Posted by: Jessie Kwak | September 19, 2009

Observations on our descent into the Jungle.

We descend the 8,000 feet to La Merced in a taxi which goes way too fast.

Here in the Sierra we drive through fertile farmland, where every square inch of flat land is in cultivation. Land has been wrestled from the mountains in terraces: these ancient plots have been farmed for millennium. The people here have learned to take care of what they had as they eke out whatever living the earth allows them.

Farmed

Farmed

Our taxi shoots into the jungle—at 6,000 feet we see palms and ferns. At 3,000 feet we see bananas and orange trees.

In the Jungle fruit grows without any effort. The earth gives of its own accord without coaxing, and rivers cough up lumps of gold. So as we descend we see the rivers running brown amid tailings of torn gray rocks, over beds of barren gravel. The hills are clear cut. Some still smolder.

This is what reward the earth gets for giving of itself too freely.

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