samedi 25 novembre 2017

A JEW ALONG THE AMAZON: FRIEND OF THE TICUNA AND LOOKING FOR JEWISH HISTORY

 Within the course of one month: I was in Iquitos in Peru, Manaus in Brasil and Leticia in Colombia. 
Every where I went I met and made friends with the Indians. My friends the UmonHon in USA had taught me how to make friends with Indians.
 In Iquitos in Peru, I wanted to learn more about the History of the Jewish migrants from Morocco (mainly) who came here at the end of 19th Century at the height of the Rubber Boom! Many stayed, others moved to cities with larger jewish communities such as Manaus and Belem (still sizeable Jewish communities in these cities). Sami whose parents came from the erstwhile Russia (after the Rubber Boom, but to escape the Nazis) was born here and still lives in Iquitos. We had a pleasant time together, I have learned a lot about the Jewish situation in Iquitos where many Mestizos are claiming a jewish identity and some even migrating to Israel. 


 I was curious about these "wichetty Grubs" being sold in the markets, they are the larvae of the Palm weevil and supposed to be delicious, never realizing that further down the river I would be tasting an elegant version of this.


 There are two movies (may be more) in which the history and the times of the Caucha or the Rubber Boom can be seen. I highly recommend the movie Fizcarraldo starring Klaus Kinski with Werner Herzog directing. Beautiful landscape as a backdrop. Above the magnificent opera house in Manaus, in the Brasilian Amazonia.
 Here at the confluence of Rio Negro and Rio Solimaes, the Amazon looks more like an ocean than a river. Passenger boats slow and fast take people to the interior of the amazon and also to the villages lying on the Amazon itself.

 A short flight, less than two hours will take you to Tabatinga in Brasil at the border of Colombia and Peru.
 Ana Yudit, the owner of Hotel Amazon BnB, possibly the best place to stay in Leticia, drove over to pick me up which was nice of her.
 Esmeralda was ever attentive and made sure that I was comfortable. They assigned a nice cabana for me, No 3

 El Cielo is an Amazonian Fusion New Age cuisine, elegant and very tasty and adventurous.

 Here I meet the larvae, called Mojojoy along the Amazon, stuffed with fish and other marine creatures, on a bed of Cassava. Very tasty and on that hot day, POKER was a good accompaniment as a drink.


 I wanted to meet the Ticuna from an outlying village two hours by boat. I ran into my boatman, named Hannibal who offered to take me, but as luck would have it, the Ticuna were coming to town that day.



 This is my friend Omar on my left and his brother Miguee who is the actor from the movie The Embrace of the Serpent which was nominated for Oscar for the Best Foreign Film.

 I had a nice chat with Elcida, Omar's niece, who is staying in Leticia temporarily and she is so eager to go home to her village.
 Breakfast was filling and a good start to a hot, humid, rainy day in the Amazon.

 At 530 the trees at Parque Santander in front of the Church in town, millions of parakeets (similar) come back from their hunt in the Amazon to rest for the night. The evening sky darkens with the cloud of their presence and the squeaking noise is overpowering but reminds you of the cycle of Nature.






Enjoy the trailer and my friend is the younger Indian actor, who plays the guide.
As they left the wharf, I was so proud to say.
I, a Jewish Australian doctor, representing Cuba, will be privileged to work with them!
I plan to return in January 2018.