My last day here in the Amazon city of Iquitos. It feels like it’s been so much longer than two weeks. I’m dreading going home at this very moment, little do I know, it’s exactly what I need. It’s 8 A.M. I’m awake in my hotel room. Soon it’ll be time to check out. For the time being, I’d better enjoy myself.
I roll myself a final Jungle joint with the remnants of the marijuana I still possess. I turn on the T.V and throw on some news channel discussing the Peruvian elections in Spanish. I spark the joint and begin to laugh. “Where the hell am I?” I wonder aloud. It was a huge joint and I struggled to get out of bed afterwards, however I eventually stumbled my way into the shower. After I freshened up and changed I headed downstairs for some breakfast. Eggs, bread, fruit and a coffee. Life is good. After that I ran back up to my room and grabbed my wallet and my phone, locked my door, and headed out to embrace the day. Maybe have a few beers. I headed down to the beachfront and wandered for about 15 minutes until lo and behold, Mama pulled up in front of me in a tuk tuk yelling in Spanish. I waved and ran over to help her out. She asked me if I had any change. I paid the driver. She handed me her bag and grabbed my arm and started dragging me around. I guess today would be with the family once again, I think to myself. She takes me to the plaza where Estacey had her prom. Emerson had paid 1000 soles for a single night in the plaza. Mama thought he was crazy. I understood. Estacey was Emerson’s baby girl after all. It was a huge place, and really nice considering the state of many buildings in Iquitos. Mama asked me if I wanted a cerveza, ir was 11 A.M but realistically that’s all I wanted. It was really warm outside. It was my last day. We headed to a bar and grabbed a beer. She showed me all her friends on her phone and one English man who had visited there family for two years named Tim. Mama was “mucho gusto” shall we say for Tim. Tim was all she wanted to talk about. Eventually she told me that she needed to get a doctors note for Estacey’s school. I asked her if I could just check out of her hotel and leave my bags in her home until I had to catch my flight (my flight was leaving at 11 P.M this evening) . Mama said absolutely and we caught a tuk tuk to my hotel where I grabbed my bags and checked out promptly. We went to the hospital where Mama borrowed 20 soles off me and get her note signed in a timely manner.
When we got back to the house it was around 12:30 A.M. I put all my bags upstairs and me and Alex went around the corner to grab a few mapachos. After that Mama informed us that we were all going to swing by Belen to grab supplies for the house and some lunch. That was fine by me, as I needed to purchase a fresh supply of mapachos to bring back home with me anyways. We caught a tuk tuk and found ourselves in the busy marketplace of Belen about 20 minutes later. I told Mama I needed mapachos and she instantly led me to one of her friends stalls where I was charged 17 soles for 300 mapachos…. I love mapachos….. I need more.. Sorry, off topic. After that we grabbed some lunch at a local restaurant where apparently the entire Police force happened to be eating at as well. After lunch Estacey called Mama. We told her we’d be back soon. We went and grabbed some food for Estacey and her grandmother and took a tuk tuk back to their home.
Upon arrival back at that house Estacey greeted us and I took a seat and lit a mapacho. Soup and bread was served for a light meal. At around 4 P.M I went outside and began playing guitar and singing. At around 4:30 half the kids in the neighborhood were gathered around me. I taught a few of them how to play, and we joked around. Estacey informed me we were all going out to her grandmothers to eat at 7 P.M and going to her cousins birthday party at 8 P.M. I explained that I had to be at the airport for 9:30 and she told me not to worry. I wasn’t worried. I continued to relax outside until everyone was ready and we caught a tuk tuk to her grandmothers. I greeted everyone and we all took a seat. I began teaching one of the younger cousins a bit of basic English. All the little lads tossed their toy army men at me. I laughed and went outside to chain smoke mapachos for a while. Estacey’s uncle arrived and had a smoke with me. We attempted to communicate. It didn’t work. I was given 10 soles and told to go and buy beer. I gladly obliged. I headed down to a corner store across the street. A small white cat began following me. I bent down and began to rub it. It purred and rubbed up against me. I picked him up and threw him on my shoulder and we proceeded to take a few photos. After he jumped down I grabbed a few beers and headed back to grandma’s place. It was time to go to the cousins party.
Upon arrival the salsa music was bumping. However, there was no one there save the cousin whose birthday it was and her two parents. We all took a bunch of photos together, joked around and Mama pressed me to marry Estacey. I laughed and ran away to dance with Estacey which made Mama howl with delight. I laughed even more and poured myself a beer and all the adults a glass of beer. I went out and had a mapacho and called my parents and told them that I would be seeing them very soon. It was 8:45 now, and I needed to grab my belongings from the home and head to the airport. I went back inside and was forced to eat birthday dinner and drink more beer. At 9:15 I pressed the family to leave and we did so. I said goodbye to everyone and we went back to their house. Alex and grandma stayed home. Mama and Estacey came with me to the airport (thank the lord too because I had no more money left for a taxi!). We said our final goodbyes, I promised them I’d be back soon. They told me I’d better be. I went through security and began reading “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle. I boarded a plane from Iquitos to Lima. A plane from Lima to Toronto. A plane from Toronto to Ottawa. I got out at the Ottawa international airport, grabbed my bags and headed outside where my mother was waiting in the black Suby outback our family owns. I was home. I am home. What has changed? Well in a sense, everything.
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