Pucallpa – The industry of the River   1 comment

© 2012 Paul Coffin Photography

I’d like to say that the boat we boarded to begin and end our mission on the Ucayali river, was moored on a  dock in an area that was suited to easily boarding and departing, but unfortunately, it was not. Instead, we literally were pushed up against a muddy, much polluted river bank in between the fisherman’s loading area and a local boat builder. It was not what I had expected, but it did offer some interesting views of a world more foreign than I have ever visited.

The days started early for those that made their living from the river, and the constant sound of the humming motors, like a whir from a lawn edger or ailing lawn mower, was my wake up call. Sunrise cast a warm glow over an otherwise dirty and exhaust smelling embankment, with hard working men carrying blocks of ice, bananas and what looked like saw dust to each of their boats.

© 2012 Paul Coffin Photography

The conditions were harsh, hot, humid and exhausting and yet somehow, through it all, I managed to get a smile from a local fisherman as I peered though my lens and snapped his picture.

© 2012 Paul Coffin Photography

No matter the conditions, whether in the village, on the river bank, in the city or in the local tourist towns, people smiled at me. I didn’t for a second ever feel resented or reviled. It was a pleasant and unexpected surprise. It would be easy for me to judge those I encountered and compare their lives to mine, but that would have been presumptuous and egotistical. Instead, I accepted their happiness for what it was, a celebration of life.

© 2012 Paul Coffin Photography

It is odd now, a week later to reflect on that world, as it was then and is now. Mine, a fleeting presence, left with an indelible mark.


One response to “Pucallpa – The industry of the River

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  1. Reblogged this on photos4share.

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