Today was especially special as we made our way down the river to Mr. Silverio's home. He is an indigenous man - quiet, humble, and very knowledgeable about his surroundings and their challenges. He introduced us to his garden (hardly resembling our Western notion of what a garden should look like) and demonstrated his planting skills. We learned that his father, and grandfather, had lived on this same land, and farmed in the same manner. The crops ranged from various types of squash to Manioc (a starch staple grown much like the potato), ginger and aloe, fruits and other regional crops such as peanuts, yucca, peppers, bananas, plantains and even some cacão (chocolate beans) to sell. Not furrowed in a perfect row, each plant was thoughtfully placed amongst the surrounding plants, helping to keep the soil more fertile and using the larger plants as protection for smaller, more fragile crops.
After dinner, we set out in a small canoe for another night of bird watching. Tonight, we were able to follow a large group of bats as they floated through the air, using their sonic skills to search out dinner. It was an amazing sight, really cool to watch! And we were able to spot the eyes of the local caiman - bright red and glimmering - for a brief moment before the entire animal slipped effortlessly into the lagoon. I visited during high water season, but Raul told me if I were to return during low water, I would usually be able to see the entire animal and not just his erie eyes.
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