Friday, 22 January 2010

Escape from Acuadup

Bristol Rose is a lone boat, anchored in the lee of Acuadup, close to the shore. What an experience to see a traditional Kuna Village and its people. Huts with dirt floors are packed in around the shoreline, cooking fires inside the huts, pigs kept in pens, dug-out canoes lining the shoreline. The larger community huts are in the interior of the small island. At night only the lights from fires and flashlights can be seen.

On our walk through the village the people are friendly, mostly with retailing on their minds. Approaching a hut, women bring out Molas to sell. If you want a photo, $1 thank-you. Volley ball is very popular with the people on Acuadup. Children of all ages play in the walk ways, volley ball nets are set up outside huts.

Trish is not saying how many photos she is taking, but at $1 each we won't have too many to sort through. We are also approached by one lady and asked to re-charge her cellphone. This we do and are successful in returning the phone. Then another asks to have a phone charged, and another. Oh dear, you can see where this is going to end up. Interestingly, we did not receive requests for milk, canned food, or any other item despite the fact that food does not appear to be all that plentiful. The Kuna have little in the way of possessions and huts are furnished simply with hammocks.

We stay anchored overnight off the quiet village of Acuadup. Next morning we plan to leave but not before printing off a couple of photos to give to the people who posed for Trish at $1 per shot. Once photos are distributed we'll leave for Dog Island.

When others on the island see the photos, word spreads like wild fire through the village. Babies and adults are dressed up. Children run out from their huts beckoning Trish to follow. Everyone cries, "photo, photo". No more requests for $1. Photo madness takes over. Trish is welcomed into huts with requests to photograph so many adored babies. Each shot is eagerly viewed on the digital screen with the subjects sometimes asking for a different pose, a close up, a full length shot, more children, in front of the canoe, etc.

Before we get back to Bristol Rose over 700 photos are shot and we have another cellphone to charge. The reality sets in. We only have 100 sheets of 6x4 photo paper. The rest of the day is spent sorting and printing photos. We do our best to print photos that contain multiple people, sadly realizing that we will not be able to please everyone.

It is afternoon, Trish is mobbed as she hands out the photos, with still more requests coming in. Luckily, Trish did not take her camera with her for the delivery. We must move on so we say our goodbyes and head back to Bristol Rose, weigh anchor and escape. Lesson learned, be careful what you wish for; be ready to oblige for ALL when you unwittingly offer anything to anybody or be prepared to look in the face of disappointment.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Guys, just read about your stop over in Acuap and it really sounded quite funny, and i suppose you could laugh about the event and think what have we done but it is an experience that not many have the chance to do, so i suppose you are privileged. take care Dorothy.