Dragon Healers


Ross - We all woke up at 5:00 a.m. with the rising sun. Hummm, let's see - that's about 3 hours of good hammock sleeping. Hope we can make it all up later. A couple of folks took showers. The Support Boat pumped water directly from the river in the same proximity as the outlet for the toilets. You had to have an unwavering faith that when someone used the toilet, the river current swept "it" all down stream and out of the way before you turned the handle for the shower. Understandably, many folks didn't shower. After breakfast at 7:00 a.m. we headed through the market. There were many vendors with lots of goods. The meat market was primarily down at the end. Several folks bought 16 Oscar fish to supplement our dinner later. Later in the morning there was an organized walk through town and a visit to a small pond. We observed turtles, fish and birds. At the town Plaza the local leaders organized a band, made speeches and acknowledged the great range of participants from all around the world. A lunch was hosted in a local restaurant. Kathy and Cecilia met and talked at length with the Peruvian Women's Team who have always finished 1st in the Ladies Division. They became fast friends, gave us good advice and became a great target to follow. On our way back to the Support Boat, we purchased 2 gallons of waterproofing paint (red and orange) and 4 brushes. We all then headed over to "Fisherman's Island" to construct our rafts. The Support Boat took nearly everyone over to the island and had to park a short distance away because of the water depth at the beach. People were very aggressive trying get off the Support Boat and onto the shuttle boats. Our Crews got separated. After gathering our tools, paint, cable ties, and whatever else we needed - Ross, Brian and Cecilia found themselves at the back of the line. We patiently waited our turn. We were next but the Support Boat drifted over to that side cutting off access to the shuttle boat. So, everyone rushed over to the other side of the Support boat and we found ourselves at the end of the line, again. Once on the shuttle boat, several extremely large "Brotherhood/Sisterhood" guys jumped on top of the shuttle boat roof with the luggage. This resulted in the shuttle boat being extremely top heavy and dangerously unsafe. We nearly capsized. It was VERY, VERY scary. And of course, they refused to get off the roof. Now we know that the "Brotherhood" are very strong, very stupid and very inconsiderate. We finally made it to the island and many were well into their raft making. The Healers Red and Healers Green seem to get some fairly good logs for their raft but the Healers Blue crew got the remnants. Out of our 8 logs, 1 was a "keeper". Mike C.'s promise of assigning log piles by lottery just didn't hold up. It is starting to become evident that Mike C. is a bit of a story teller, but we are learning to cope and "roll with the punches". We adapt easily and keep moving forward. We were then told that more logs were on the way, so we decide to work our one good log and wait to see what comes. By this time, we are one of the last rafts to get started. We figure that more logs aren't coming or would be wet and heavy and not much better. So, to make up time, we employed a chainsaw to carve our points and grooves. It goes quickly. We cable tied all of our joints. They go quickly, too. By this time we are nearly as far along as the Healers Red. We start painting, bottom first then top. Now come the seats, flags and number. Good thing Cecilia brought her drill and portable saw. They came in handy, made things easier and quicker. It looks pretty good and will be our home from many hours to come. The other logs do arrive, but are less straight and look bigger. Good thing we moved forward with what we had. It is dark now, so we'll have to wait until tomorrow, at the start line, to see if it floats. We head back to the Support Boat and are the first ones back. We ate our fish that was purchased earlier in the day at the market, and ate the dinner provided on the Support Boat. We showered, lathered up in deet, pulled out the insect nets, and retired –