Peace and Pollution

Moving on the river in a noisy tin bath of a boat makes me aware of the contrast between nature's engineering and our man-made engineering. A fish swims silently and graceful in the water while our boat moves like an angry noisy monster, cumbersomely up river. You know, I'm thinking to myself what I would give just to feel the peace and serenity of my surroundings. But the boat droans on. Ideas turn over in my head like cash in a bank. If only we could keep in mind the irreplacable withdrawls we are taking from this planet. It makes me think about the contribution to the pollution of these rivers we're making with our boats and visits. The engine drones on. My mind keeps ticking over in time to the song of the boat. I eventually interject " Willie we need to think green in the Vine Trust . Willie looks listens and says " Amazon Hope 3 can be painted green." he turns his lip down - "Celtic will sponsor it" We laugh but we both know this a big issue. The truth is we have already started on this topic. Yesterday we were hearing about strategies that could save us fuel, when using the boats. We need to take it further and find strategies in all we do that will contribute to us playing our part in saving the planet. The thing is, ecology is a pursuit of the rich western world. When you're poor, you're poor. You use what is at your hand. We arrived at Puerto Allegria and we are welcomed by 43 children. This reminds me of a film I saw years ago "Inn of the Sixth Happiness". The boys in turn give their names along with their number. As we are introduced. It's a bit like the BBs numbering sessions. Finally a small voice shouts a name and then 43. This isthe latest recruit. He spells out his name. All laugh, a kind of protective brotherly smile. The little 5 year old places his head against the legs of Gene the house father. At last he now has a place to belong. He was brought to the home by his mother - she had her reasons. She loved him no doubt so much she gave him away. We don't compute such action. In our society we just encourage abortion. So which is worse? A few minutes later we tour the home. This is a jungle community, wooden walkways link the various boys' dormitories. This is the peace I've been looking for. I stop and listen to the sounds on the wind, an exotic bird makes a gurgling noise. I think to myself. " peace at last" I stoop down and take a picture of a parrot on a cage and a wee monkey locked inside it. Oh to be a boy again! No doubt this is one of the boys pets. A wee boy runs past m with two fish in his hands, he's got them for bait. A slight breeze is in the air, another boy is fishing from a wooden walkway. Two more join him with little fish in their hands also. This is a million miles from Belen but only forty minutes up the river. A safe haven for these little ones. I know now why so many work parties go to Puerto Allegria. To find peace. Moments later Willie's on the scene, Paul and Lewis not far behind. It's time to return to reality and hear about the refurbishment issues facing Amazon Hope 1. Within seconds we're back on the river, adding our contribution of noise pollution to the scenic world of Amazonia.

Posted By: Mike Munro   On: 30 Mar 2009   At: 6:52pm


    Done the Vine Trust talk to the Seagull Trust last Wed., you didn’t tell me there would be 80+ people there! Went really well, and as you say, Puerto Allegria comes across as peaceful and idyllic, especially showing the pictures.

Keep safe on your journey.



Posted By: Rae   On: 30 Mar 2009   At: 6:23pm

It must be nice to find some peace and quiet in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of Peru.  We did our bit for the environment on Saturday night at the youth cafe during WWF’s earth hour. We switched off all the lights and lit candles.  It was nice and felt like we were contributing something.

Leave a reply