Old but new: Grab your food – the second part of my visit to the Guna Yala

The family of Beira invited me to share their hut (with hammocks) and food with them. But life is always full of surprises. On the first day no one could tell my how long it would take for the lunch to be ready, so I decided to buy some cookies in one of the three small shops on the island. Unfortunately, I committed the mistake of telling my hosts the true reason for my leaving. Their translation: “Hurry up, I´m really hungry”.

I realized it only afterwards. When I came back a small mountain of food was waiting in the kitchen. Cooked bananas (bigger than usual, not o be eaten raw), prepared with coconut milk and fish. I looked for a plate to take my portion, but the lady only smiled politely and shook her head. It was all for me. I looked at the enormous plate horrified.

Fortunately, there are cultures that expect you to leave some food.

Unfortunately, this wasn´t one of them.

Beira explained to me that it would be an insult to the whole family not to finish the food. Even today I don´t know if she was messing around with me or not. I sat down at the table with the resigned courage of a soldier who knows that the following battle will be the last one for him. I tried to focus on my honor, my defiance as a Pole and a traveler. All of it disappeared after the first three bananas. I became motivated again after the fourth banana, but then I realized that there was a second half waiting for me. There was only one hope left – to count through y family. One bite for mama, one for daddy…I finished with one of my second cousins. I thanked the cook for the great (literally) food and rolled towards the hammocks. I spent two hours there without moving. On the next day I didn´t move away from the cooking spot – just to intercept the ladle of the generous cook.

The locals were very proud about the fact, that there were no mosquitoes on their island. I spent the first night on fighting of these imaginary insects. On the next morning, I decided to prove to my hosts empirically that there are mosquitoes in the paradise. The only result of this action was the theory, that I might have brought them with me. There are no mosquitoes on the island. Definitely.

At this point I stopped pursuing the matter as I feared to create the legend of the European Mosquito Bringer. I scratched one last time my (once again) completely imaginary mosquito bites and proceeded with my morning toilet.

One comment

  • Jens
    22/03/2013 - 15:20 | Permalink

    Hi Radek,

    tolle Berichte, auf Kuna Yala war ich damals auch ein paar Tage – ist wirklich paradiesisch!

    Freue mich auf weitere Fotos und Texte!

    Gruesse aus dem Amazonasgebiet


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