Saturday, 15 March 2008

Men at work


I am holding a large cooking pot full of yellow paint, passing it between the two men when their rollers run dry.

It occurs to me that as I am taller than the Shuar man, Miguel, perhaps I would be able to reach the high points he leaves unpainted, but never mind.

The difference between the way Miguel and Ulli (the German volunteer) work, is markable. The Shuar start a task, but don´t really think about the logisitcs of it. Miguel´s painting is all over the place, and when he can´t see how to do a tricky bit, he doesn´t bother, and starts something new. Ulli is meticulous and efficient. He takes a little longer, perhaps, but his work is neat. It frustrates Ulli that the Shuar are disorganised, but he accepts that the education levels here are incredibly low.

Another aspect of this though (I think) is part of the post-nomadic culture. The Shuar only began to transition (out of necessity) from being a nomadic people in the 1960´s, and I think that, to them, painting to the edges of a wall is not really a matter of priority. The important stuff always gets done.

A couple of hours later the nursery is fully painted both inside and out, and looks fantastic, regardless of wobbly edges. And it wasn´t Ulli or I that got the job done.


As I began to write this in my notebook, crouched on the foundation timbers of Casa Jatun Sacha, a black headed parrot (Loro Coroninegro) landed on me and nestled in the curve of my neck. It nibbled the corner of my mouth, and then stuck its tongue down my ear. I am glad that I had my camera in my pocket. That wouldn´t have happened if I had been sat inside writing efficiently and ergonomically at a desk, would it?


Clive For Nothing said...

The Tippy Hedren roadshow.

Clive For Nothing said...

I suppose I've got to - "pieces of eight..!" etc.