One overnight stay in the Amazon with the tribe of Shiwakucha ought to be shared as a major reflective point in these travels i have done, so far.
In these parts i have walked in the darkness with a family living in the jungle. I was welcomed by the greeting of a tarantula crossing the unpaved path. It was exhilarating. Their house, was so humble and simple that it made me feel uneasy because you dive into a simple world where happiness is a daily thing and it doesn’t need grand things.
We sipped chicha, a fermented native drink made of Yuca (a root crop).
We were in front of a Fogon (fireplace) of which we shared our cultures, by words and by the smiles that made silhouettes in the dark.
I recounted of my ethnic origin and how we share the same family values.
The conversations we had up until breakfast became a time travel, backwards to where values have remained unscathed by the boredom of the routine of modern life.
Here, where the rain wakes you up, and the women alight the cinders of life to prepare desajuno (breakfast), i have found what i have missed – happiness.
Realizations on the Road
On the bus ride exiting the forests, one young man, Nadino, talked about the roads and how they changed the communitarian culture of the Shiwakucha. He is a bright fellow with consciousness of both modern and rural way of living. His heart entrenched on the rich culture of the Cordellieras has given him eyes to see that, which we (“modern men” – we call ourselves) have overlooked or ignore.
He talked about suicide as the 3rd cause of death worldwide and 2nd cause of death in “developed” countries. He chided with a grain of salt in this phenomenon, of which for him is strange (and stupid). He tells of suicide as a human illness.
Further he gave light to the societal epidemic of “measured” living. We measure our success with money, cars and bragging rights. He asks a strong question: how far have we gone away from being happy?
He further commented that humanity has placed more focus on solving economic or political problems that we neglect one true crisis: human discontentment.
By not paying attention to the “famine”of happiness, we anesthetize our incapability by overwhelming ourselves – making ourselves think that we are doing that which we ought to do to gain happiness.
How foolish are we?
Maybe it’s time to rethink our happiness, right?