Location: Cerro de Tigre

We started the day canoeing upstream to the small village Cerro de Tigre. Whilst waiting for the

Chibou (an open-doored bus) we encountered a herd of jungle goats passaging across the road.

We boarded the Chibou and, after a bumpy ride, we arrived in the Sumak Allpa (soon-to-

  1. be) school. Our mission was to construct a 2 by 1-meter bathroom! Thinking it would be

easy, we embarked on a journey to empty bowels.

Half of us collected stones and piled them in some wheelbarrows. Some brave and strong men,

namely, me, David, Ferris (now a man of fifteen), Tommy, and Ben made a wheel pop at our

sheer strength.

Skin ready to burst at the size of our swollen and bustling biceps. Beard follicles blossoming at

every earned step. We men were ready. We heaved 150-kilo wheelbarrows to our altruistic

goal. In order not to scare the locals, we utilized a mechanical cement mixer instead of our

pectorals and deltoids. Camilla watched in awe of such greatness. Once we had all of our

supplies ready, we started to mix the cement. Eve and Orlando truly experienced the harshness

of concrete as they dropped their bursting wheelbarrows.

Concluding the work, we joined Hector on a Toxic Tour. This is a tour of Chevron’s devastating

oil exploits in the Amazon Rainforest. We walked downstream to a grove of tall palm trees. A

multitude of grasses proliferated near the sidewalk. In the distance, twin flames scorched the

atmosphere. As we neared the smoldering flames, the heat blistered.

Hector grabbed a handful of beetle corpses on the ground.

Look at these precious bugs.

He showcased the stiffs to the aghast group.

They’re pollinators. Without them, we wouldn’t have any this rainforest. And now they’re dead.

Suddenly, Hector took the adorably vicious Camillas hand and said, pressingly:

Here! A souvenir.

Still bewildered by the strikingly bleak reality, the group returned their focus to the completed

lavatory, gratified and fulfilled. We turned to depart.

We returned to the Yarina Ecolodge. We were welcomed with the bitter smell of cocoa seeds.

Enlightened by the prospect of creating pure Ecuadorian chocolate, we dived into the

wondrous land of sweets.

Step One: We emphatically shelled the piping hot cocoa beans.

Step Two: We jovially ground the naked seeds.

Step Three: Roast.

Step Four: Eat voraciously.

After a delicious dinner, we were surprised with a large chocolate cake to celebrate Faris and Hector’s birthday. The cake was covered with the chocolate sauce we had made earlier in the evening. That night, half the group went on a night hike in the forest and the other half of the group got temporary tribal tattoos from Hector.