“This is Ecuador!” I’ve heard this several times from locals, as I remove layer after layer of clothing in one hot moment, only to put everything back on in the next moment, topped by a light rain jacket. I don’t mind a drizzle here and there. I like having a fresh spray of rain on my face. But soon, heavy, dark clouds obscure the sun. Victor says, in perfect English like a California dude, “Whoa, there’s a storm coming.”

Five minutes later, the rain is coming down in sheets. The boat barrels forward as we huddle under the canopy. It’s raining hard, but I can still see the beauty of the banks, and I’m dry as a bone. I’m wrapped tightly in my Sani Lodge poncho, a cocoon against the torrents. I look down the boat and see rows of blue cocoons. Now I understand. The poncho is my friend.

The sky opens up. It is pouring. We are moving rapidly upstream through the deluge, and I am perfectly content. My luggage, laptop, phone, and self-are all dry as a bone.



As part of our continuing work with the indigenous Amazonian community of Sani Isla in Ecuador, Deborah Tompkins is sharing a travelogue of her experiences as an American in the Amazon. Deb’s company, Sage Point, works with NGOs in Africa, Asia and now Latin America to develop and execute marketing and communication strategies. She is donating her time and expertise to support RP and the Sani Warmi community. We invite you to join Deb as she introduces you to the people, the community, their Amazon ecolodge, and their forest home.

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