Though I flew home Monday, I’ve still been flying by the seat of my pants since we arrived. I am not yet unpacked. But, there are priorities, after all, so here’s the solution to the Six-day Riddle (good guesses, by the way):
The photo was taken in Embera Drua, located on the Upper Chagres River in the Panama rainforest. We reached the village by motorized canoe.
I was captivated by the accounts of Miguel Flaco, the botanical doctor, who described the medicinal properties of local vegetation.
In the mystery photo, Miguel shows the scars left by the bite of a venomous Bushmaster snake, the largest pit viper in the world (which reaches a length of from eight to twelve feet). When asked if I could photograph his scars, he obliged by hastily picking a leaf to display which type of plant saved his life. Look how far apart those fang marks are!
He said that normally a medicine is made from the plant but he was alone when the snake attacked so all he had time to do was pluck leaves and eat them before he passed out from the poison. (Added: He also noted that the leaf is shaped like a heart…apparently a clue as to its healing properties.)
Needless to say, it was the trip of a lifetime. I could post dozens of photos, and pages of copy about the amazing adventure, which I took in the summer of 2005. It was in the Embera village where I had my first taste of Tilapia (fish), prepared by the local women. Delicious!
It is perfectly okay to laugh at this photo. Everyday in the Panama rainforest was a bad hair day for me. Never had my tresses experienced such humidity. Donning the cap was the only way to prevent a mega-fro, which, as you can see, was escaping anyway.
Okay, enough. Riddle solved.
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