From Tawaya – Matis village on the Rio Branco.
After leaving the Marubo villages on the Rio Itui we headed back down river to the FUNAI base. Based on our boat captain’s calculations we should have arrived there around nightfall: 6p.m.or a bit later. But as our previous message stated, we did not make it that night. A heavy fog rolled in and stopped us in our tracks. We had to stop our boat and tied up to a bush on the river and wait it out…but the fog did not lift until 5a.m. With 10 people on the boat and all our gear, there wasn’t much room to sleep. So we made space. Jeremy Collins and I slept on the roof of the boat, Capkin van Alphen, Matthew Ferraro and Brian Hall took the two open benches and the floor below them, Barbara Arisi had a seat next to the luggage, our local guy Chorimpa slept across the fuel barrels, while our boat pilots slept in their seats at the front. And believe it or not – it gets cold at night in the fog!
We made it to the FUNAI base around 8a.m., had coffee, washed hair in sink (me), shaved (Capkin), toilet (everyone), and off we went on the Rio Branco at 9:30a.m. to get to the Matis village before dark. But that did not happen either- darkness fell, no one had been to these villages before (they had moved from another river last year), and it was raining. Ah, the Amazon.
Short version-we are safe in the Matis village of Tawaya on the Rio Itui having arrived around 7:30p.m. in the dark. They welcomed us though they did not expect us until the next day. The piums (teeth-with-wings or no-see-ums) have been horrendous all the way but here there seems to be so many less. After the usual formalities of presentations with the village elders, we have been given the green light to film what we need.
Everyone is doing well though we are all very tired from lack of sleep, hard hot long days of working, and the overall intensity of this place.
Merci and à bientôt,
In honor of our expedition to the Brazilian Amazon to film Tribes on the Edge we are giving away a copy of my father’s eBook for the Apple iPad, Return to the Amazon, chronicling the the 2006-2007 expedition as well as the 1982-1983 expedition with my grandfather. You can enter here.