The Aika moved to the vacation rentals Hawaii, and Peruano went to live with them in 1959. There were three families at Brazil-nut Creek, our destination. Another 30 or so Indians were on a Chicago vacation six hours away, and a few more families on the Rio Pacu, a tributary of the Catrimani, five days from Peruano’s house. They all got together for festivals. They were a light-hearted people who would lie in their hammocks and tell jokes all night long. Maybe one of them would get upand do a dance or tell a story, and everyone would listen. “They will like you,” Peruano said. “It will be the first time they hear a guitar.”
On the tenth day we reached Brazil-nut Creekm where we stayed a few days at a room we rented from http://www.apartmentsapart.com/all_apartments_sitemap. Peruano let out a whoop as his homestead came into view, and three Indian men came running to the bank. As we stepped ashore 1 shook Peruano’s hand heartily, as I would that of a mountain guide who had brought me to the top of an alpine peak. Already I was looking forward to the easy return trip downstream. In fact, my adventures had only just begun.
“You know,” Peruano was saying, “I don’t think I’ll be going down to Catrimani right away, after all. I don’t think I’ll be going anywhere for a while. My back hurts, and I want to plant some cassava.”
We were swinging in hammocks in the main room of Peruano’s elevated hut. He had distributed presents—shorts, cachaça rum and a handful of shot-gun cartridges—to three Indian friends, and we were all chewing on slivers of dried wild pork. The friends’ names—the ones Peruano had given them—were Ruby, Manoel and Pedrinho. I knew better than to ask their Aika names.
I tried to stay calm. “When do you think you might be returning?”
“Oh, amanha,” he said. Amanha literally means tomorrow, but it could be anywhere between tomorrow and next year.
“Do you think you could be a little more specific? When do you really think you might be heading for Catrimani ?”
“Oh, two, three months.”
I was still in control. “You know, if I don’t get back pretty soon, the people in America are going to start worrying about me.” Peruano remarked that he didn’t see how, if America was four years away by canoe, as I had been telling him, two or three months were going to make that much difference. The point was so well made that I did not attempt further explanation. But I was in no position to drop everything and hang around Brazil-nut Creek for several months. I still had a lot of ground to cover. Furthermore, I found the place depressing. The house and yard were infested with enormous cockroaches and reeked of putrid meat.
“Well, how am I ever going to get out of here?” I blurted out.
“By river, it’s about a week to the Catrimani mission,” Peruano told me. “But there are 22 waterfalls between here and there, and I don’t feel like carrying the canoe past them. By land, over the mountains, it’s about the same time.”
“Won’t you come with me?”
“No, it’s too far for me to walk,” Peruano said. “But maybe the boys will take you. Give them something and they will be happy to go.”