The Amazon: Nativo Village.

Our afternoon excursion mid-week had us hopping in the uncovered boats for a quick ride 10 minutes up the river. We turned into a canal, which brought us inland to a village hidden in it's depths.

Nativo Village.

Because it was the low-water season, the river was only a about a meter deep.  But as you can tell from the photo above, in the rainy season (January-February) it gets much deeper.

We were headed to the village to take in the culture. The chief of the village wanted to present us with some native activities, and the local children wanted to show us their exotic pets in exchange for candy and chips.

(Lesson learned: Children all over the world can be bribed with the same things.)

The children waited at the top of the hill for us with their creatures.

Right away, my eyes notices the little creature the girl on the far left was holding...

It was a sloth. A SLOTH! 

There was also a turtle, a parakeet, and whatever this adorable guy was...

We were allowed to hold them. And this little guy ended up peeing down the back of one of the guests. I felt bad, but it was funny. How could it not be when the creature is that cute? You forgive it, automatically.

But back to the sloth...

Sloth love. I was in it.

Our guide picked her up from the little girl. He began turning it around in his hands. The sloth, she seemed to love it.

She was precious. We took turns playing with her.

She was gentle and dreamy. Everything you imagine a sloth to be... I can tell you that it is.

Our guide insisted on talking o us about the plant life... Which was nice. And actually interesting, though we were still taken with the animals.

Eventually we found our way into the village where a hut sat.

Inside the hut was the chief and a few members of the tribe...

They were there to perform a dance for us, and to get us to dance as well.

They also painted our faces...

And played music for us.

Afterwards, we went outside and took turns blowing into a dart pipe at a target...

I didn't do it. But others did. And the females of the group seemed to fare the best at hitting the target.

We continued into the village and picked up crafts to bring back home. We got to peek into the stilted houses, getting an idea of how these people live. Some of us even played a game of soccer with the local kids on the football field.

Eventually, we found our way back to the river. We set off back to the retreat center.

But it was beautiful. Very beautiful.