(originally posted on: June 12, 2012)
Yesterday I posted an image that I took of a little girl I met in the Amazon rainforest on the OYOW Facebook page. In the comments box, JP wrote the following: “They both seem to share the same expression of cautiousness towards the world and mutual trust for each other.”
Thank you for sharing your thoughts JP, I couldn’t agree with you more in terms of what I saw as I captured this image…namely, the concerns of the Waorani (Huaorani) people, very much aware of what may happen to the world around them, the Amazon rainforest, the place that for centuries they’ve called, and will always call, home. (More on the community’s story HERE & HERE)
While completely absorbed in my thoughts as I tried to process the stories I heard during my visit with the Waorani community, I walked down to the river near the last village that I was privileged to visit prior to my departure from the Amazon.
I became mesmerized by a rabble of butterflies fluttering around by the shoreline…
Then, out of the bushes…giggles, abdomen crunching giggles….
As someone who many years ago was a little girl herself (though from miles away and living under completely different circumstances), an explanation if I may. Dear friends, maybe you too can relate…
Just like these little sisters, many of us loved to play, giggle, play pranks on each other, and laugh out loud…while aware of the world around us, we felt that same sense of freedom and pure joy, unrestricted by complexes, behavioural limitations, and concerns that we develop naturally and/or socially as adults.
We played, some perhaps still till this day, in that very same way…when laughter was key to feeling alive, free, and achieving that moment of happiness every day…even in the worst of times. As I chuckled along with these young girls, I was reminded of the importance of that exact laughter and freedom of thought found only through times like these.
Just as I was struggling to comprehend the ills of humanity that are threatening the survival of the girls’ community, I was at that moment reminded of the youth that I will forever cherish…with my brothers as we performed concerts on pots and pans for our parents and relished the applauds, with my Canadian girlfriends with whom I spent countless hours making costumes, painting faces, building stables for our plastic ponies before tossing them into the dryer for a quick ride at the “amusement park”…
Dear World, it’s easy to think that people are so very different based on our appearances, diets, languages, traditions, cultures, perspectives, beliefs, politics…but the question is: are we really?
To all the girls,women, brothers, fathers, and friends…it goes something like this:
Step 1: Submerge yourself in water. Step 2: Bend over and allow your hair to flow forward. Step 3: Gently rise out of the water, and push it forward above your forehead….et voila – the perfect Hair Bonnet!!!!
Thank you so much for allowing me to witness this unsolicited hair bonnet, to relive a moment, a point in my life, when nothing more convoluted or complex than laughter and joy brought us together…
I am thrilled to report that, even in the depths of the Amazon jungle, the fabulous Hair Bonnet lives on! Thinkers, academics, policy makers, and business folks…when contemplating decisions that will affect communities far removed from your own, please dip your head in the water for a second, and think about it all.