First Futaleufu Month

My Futaleufu River time has started and is already nearing the end.  I am completely enchanted by this place. The turquoise Futaleufu River winds through black shale-like rock walls with lush foliage everywhere. Rafters and kayakers from around the world come to this river to navigate the white water. I came to teach yoga and absorb the South American culture. The first week I stayed in the Bio Bio camp in the orchard up on the hill behind the Tias’ house. Every day I would cross the little bridge over the stream of runoff that waters the Tias’ farm. Every day a mother hen with her little chicks ran from me through the tall grass to safety. The trees dropped sour apples. The sheep called to each other across the yard, and Tia Nellie yelled at Gary (their new puppy) for jumping on somone or for stealing shoes or for some other puppy antics. I could walk 50 feet to be at the yoga deck that overlooked the Futa River and Macheta mountain. The boards of the large yoga deck warp upward toward the sun making yoga on one mat uncomfortable but two mats inviting. I always go early to do my own practice before teaching. There’s no need for music with the river, birds, and animals all contributing to the song that surrounds the Futa. The chill of the morning makes my bare feet cold,  but as I work through sun salutations, warriors, and arm balances, my body warms and the sun starts to peak through the mountains facing the back of the platform. Mountains surround this place, and clouds constantly play through the cracks and creases to create mysterious and ever-changing settings. Sometimes the clouds rest on the water like a blanket or a smoke screen until the sun arrives to chase them. If it’s cloudy, they stay all day. Many days it is cloudy and rainy and deep sinking cold settles into the bones. On those days, we sit in the wood-fired hot tub or sauna to remove the chill. Actually, we sit in the wood-fired hot tub any day we can. If it’s too hot, then we rope swing or rock jump into the refreshing waters of the Fu, swim to the stairs, walk through the bar, and go back to the hot tub. Hot cold hot cold hot cold. Smiles. Laughter. I’ve been the bar tender. I’ve been the fire watcher. I’ve been the yoga teacher. I’ve been the dish washer. Whatever needs to be done, you do. It’s a training ground for life and good living – appreciating people and the moments you have. People discuss this concept all the time but rarely do it well. Here, it is the only way. Wi-Fi doesn’t exist in camp. Cell phones are used for cameras, alarms, and flash lights; otherwise, they’re pretty useless. You don’t see everyone on a cell phone here like in the States. People talk to each other. Lively conversation is shared just like the meat, food, and drink, and when people say the party starts at 5pm, it’s acceptable to arrive at 8p or 9p or later. Come whenever…as long as you come. Being here, being present, that’s what is important.

4 thoughts on “First Futaleufu Month”

  1. Glad I ‘finally’ checked out your blog!
    What a great summary of sweet life on the river and the life lessons that it teaches. 🙂

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