Back To 2017 Htwm Article

Click on my image and I'll take you through the village.

Many years ago, I volunteered to deliver medical supplies to Cushillo Cocha, Peru. At that time, the tribe there spoke Ticuna, not Spanish. I knew a missionary down there who ran a health clinic while he translated the Bible into the Ticuna language. River Blindness (onchocerca) was a problem then; and he had asked for some medications to cope with it. So I brought some down from Sarasota, Florida where I lived at the time. You can see some photos I took then if you click the second image above. They aren't the best. I was living in a WalMart tent, it rained every day the mosquitoes were bad and the river was full of piranhas. I drank a bit of ivermectin in Coca-Cola twice a week, doxycycline every day. The ivermectin, to protect me against the onchocerca, the doxycycline to protect me against malaria.

Forty years later, onchocerca is gone, Cushillo Cocha is a tourist destination, the residents speak Spanish and put on shows and costumes to please the tourists. Click the image below to see the place now. But my memories remain, and the poison darts and blowpipe I brought back with me still sit on my living room bureau.