We came to the tribe on a late afternoon. The sun beat down and we were met by the countryside’s familiar smell of hay and cattle. Cows, pigs & hens were all strolling freely around the area just like dogs and cats. The first thing we did upon arrival was to enter the house of the tribe’s leader and family as a sign of respect and appreciation to be in their land. We took off our shoes and saluted an elderly man before we continued through the little community towards the house were we would stay. Curious eyes looking our way, some greeting us as we passed by.
After a long time with slow talks at the school and overly sweetened coffee I decided to join the kids playing some soccer down the hill, I am very happy I did. This became one of the best nights in Brasil so far. The curiousity from the kids soon led to that more joined our game with families sitting around to watch. I realized (cheerfully) that my sense of coordination was not what it used to be, but I couldn’t care less. The laughter and happiness from the children and families made it worth playing! It started to get dark, and a pleasant, light rain cooled the our warm bodies. We did not care much about how sweaty, wet or mosquito biten we would be. Too busy having fun!
I truly loved hanging with these kids. They’re happy with the simple life. Constantly outdoors, playing with whatever – which ever the weather. The day after we went down to the Igarapé (little riverbank), in seconds the kids had tossed off their clothes and jumped in the water only to climb up and jump in again. It was a wonderful moment, I was stunned by their happiness and their connection to their amazonian land.