With my coffee cup beside me, I would like to keep telling you about where God lets me live!
The Amazon River...there are times when I feel like I'm living in a National Geographic documentary! My house is about 15-20 minutes away from the Amazon River. After a trip down river to see La Isla de los Monos (Monkey Island - yes, there are really monkeys there and you can play with them!) recently, I decided I needed to learn more about the river I live near.
Back in July, we went to visit Pilpintuwasi (The Butterfly Farm), the river was still up fairly high. About two weeks later, I was on the river again, taking a couple of young ladies to visit the river. I found myself thinking, "Is the river really lower, or does it just seem that way?" About a week after that, our family was walking along "The Boulevard," the street/walking area that overlooks on of the the rivers. I was shocked at how much lower the river was! I don't know how to describe that feeling to you...it was absolutely astounding! It is such a noticable difference! Then just recently, when we went to Monkey Island, the river was down even lower...and noticably rougher, I might add!
As I did some studying about the Amazon River, I was startled to learn that the river actually rises and falls about 30 feet each year! We saw the lines on the trees at Monkey Island that show where the rivers reaches at its highest point. Incredible! Those lines were higher than My Beloved's head, and he is 6'2"!
The Amazon is also home to some of God's most amazing creatures. We have all kinds of fish that live in the river...from the famous Piranhas to the giant Paiches (Arapaimas), the bull sharks, the mantees, and the pink river dolphins! Incidentally, we got to see some of the river dolphin jumping out of the water in front of our boat on that way back home from Monkey Island!
Because of the rivers, Iquitos is almost an island - it is blocked in on three different sides by the rivers. Our main form of transporation is the mototaxi - a motorcycle with passenger space behind the driver. There are also the "Colectivos." They are the "city buses." They have certain routes and pick up or drop off people along the way. Personal vehicles like cars and pick-up trucks are definitely in the minority here! I love riding in the motos! They are much like the "tricicads" I used in the Philippines.
We have two major supermarkets where I do most of my shopping. Now please understand, when I say "major supermarkets," I am not talking about Krogers or Safeway or Price Chopper or any of those types of stores! But they have what we need, and I love them! Our meat is fresh, and you can purchase almost any part you want! We have a bread company just down around the corner from my house....it smells wonderful if you pass by about 10 a.m. or 3 p.m.....fresh-baked bread! We have certain streets in the city where certain businesses are located. For example: most of the pet/feed stores are located on Avenida Grau. If you want medical supplies, they are on a different street, etc.