I’ve been living in remote parts of Ecuador for just under a year now and there are things I have learnt which are useful, surprising or bizarre to know. Here are the quickfire factoids:
I started writing this article many months ago, after I was bitten by a Brazilian Wandering Spider (which is in the Guinness World Records as the most dangerous spider!). The spider fortunately decided only to dry bite (not to envenomate) but it raised the question: Just how prepared am I to deal with envenomation in [...]
When I told people I was moving to Ecuador I said I was going to farm, when really there is more to it than that. I was going to farm using permaculture techniques. Permaculture is the practice of emulating nature to produce food, and is the most sustainable, environmental, healthy and efficient method of agriculture [...]
In the rainforests of Ecuador you hear about all sorts of amazing animals and fantastic legends. There are bullet ants so-called for their sting feels like you have been shot, and the indigenous Shuar tell a story of an incestuous pregnancy giving birth to a horde of caterpillars. Some of these charismatic animals become central [...]
The drive to have sex is greater for many organisms than life itself. Innumerable fish swim up rivers to spawn, eusocial (hive) insects take to the air and spiders brave the wrath of the female, all dying in one way or another from mating. Individuals do not pass on their genes by living the longest [...]
"To teach about sustainable farming practices such as permaculture, or the environment, biodiversity, so-on-and-so-forth. My problem with this is - although it may do some good - it's addressing the effect rather than the cause. Cutting rainforest is the effect of an impoverished community."
Below is Juis Chuim. He is a 73 year old Shuar elder. Because of me he slept a night like this. Let me explain. I was making a third attempt at summiting a mountain I had coveted, the previous times the problem being unable to access on the approach. On this last attempt I noted [...]