Specially printed in color, and accessible with stunning back-lit color images, this “single” recounts the adventures of Jackie Chase in Ecuador.
This story begins, after a touching story of pre-trip doubts within her family, “The fifty-foot canoe forged through the downpour, not caring that passengers, luggage, and food got drenched. Huddled together for warmth, Katherine and I sat motionless, sharing a tarp with numerous wood crates packed with camping gear and food. Our safety net, Louis Garcia, had our lives in his hands. Louis knew the ins-and-outs of jungle life from studying for his role as a medicine man, and he came recommended by the South American Explorers Club.
The canoe jerked to a stop on the muddy shoreline. I could hear foreign voices, undecipherable in the distance. After we removed the rain-soaked tarp from over our heads, Katherine and I noticed the angry sky had gone quite dark. People stood on the banks of the river, pulling the canoe forward in the mud. Out of nowhere, Katherine said, ‘I’m freezing cold and wet but not sad.’
‘Why would you feel sad?’ I asked.
‘Racing down the river in a fifty-foot canoe, trusting our boat driver in the dark, and fearing the unknown, maybe?’ Katherine smiled as her slender, ice-cold fingers squeezed my hand. Our brand-new boots sloshed through the mud while we climbed a steep embankment. A Quechua home on stilts graced the river with candles, and steaming hot chocolate and tea waited for us… At lunchtime, we’d eaten hot pasta with lentils, peas, corn, potatoes, tuna, bread, and dripping orange slices over huge banana leaf placemats; could our dinner menu match that? I thought the chances were good.”