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Broke my leg. You read it, broke my leg. I was pondering another post but decided to move this one up a notch, since it’s what’s at the forefront of my mind today.

Earlier this week we headed out to Hakuna Matata for 3 days and two nights. It was my son’s eighth birthday and we wanted to take him to the jungle, and he wanted to go. And more importantly, experiences will far outlast any gift we could have given him.

On our second day there, I made a misstep in the jungle mud, just feet away from our room, slipped and twisted my ankle brutally, and fell. My first reaction was “something’s broken.” I couldn’t feel  a thing, there was no pain, just the clarity of being…there-sitting-on-the-jungle-floor. One of the guides came and helped me up and my wife came immediately, but I couldn’t use my right leg. He helped me over to our room. As Maria, my wife, was opening the door and I was standing with an increasing fog around me, things just went black. It was only for a second or two, but before I knew it I was sitting on the ground, again. Maria and the guide got me into the room and onto the bed, and then the real pain started. It was the closest thing to shock I’ve experienced. Shivers and shakes, cold, trouble breathing normally, it lasted a good 30 minutes. By the hour, the ibuprofen had kicked in and the pain was bad, but not too bad.

The good people at the lodge,, which I’ll write about later, and my wife Maria, helped me out with anything I needed and two of the guides even schlepped me down to the restaurant area in the afternoon. I spent the rest of  it in recovery mode and stayed through dinner. During my wait, a doctor from Tena, the nearest town, came out to see me, gave me an analgesic, and thought it was probably just a major sprain. Well, I wasn’t so lucky.

We drove back to Quito the following day, and I had an x-ray this morning. Some minor fractures in the tibia and a fracture in the fibula, so I’ll be having a screw put in tomorrow morning. If there’s on thing I can’t complain about, it’s the lack of bureaucracy in medicine here. I got an x-ray of my ankle in the morning without a Dr. ordering it, saw the Dr. 30 minutes later. He ordered another x-ray of another part of my leg, which I had done in the next two hours,  and I saw the Dr. again at 4 when he read the 2nd x-ray . He said he could operate tonight or tomorrow, so tomorrow at 3 they’ll do the outpatient surgery. Talk about a lack of hoops to jump through!

Hopefully I’ll be patched up tomorrow and then on the 6 weeks to recovery with a cast. Meanwhile, I will work on the next post about Hakuna Matata Lodge, a great place to visit in the Amazon!

  • Russ Winter

    Enjoyed reading about the cocoa biz. Since you have identified good sources for true Arriba cocoa and considering that the patios dilute and don’t differentiate, I am wondering what would be involved in going into the trading and export market, and build a superior brand. I assume the main barrier to entry is capital?

  • inthetropics

    Russ, thanks for your comment and sorry for taking so long to reply. Actually, the main barrier to entry is figuring out how to make it work on a smaller-scale than the big guys play by. It´s mostly a logistical challenge. Also, while there is not a big demand yet for single origin cacao, it´s growing. Once the demand is there, it will be a lot easier to scale up.

Welcome to Destination Ecuador!

Welcome to Destination Ecuador! My family and I have been living in Ecuador for the last four and a half years. We’ve dealt with the worst kinds of red-tape, searched out or ended up making hard-to-find ingredients ourselves, imported equipment for making chocolate confections, learned the import-export business...Continue >>


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