We slept in today, as we had air conditioning and a pretty dark room. The sound of metal chains and banging had kept us awake a lot, but by morning we could tune it out and just keep sleeping. The river was pretty narrow in this area, so everyone was at the railing looking out when we finally emerged from bed.
First stop – dig up our old point-and-shoot camera from the bus.
A bit later we started seeing small boats, lots of dugout canoes really, with tiny children paddling them up near our boat. Someone threw a few filled plastic bags overboard and they paddled over and got them. A few minutes later, more kids, some with an adult, and I thought maybe people were throwing food, but it turns out it was toys. A lady was throwing out dolls to the kids in well-tied plastic bags – and each included a message of salvation.
The kids were obviously expecting something. I thought maybe Bode could pitch over a few of his toys. I really wanted him to see this, but he was still asleep. Some of these kids were 3 or 4 years old, paddling a handmade boat out in the open water alone, and I was worried about my son standing next to the railing. Makes you think for sure.
When he did get up, he immediately went to play with a friend he had made the night before. And unfortunately, there weren’t anymore kids in canoes anyway.
The next bit of entertainment was in the form of motorized boats. Usually a father with a kid or two. The boats would speed up to ours, throw a grappling hook on, tie up and the kids would climb aboard selling shrimp. Again, pretty small kids. We decided to buys some for a snack and skip the boat’s lunch. It was a slow meal, but fun to eat Amazonian camarao. Everyone eats the skins here, but I just couldn’t do it.
Then, it got really interesting. Kids in canoes paddling up to our big moving cargo boat and latching on. Some were selling things, but other just seemed to be on a joyride. When are cargo boat came the other direction, they would unhook and paddle furiously over and try to catch the next one.
By early-afternoon, we were all feeling a little off, and I chalked it up to dehydration from the day before. I had a headache, Bode was just run down, and Jason’s stomach hurt. We all laid down in our cabin to read/watch a movie, but by 3pm we were all violently ill.
From that point, all through the night we were awake with varying bouts of vomiting, diarrhea, severe stomach cramps , headaches and fever. We were glad to have our own bathroom, but we had to leave our room to get to it. It has a key, and the light is up near the ceiling so someone needed to go with Bode every time he needed to go. I spent so much time in there waiting for him, I eventually put our camp chair in the bathroom under the shower. It was a complete nightmare of a night, and I’ll just say we got to know each other more intimately than we have in 3 years living in a bus.