Finding Family II

Priyanka Rao - Ecuador


November 30, 2011

When there is no water, we come to bathe and wash on the banks of River Misahualli

I got to go to the river the other day with my family in order to shower and wash my clothes because there was no water in the tank at home.  This time I was prepared with dirty clothes and a skirt to change.  I was relieved to find that this was only a laundry trip because last time I had had to eat the fried mini-catfish (Pseudorinelepis genibarbis) they had picked up in the river.  I abandoned the idea of picketing the use of detergent in the river because I realized the drains at home probably go the same place in the end anyway.  Running water has a different meaning here.

"Carachama" A special snack for inhabitants of the Amazon

I took out my clothes to wash and began my routine while my cute host parents looked on in awe of my being left-handed (surda).  Nevertheless, they were soon laughing as I watched the color run out of my ‘new’ second-hand clothes.  I knew I’d have to let it go when they took my clothes from me to wash them the proper harsh, grinding way.

I notice that I am a lot more accepting than I used to be, and my sister agrees when I say I’m more of a five-year old in this country.  “Yo creo que aquí yo tengo cinco años.”  Of course I’m the baby of the town, anyway, being only 18 years old!  I don’t mind this- I am very happy.  And slowly I will grow up along with my 18 year old sister, Maria, and two older brothers, Alisandro and Daniel (22 and 24).  I’m proud to share my mother, Mariana’s, declaration, “Mi hija por seis meses.”  My daughter for half a year!

My Mom and Sister play in the water after washing our clothes


Priyanka Rao