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Casa Kadam

Hammock on the porch of Casa del Mundo

THE JOURNEY- Adventures of Sana & Papo- leading to their Puerto Rico Rainforest Retreat
Monday, 21 September 2009 14:37

Yatabayears before eco-tourism was a word, Papo & I began our journey in 1975. We had our first real taste of Latin American culture in 1975.  A Puerto Rican friend. Marino Rivera, invited us to his finca in Barrio Macaná de Peñuelas.  We both felt an instantaneous connection with the people, the language, the music  & the land. We immediately began our journey of learning Spanish by attempting to communicate with the neighbors, keeping notebooks to enter new words and phrases,and listening to the rich, traditional music of Puerto Rico.  After months of living on Marino's finca, we decided that we wanted to make it our goal to travel to other parts of Latin America.We spent 6 months in Woodstock New York at the Creative Music Foundation, then to Boulder, Colorado  where Papo worked for the US Forest Service and where i taught jazz improvisation & ear training. By the time we had $3,000 in savings we decided to begin the journey.

In 1979 we journeyed in a pick-up truck, laden with Papo's farming tools, instruments & camp equipment, with our dear friend, Lloyd Williams, south through Mexico, Guatemala, where we stayed in a village on Lake Atitlan, then to El Salvador, witnessing the sorrowful effects of the civil war.  In the sweltering heat of La Unión, El Salvador (120 degrees Fahrenheit), we stayed as the only guests  at a small, family run "hospedaje".  We were there for weeks awaiting a ferry to take us around the raging war of Nicaragua to the safety of Costa Rica.  We bonded with the owners and their children during our extended stay there,getting a true taste of Latin American warmth and hospitality.

Finally an old, Staten Island ferry arrived at the port,  piloted by an elderly, retired, British sea captain.  About one hundred of us, of all ages, boarded the boat. The ride was supposed to last 24 hours to safely ferry us around the raging war of Nicaragua.  After only 6 hours at sea, the engines failed and we were set adrift, on shark infested waters, the currents nudging us closer & closer to the coastal war zone.  The dictator, Samosa, had sent PT boats to pillage & plunder stray vessels like our own.  By the 2nd day we had run out of water, by the 3rd day, by the 3rd day there was no food.

To be continued!



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