Mustard Seeds

Mustard Seeds

Thursday, July 24, 2014


It started with a hashtag. Ok, not really. But we made it into a hashtag. The "Epic Johnson Adventure Of The Year" deserved a title... especially since it was to the Amazon Jungle of Ecuador.

When my dad wanted to go I told him to "wait for me!!" So he did. Then he called me asking what I thought about Kimberly going. Little sister in the Jungle with us??? Heck yes! So it became:

And it rocked. A simple equation to explain why:

Three Johnsons + Amazon Jungle + Waodani Tribe + Piranha for Dinner + Caiman for Breakfast + Jungle Mites + Poisonous Spiders + the Gooey-wah (baƱo) + daily river swims + sleeping in hammocks + rain + jungle hikes + living off the land + great relationships + parrot and monkey pets + making string from plants + meeting Mincaye and Ompodae + shooting blow guns + throwing spears + carving balsa trees + staring fires old school + leaf baskets + mud + planting Yucca + bonding with Wao women + getting married + dugout canoe + piloting the plane over the jungle Superman Zip Line + Jumping off a Bridge + good dad hugs + alpaca blankets + family bonding = the trip of a lifetime

I took over 1,000 pictures. So you can imagine how hard it was to widdle them down to less. Here is my attempt too sum up the trip. I am leaving SO MUCH out but I wanted to show you some of what we did:

 With Mincaye and Ompodae.
 Coming into camp.
 The most annoying Marmoset of all time. Never stopped squawking.
 Our longhouses... home sweet home!
 Selfie with Mincaye. I couldn't resist.
 Making string from palm trees. Hardest thing ever!
These get turned into hammocks and bracelets... after HOURS of labor.

 Ompodae and Kimberly making jungle pottery.
 Washing dishes in a tributary of the Amazon.
 Fixing our leaky banana-leaf roof with more leaves.
 The only time I let him sit on me. He promptly got tangled in my hair.
 Learning how to pack a blow gun.
 Cotton from a cotton tree on a dart and you're off!
 Epic miss.
 The gooey-wah... what a lovely throne.
 Especially at night.
 So dark. So many poisonous spiders. So gooey.
They caught three Caiman when night fishing.
 Still alive!
 Going for a crocodile stroll. That's normal!
Caiman for breakfast! That's a first!
 Piranha. Only thing the white people caught. Didn't taste bad at all.
 Kimberly was named after this flower... Kemee.
 Snake near my hammock. I was sad they killed him since he wasn't poisonous.
 They also killed Kimbo's favorite, birds. Tasty!
 Trying to start a fire. Hilarious.
 My dad started an epidemic of balsa wood carving. Just by asking what the Balsa tree looked like.
 Then a Wao man, Anipal, made my dad a plane. Out of a tree. Amazing!
 On a hike we swing over gorges...
 got really muddy (this is the best I looked)...
 got really hot...
 made baskets...
 and got covered in Jungle Mites (just me). Infectious tiny bugs that were ALL over me!!! =/
 Onepa scrambled up this tree before I could blink. These people are incredible.
 The men in the meantime at some grubs. 
 With our baskets.
 Dad carving some darts.
 Poison brewing for the darts... gotta kill some monkeys! (we never did)
 Beautiful butterflies were everywhere!
 After we threw spears, Mincaye tried it. He missed...
 but then again, so did I.
 And so did Kimberly.
 And so did my dad. haha
 Making a necklace.
 Playing football.
 Our lovely longhouse.
 The kitchen.
 Our beds.
 Our friends. Not.
 The last night we had a traditional wedding ceremony.
 I got married. Oops.
Micanye and Ompodae heading home!
 Dad heading out with his plane.
 Bye first canoe!
 I was there until the end. Last canoe and last plane.
"Gangee y Kemee, siempre feliz." means "Stephanie and Kimberly always happy." We were! We loved it!!!
 On the way to the airstrip.
 I love these ladies!
 I got to fly out of the jungle. BEST ENDING EVER!!!
 After coming out of the jungle we became tourists. At the Nate Saint house where the story began.
Such an amazing group.

Let the non-Jungle festivities begin!
 Like jumping off of bridges (I did this last time too... was still scary). Hi dad!

 We ended up with only her legs. Poor Kimberly. Just kidding... but the whole family did jump!

  We also all did the Superman Zipline over beautiful waterfalls that cascade into a canyon.
 We then explored the old city of Quito and some cathedrals. It was a relaxing day.
 Goodbye Ecuador... for now!!!

Sorry for the jumpy subtitles and all over the place pictures. I just want you to experience it! My other solution is you just going for yourself. You should. I know you thought about it. 

Do it.