Fish and Bananas, Bananas and Fish
The denizens of the rain forest eat two meals per day. They have bananas and fish for breakfast and fish and bananas for lunch. All their food can be obtained locally. Fish from the river and fruit, rice, yuca, and etc. are grown locally. They need only trade with people in the city when they require items such as fishing line or batteries. To do this, they gather up some produce or meat from their farm animals and travel up river for at least five hours on one of the numerous river taxis.
Our food at the lodge was heavenly and delivered thrice daily. There was always a meat (red, white, or fish), scrumptious beans (good for when the meat was not fish), rice, a cabbage salad, starch (potatoes or yuca), fruit and something like bread pudding. The food combined with the lazy atmosphere, and entertaining pet parrots yielded quite a Zen experience.
I can see how people have been entranced away from the US to live there. At 3 degrees latitude, the sun always rises at 6:30 and sets at 6:30. Life is run on the clock of the sun and the river and the mosquitoes. Locals are a bed at night fall, safely entombed under their mosquito netting. They rise again before dawn and toil through the day with nary a care of the modern world. We met two ex-patriots still affiliated with the lodge. One started a medical practice for thousands along the river and the other is building a library. Sarah wants to return there for no other reason than to play with monkeys.
I told her that she cannot have monkeys in the US. That would be mean to the monkey. However, something like la isla de los Monos (Monkey Island) which we visited this past Thursday, would be an alternative. The simians there were raised by humans from near birth and are therefore quite sociable. There was one in particular, named Andre, that follows tourists for miles and makes a sport of trying to annoy them. Like a cat attracted to dark clothing, he will taunts those who would be agitated the most. The tamerins were my favorite. They were so very tiny. One took habitation for a time in the nook between my camera bag and I. The monkeys had free reign to come and go as they pleased, sometimes crossing the river, and occasionally the monkeys would not return. If only we had such luxuries in Western society.