have done more in this area but the little words that I did learn and applied, were definitely appreciated by the people I set them loose on. These too are people I have grown very fond of and I will miss them dearly. With a little help from the world wide web I might be able to stay in touch with some of them but I definitely wish the very best for them and I will cherish all the memories I built with the mamacitas in those beautiful villages by the river.

This brings me to the next goal I wrote down, which was to take a lot of nice pictures. I’m not sure if I took any pictures that I will be hanging on my walls but they definitely captured a lot of nice moments. It makes me happy to think I can take their smiling faces with me and show them to my friends in Holland. I will tell them how the mamacitas in San Pedro de Chimbiyacu made fun of me all the time because of how lousy I was at the work that I was supposed to be supervising them in. They laughed at how little I knew about housekeeping, raising children and food. The teasing lightened up my trips to these communities, all though it did make me realize the necessity of goal nr 2 on my list. I’m sure I missed at least half of the jokes that were made at my expense, all though it was always in good fun.

Making fun of the gringa, FUN!


The next goals I wrote down were just goofy fillers I jotted down to fill up the page a bit at the time, like “learn to use the word chevere” and “take nothing for granted”. To my own delight I did succeed in the first one and I will make sure to introduce it back home; who knows it might catch on… As far as the sappy second one goes, it is actually surprisingly easy to get used to all the greenness, the incredible landscapes and the many gorgeous rivers, waterfalls and beaches that this area possesses. The fact that just looking at a seed here makes it start to sprout has almost become a nuisance and all the birds and insects that fill the evening air have become normal background noises that I hardly pay attention to (except the roosters… if only they would fade into the background). So it was actually not a bad one to mention in the end and writing this has made me realize that it’s time to use my 5 senses again to appreciate what is going on around me.


Thank you Runa for focusing my energy in such a positive way.


One thought on “Tenacity of Tena City

  1. First of all, you writing is so smooth and enjoyable! Sure it leave a touch that how you miss the place and of course the people you met!! Wonderful article and well done again! Really enjoyed!! Good luck on your next mission!!

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