"We have more reasons to love each other based on our common humanity than to victimize one another because of any difference."

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Oh people you'll meet, the places you'll go...

Hannah and I met up with a young couple on Friday who wanted to have a cooking exchange at their flat. We set it up through couchsurfers (my favorite site ever). The guy was from Germany and the woman from Kazakhstan (near Afghanistan). They were some of the most interesting people I have ever encountered. Chris, told me a story about traveling to a jungle in Boliva. It is a famous national forest and the perimeters are very touristy. He wanted to go on a more in depth excursion but they are very expensive because you have to pay a guide, a man with a gun (for pumas), and an anti venom specialist.

Well as it turns out there is an indigenous tribe that has never had contact with the outside world living in this jungle. So the Bolivian government pays soldiers to guard the perimeter so no one can enter and disrupt their way of life. So Chris asked if he could volunteer to protect the people and the guards said, 'Sure'. So off he went into the jungle. He spent his days going from check point to check point by boat and hacking a path with a machete. He said these people knew every corner of the jungle they knew where the families of monkeys lived, where the trails were, where to avoid...Chris said you have to be careful of the monkeys because they are sneaky little bastards and they tag teamed him to steal his wallet. One distracted him by jumping on his head and the other knicked the wallet. He said the only real time he was scared was when they happened upon a family of Pumas and when he saw the soldier with the gun was scared he knew they were in trouble.

The dinner was great, I made a spicy lentil and sausage dish. We drank peach juice and they let the guests choose the incense we had at dinner. After dinner we talked about politics and Obama winning the Nobel Prize.

This weekend I have more couchsurfing parties lined up.
Saturday for lunch I am meeting up for a pot luck soup party. I am making a French Onion Soup. Also on the list Thai Soup and Pumpkin. Yum!

Saturday night I was invited to a chocolate fondue party (also through couchsurfers). The host is 31 and a computer science researcher and has just completed his third iron man. He is hosting someone the night of the party and then there is a woman coming who grew up in a small village in the North of Spain. She paid for school by running a bar in her home town and is now working on her PHD in interactive digital communication. I'm not even sure what that is but it sounds cool.

The interesting people you meet huh? Add in food and life just doesn't get any better!