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For Michael Ippolito

Awañetae was Gabo and Ompodae's father. He was killed by Dabo while sleeping in his hammock, Caento was Dayuma's father. He was mortally speared in the knee by Moipa, crippling him at first. His death led to Dayuma's flight from her home. Dabo is the killer of Awañetae. Later in life, Dabo gave up his life of killing, making the observation that the tribe would have killed each other off had they not stopped spearing each other. His wife's name was Weba, and Dabo’s transformation was attributed to her. Weba led all her family away from the war, and started to teach Waoranis of the need of peace and wise coexistence with white people. Weba became also a leader of Waorani’s resistance to oil drilling. Ené is Weba’s adopted daughter. When Ene’s daughter, Susana, died, poisoned by petroleum contaminated water, Ené adopted a male child, Oré that had become an orphan as a result of family violence. She works in a northern city in an organization that takes care of indigenous land, life and cultural survival. (Archive of Waorani’s history)


He knew now that he was not going to wake up, that he was awake, that the marvelous dream has been the other, absurd as all the dreams are, a dream in which he was going through the strange avenues of an astonishing city with green and red lights that burnt without fire or smoke, on an enormous metal insect that whirred away between his legs. (“A night face up” Julio Cortazar)




Ené opened her eyes. The light was transparent which meant morning,

but it was not inviting to get up. There was no sun on the ceiling, no shades of

branches dancing on the walls, and no new smells. She pulled herself up on the

pillows to get up, and noticed that her eyes did not open all the way. The lower

parts remained tightly shut to the outside and submerged in some other space.

This was a reason to close her eyes again, slip under the covers, and wait for this

to pass. But an hour later the situation did not improve. To the contrary, the

space in the lower part of her eyes seemed to have grown and began to show

certain activity. She perceived tiny dark dots moving around.


Her dreams had been particularly lucid that night. There was a little boy leaning over the edge of a river with crystal clear water where two blue fish swam. He called them by their names. The water suddenly turned murky, and the boy was worried that one fish became paler and looked as if it was about to die. A feeling of despair about the fragility of things accompanied the dream. But, there was also a budding urge of exasperation to do something, and not just wait, even if movement could only precipitate the awaited catastrophe.


There was no more time for deliberation and leisure since this was the day of action. Ené’s group had a plan to hack the University computers to supply pharmaceutical formulas to their partner teams in the poor areas of the world. She was going to meet others on campus in just an hour. Ené opened her eyes the widest she could, looked out at the blue-gray sky, and attempted a sun salutation. But, as she leaned down, the zone on the back of her eyes began to vibrate. The dark spots turned into anxious black insects flying in the closed space inside her face, jostling against her membranes, and tearing apart her tissues. The area around her eyes echoed the bangs of their wings. Ené knew she had to bear the pain. She slowly straightened, and pushed the insects deeper into her skull with the force of her will so as to leave the front of her face unaffected. As she looked in the mirror ordering her hair, she noticed little insects’ legs moving through her irises. She heard buzzing and felt vibrations in her head getting stronger, this time deep inside, closer to the center of her brain. As she leaned over the sink and brushed her teeth, the image of the boy looking at two blue fish came back to her again. The boy cried because the smaller blue fish stopped moving and floated like a dead leaf right by the rocky riverbank. The waves were pushing it out of the water, which was filled with pink and blue bubbles. Chapapote she thought, crude. She remembered that the dead fish’s name was Tuba.


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