Each time I embark on a new immersion adventure I am always the most nervous about potential language barriers. I obsess about my language capabilities and worry if I will be understood by locals. Fortunately, the language of compassion is something that is easily translated and understood... even in the Amazon!
The Amazonian region in Ecuador is so full of surprises. My favorite was when our group visited Centro de Rescate los Monos. The volunteers at the monkey refugee camp spoke French while the monkeys seemed only to care about eating their piñas. However, I happened upon on particular Mono who looked a little sad. Even though we were not able to speak the same language we were drawn to each other. He wanted to tell his story and I wanted to listen.
The video that follows is a short snippet of the conversation. He was so expressive and I was so willing to understand. Because of that, there was no language barrier. (This realization and experience served me well once we began working with client the following week.)
--Jess (with Alex and Elizabeth)