In the wilderness lies the preservation of the world.
Henry David Thoreau
A small goodbye
Since I was awake deep into the night with all of the other students – the exciting day entertained us into the early hours of the morning – I only got up at 9am, even though it promised to be another wonderful sunny day. After the tasty breakfast we returned to our drum-building. The motif that we are applying to the drums is an “Indian-styled” bear paw, something very special because Tina saw it in a dream and drew it for us as an example. Everyone can also draw their own motifs as well. So in addition to the bear paw, I also drew a salmon (fitting to our project). I look at the drum and notice how deeply immersed I already am into the traditions of the First Nations. I feel very connected to Tina and Jorge. Tina also signed my sketch, like Jorge signed the wooden frame so that I will never forget them. Although we have only been here for four days, we already have to say goodbye for the first time. As a thank-you for the two wonderful days, we have given them an Irish song of blessing and signed Wilderness International T-shirts. As Jorge wipes a tear out of the corner of his eye, I notice how touched I am. I have goose-bumps all over my body and cannot keep myself from shedding a tear or two also. A jump into the cold water cheers me up as well as dinner with an exquisite fresh salmon that was smoked over an open fire on the banks of the lake.
The day ends with a meeting with the guides (Tessa and Dave) for the next couple of days. We take a long time to study maps and discuss the packing lists. Packing all of our gear takes longer than I thought. In the end I fall into my bed, exhausted but also full of excitement ahead of the next four days on the Burman River.
Translated by Pilar Wolfsteller