I must admit, taking on a project that involved living in a foreign country for 7 weeks and not speaking the native language was daunting. But in retrospect, I did fine with limited Spanish skills and no Achuar language skills.
While waiting in the Miami-Dade International Airport for my flight to Quito, I met someone who was from Quito and worked as a cook in Coca, an oil village near Quito. Ironic that I would meet someone who worked for a German oil company while I was concerned about the oil development on Achuar territory. She had been visiting her daughter in the States and was now headed home. She spoke English quite well and spent the hours talking about her family and my plans while in Ecuador. She invited me to stay with her in Quito. Such a lovely lady.
Arriving in Quito sent us on our separate ways. I had a reservation at a hotel, and the next morning a 7 a.m. meeting with Pedro A. Pedro and I had been e-mailing and skyping for a year or so to work out all of the details regarding writing a book about the Achuar. He was my contact person at the Kapawi Ecolodge Quito office.