This week I’m going to tell you about life here in Nauta. It is very different to England. Most of the houses are made of wood with a metal roof. In our house we collect the rain off the roof to use for water, because it doesn’t just come out the tap. Last week we ran out so had to use big buckets for 2 days until it rained again. Our house is unusual because it has tanks for waste water as well but most of our neighbours just let it run down the hill.
Nauta is quite noisy, especially at night. At the weekend you can hear music from a nightclub / bar booming out across the town. It is hot and humid all year round and in our part of Nauta the road is made of mud so when it rains it can be very sticky. (You can cool off in the shower though because we only have cold water).
Shopping is a bit different. There are a few main shops in the town but it isn’t like a supermarket, you say what you want and someone gets it off the shelf for you; you then have to go and pay someone else before coming back to get your shopping. (I managed to get my photo taken in the biggest shop). But most food comes from the market which is a very frightening place for a small bear because it is loud, busy and hard to understand what is going on. As you can see from the picture I got confused at one point and sat on some scales by mistake.
In the middle of the town there is a central square and nearby is a small lake with some turtles and big fish in it. Occasionally you see a few foreigners visiting on their way to a jungle lodge but mostly it is just local people who come to Nauta.
Nauta is on one of the big rivers and there’s always lots going on at the port with people bringing food from the river communities to sell (there are lots of big bananas* at the moment) and then buying things to take home. Most of the jobs here are connected with the port or life on the rivers; the government has some offices here. But few of them are well paid, so life is hard for people as they try to get enough money for food and other things.
We go to a small church here which has lots of young people; they think I’m a special bear coming all the way to Peru. Some of the songs are the same tunes as we use in Britain but most are different and it is hard to sing without the words. I’ll be sad to leave but I’m looking forward to coming back home for Christmas. Maybe I will be allowed to come back next year.
*Editor’s note: they are plantain but it’s hard to explain the difference to a small bear. It’s not easy to explain the dangers of 30,000 people living without mains sanitation either! (Although the centre of town does have a water and sewage system.)
Can you see me in the bushes?