The morning air was clear and fresh to breathe as we went for our first walk in the village. Hummingbirds were buzzing in the air like giant beetles, but cuter. People greeted us on the street and from their houses. It was nice to finally have arrived at Corosha. The village is surrounded by forested mountain tops, so it doesn’t take long to realize that you are in the Amazonian parts of the Andes.
We have now gone to the far northern parts of Peru, which is the only place in the world where you can find the yellow-tailed woolly monkey which is one of the species I will work with. On the expense of the environment, we flew to an airport 3-4 hours away to avoid the 20-hour bus trip from Lima with our baby Lima. However, the trip ends up taking the whole day anyway, and we arrived at sundown.
Village life started out challenging. We all got stomach sick at least once in the first days, and when you wake up in the night from Lima’s spasms when vomiting – you really wonder if you have gone to the right place.
To know which food to give to Lima was also difficult. Babies grow up everywhere, but that doesn’t mean that we feel fine about giving Lima anything. Here, everything contains sugar. If you buy milk, without being a detective looking at every bottle’s nutrient values, it is probable that it will be sweet like Coca-Cola. And then you are lucky – as many of them are much sweeter.
As we are not cooking our own food here, but have an arrangement with the women association in the village, we can’t cook food for Lima ourselves. The food they cook on the other hand isn’t really made for babies, and Lima doesn’t really like it. In the beginning, we had to compromise a lot and give her coke-sweet yogurt for breakfast, just to make sure she gets full. Now we have however found locally fresh (not so sweet) yogurt and wheat-meal for porridge. She goes bananas about the local bananas too, so things have gotten easier once we got to know the place and the people.
The people we live with have plenty of animals, so every morning Lima is waking up by the chickens, cats, and dogs outside the door, eager to play with them. Although we try to keep them out, chickens come in every now and then to eat some spiders.
The first period of time, Julia and I have been working with the Andean bear! It’s been exciting, but that is for the next blog post! So long!