[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Chris has lived in the heart of the Amazonian rainforest, shirtless and shoeless, for over thirty years.Scottish by origin, he attended university in Milan but felt hemmed in and miserable:“I missed the fresh air and the sky”.Christopher Julian Clarkfirst arrived in Manaus, Brazil, in 1984, under a sky filled by clouds rising off the Amazon river.
“My Italian girlfriend and I had been travelling around the world together for two years.In Manauswe rented a small boat. That is when I met a native guide, Baixote, who took us to his village, gave us food and placed his young son, Plinio, in our arms.One day, Baixote and I went for a trip into the forest and got lost. For four days we floated on old tree trunks down the infinite backwaters of the river, through a world of mangroves,holding on to creepers and completely lost. But in those days on the water I decided that was where I wanted to live.”
Chris’ Xixuaù reserve
Chris built a native Amazonian maloca house on the Rio Jauperi, some 300 kilometres north of Manaus, among small Indio villages, and decided to dedicate his life to defending that natural paradise.
Today, Chris manages the Xixuaù Reserve, 200,000 hectares of pristine rainforest that attracts researchers, travellers, photographers and tourists from all over the world.His surroundings make his life blissful.“I have had an Indio wife since 2006 and we have a two-year-old daughter called Shanaya.From our windows we can see giant otters and pink river dolphins in the tranquil lake, while monkeys, parrots and toucans live in the trees.”Chris continues, “I never intend to leave this place.I already have a spot reserved for me under a large Brazil nut tree.”
We asked him to name 5 things he has learned from the forest and its people. This is how he replied.
The 5 things Chris learned from life in the forest
Take only what you need.You don’t need ten fish if you can only eat one.
Go with the flow and keep smiling.We sometimes feel clumsy and ridiculous in nature.Not taking things too seriously makes life so much more enjoyable.
The forest develops all 5 of our senses whereas we tend to lose them in the city.That is what makes living in Amazonia such a sensual experience.
The world exists even with no internet.And what a world!
We only have one body and one planet Earth.We need to take care of them because in the end they are the same thing.Only about 30% of original rainforest has survived the onslaught of man.We need to open our eyes before there’s nothing left to see.
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