Sunday, November 19, 2000

El Paucar —The Oropéndola

They say that in one town of the jungle, there lived a little boy that always wore a yellow jacket and black pants. He was a gossip and the slightest piece of news that he heard, he would rush to spread the gossip, before you could blink an eye.

Once the boy said that a neighbor flew at night, but it was a lie. The neighbor heard the gossip, and the truth was that she was a fairy in disguise. She decided to immediately punish the boy. She gave him a tap on the head, and changed him into a little black and yellow bird, that is called "el paucar".

This is why we say, when we hear the song of this bird, that there is news about arriving boats, visitors, or good news. This bird always remembers its punishment and that is why it makes its house next to a wasp nest, for its own defense.

This story was told by Captain Antonio (Don Jose Antonio Ruiz Alegria Lupe Ruiz Anape) to Tamara and is one of the stories in his book "Legends form the Peruvian Amazon."

(The tree in front of Ranger Station 2 is full of los paucars. And sure enough, right next to their nest is a wasp's nest!)


Papas a la Huancaina — Potatoes in spicy cream sauce

This is our favorite Peruvian dish and comes from Horacio's cookbook, "Horacio's Recipes from the Peruvian Amazon." (You'll notice there are no exact measurements. Horacio, like most good cooks, tastes his recipes to see if the proportions are correct.)






In a blender, mix yellow chilies, garlic, salt, black pepper, cheese, soda crackers and milk. Liquefy. Add a few drops of the lemon juice. Pour over cooled, boiled and peeled potatoes. Serve over a bed of lettuce, with hard boiled eggs and black olives.


Los Remos—Canoe Paddles

Letser purchased canoe paddles for us in one of the villages. These are hand carved from local trees. He is drawing a map of the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve for us on one side with animals that we have seen this past week. Once the drawing is done he will paint them. How we are going to get them home is something we haven't figured out yet, but we will.


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