Friday, September 26, 2008

Breu Accommodations

For this post I'm going to leave my journal and describe the village of Breu and our accommodations there. Breu is an tiny little village on the Rio Yurua. It is actually the largest village in the area, and from what I understand on the entire river. The village was erected in 1960 as a logging camp. In the past few years, they built the first school. I'm not sure how many people live in the village but my guess is less than 100, which includes the loggers that are currently working here and the men in the military camp at the end of the village runway. Most smaller surrounding villages only have thatched huts. Breu has a combination of huts and more typical houses.

The school

We are staying in a house built by the World Wildlife Fund as a regional office/field station. There are two bedrooms with a few beds, but only the Peruvians use those. You never know what kind of creepy crawlies are living in the mattresses and you can't use your mosquito net with them. There are two other larger rooms where the rest of us hang our hammocks. Although hammocks don't sound like an ideal thing to sleep in for three weeks, I am pleasantly surprised. My back doesn't hurt and it is so comfortable to sleep in and to lounge in during the day.

The nicest surprise is that we have electricity from 6-9 every night. The village has some sort of generator that runs for three hours a night. When the electricity comes on, it also means the water pump works and that we have water for a few hours. So after dinner every night we fill huge trash can looking tubs with water.

We have a kitchen with a small sink and a propane burner. We hired two local women to work as our cooks. They do most of the cooking out back, over the fire. The food actually isn't that bad, but living on rice and lentils and fried eggs is getting a little old. Oh yeah, we brought an enormous amount of eggs with us. The sit on the floor in the pantry and we eat them almost every day. Sounds pretty disgusting and I never would have thought eggs would last for weeks sitting out in this heat, but they still taste fine and no one has got sick yet.

We also have a bathroom!!! A toilet with no seat and a tiled shower. There's no running water in the bathroom, but that's where those tubs of water come in. We have to pour buckets of water down the toilet to flush and to shower we fill a 5 gal. bucket and use a cup or bowl to pour water over us. Much better than having to hike down to the river and expose your skin to the bugs.

Unfortunately after the first week there, the toilet stoped working and started leaking sewage out under the house. So gross to walk out the door and have to jump over a stream of sewage. So then we had to use the latrine at the school. DISGUSTING. A key shaped hole in the floor to squat over. One evening I opened the door and there was some large animal in the hole. No way in hell I'm going in there at night. We try and wait till dark so we can just pee outside in the bushes. I think I'll leave you on that happy thought.

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