Part 3: Pucallpa Land

Posted on May 10, 2010

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Part 3: Pucallpa Land

“My gut told me to jump”

With James leaving us, it was only Luz and myself getting a taxi back to the hospital. We had no idea but it was near one in the morning. Two females traveling alone late at night with their bags/cameras— do I need to remind you how thoughtless that is?

We got the taxi. We told him to bring us to the hospital. We drove for a little while but then the driver took a turn down a dark and narrow road. Naturally, my gut told me immediately to jump. I gave Luz a look but she didn’t seem concerned so I ignored my instinct.

Thirty seconds later the taxi stopped. Another pulls out of a patch of shrubbery. Two men jump out from the hidden taxi and then with our driver start screaming at us in Spanish, get us out of the car, and successfully robbed us. Fortunately, Luz and I remained safe. They only wanted our things. And that is not the end of the world because material possessions can always be replaced one way or another. I certainly choose to remember that night as the one when  “beautiful Atma was born” and not “I got robbed.” That doesn’t mean they didn’t put a damper on the experience.

I had taken out 1000 soles earlier in the night (which was more than 1/3 of all the cash I had).  Since we left the clinic and went to the hospital, the doctor gave me that money back. And the hospital is a lot cheaper than the clinic so between paying for pharmacy things and our nice meal, I had around 650 soles on me. PLUS my brother’s wallet because he gave it to me to hold when he went into the 0R. PLUS, for some reason unknown, Luz grabbed my brothers $800 camera that he uses for work. And finally, there was her purse. But enough poor me. We survived! We were able to get money wired to Luz, since all our identification was stolen and she still had her passport. We got a one-room hostel ($10 a night) that my brother, Mayra, Atma, and I all shared. We lived like that for two weeks until Atma was given permission to get on a plane.

How I spent my time... with notebooks

In Pucallpa, pretty much stranded in this hostel room, give or take a few places where activity lingered, I occupied myself by writing obsessively in my journal. I time traveled back to New York, chronicling the good and the bad of my previous experiences there. I was reminded of my desire to write, to journal, to release and share the experiences that have crossed my path. It was an extremely reflective time for me. I questioned my time in Peru, where I should head next, and how I could create a path of growth for myself. This led me to Cusco, my current habitation.

Amigita, I see you

My journey is interestingly unfolding itself and I hope to continue to share the thoughts. Chao, stay tuned…

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