Our Adventure in the Amazon - Wisdom Forest
WOW. Rory and I just had an EPIC experience in the Amazon in Ecuador. We travelled to a place near Tena, Ecuador called Wisdom Forest, which is an organic community farm! I found it on this website called Workaway where you can volunteer your time in exchange for shelter and food all around the world! I LOVE this concept! You get to learn soo much by helping out with gardening, cooking, digging, building, cleaning etc., all while getting to know the country and the people on a deeper level and connecting with like minded travelers.
We arrived on a Sunday, and since that was everyone's day off, we got to go adventure out into the Amazon! Rory and I did a hike with a group of people from the community where we walked upstream in water, climbed some waterfalls, hiked up the mountain past the waterfalls and back down again. It was unbelievably beautiful! I wish I had photos to show you but I didn't want to risk bringing my camera since we were literally climbing up waterfalls using rope and got drenched! I chose to be camera- less to be more present and not have to hold back! :) Oh by the way, we did the whole hike BAREFOOT and it was AWESOME! haha
Our days at Wisdom Forest typically looked like this: 6:30am - Yoga on the 2nd floor of a house constructed of bamboo overlooking the rain forest. 8am - Breakfast with the whole "family" - everyone who was staying there. People took turns cooking for the whole group (about 15 people) and we all sat in a circle on the ground as a family eating and chatting :) 9am - I gardened and Rory helped with digging and cleaning the house. 1pm - Lunch - again all sitting in a circle After lunch - Free time! 8pm - Dinner (all meals were vegetarian and were soo delicious and healthy!)
I learned a lot from this experience. Some of the things I learnt were: - I realized I can handle a lot more bugs than I thought I could. Sleeping with all sorts of LARGE insects crawling around in the room. Yup definitely an experience. lol. I'm so grateful for my bugless home in Canada! - One pineapple takes 18 months to grow! Loco! - If you think people are judging you and you are scared of what they think of you, you are really judging yourself. - Fermented lemon and lavender oil can be used as natural soap :) - There's something special about taking the time to eat meals together as a group/family everyday. You get to connect with everyone and feel like a part of something bigger than just yourself. - If you are ill, apparently, drinking your own urine can heal you since it contains hormones, enzymes and your blood map! Yes, we met someone who drinks their pee every morning to stay healthy. Pretty radical eh! But hey, if that's how they choose to avoid getting sick, props to them, no judgement :) - Hiking barefoot in the rainforest through water and waterfalls made me realize that our feet have great grip! :) - If you choose to swing on a vine in the rain forest you may or may not (me and Rory did) encounter amazon ants all over your thighs and arms which then leave a stinging sensation for about 14 hours! Ouch lol - Being part of a community and helping out for the greater good of everyone makes you feel at peace and TRULY happy. - Hammocks are my new best friends. - Apparently bats like to hang out in rolled up yoga mats.. - ALWAYS use bug spray when in the Amazon..or else you get bitten alive like I did in a couple hours. - When everyone wasn't working, they all had a very relaxed laidback approach to how they spent their off time. At first, I always felt like I should always be on the move or be doing something. I was inspired by them, and by the end of my stay I slowed down and took the time to think, to just absorb what's around me, to talk to someone, read my book, smile, pause to find something to be grateful for, take some pictures, etc.
Toronto Documentary Wedding Photographer for Free-Spirited, Bohemian & Adventurous Couples - GTA, Vancouver, Worldwide, International, Destination
Follow me on Instagram for bonus posts! --> @saramonikaphoto