Monday, April 27, 2009

The Amazonian Expedition

The following is a translated excerpt from explorer, botanist and artist Henri de Büren's first journal entry in 1853 from the port of Huanchaco near Trujillo. This entry documents the start of his journey across Northern Peru and Brazil.

Current View of Sunset at Huanchaco Beach in Trujillo

Trujillo, 1853

"Farewell to Lima! With it’s bulls, elegant women, wide avenues and unspoiled nature. We set sail aboard the schooner The Clorinde from the harbor of Callao and started our expedition. Thanks to the lengthy emigration process, the total expedition number has been cut from 130 to 90 persons which is delightful, except for the fact that the most attractive member of the expedition decided not to join us, who’s presence would have surely brought beauty to such an undertaking. Of the 90 persons, more than half are German, the rest are French, Irish, Americans, Italians, Scots, Peruvians, and Chinese. A veritable tower of babel, but a tower of babel that gets along rather well. After a rough sea voyage that took four days, we find ourselves at the end of our first day on land, without too much discontent, on the contrary it seems that the rough start has given people hope that things can only get better.

The first class is composed of Mr. Ijurra, the future governor of the new colony and the head of the expedition. He is accompanied by his wife, the Señora Carmen, an excellent woman, blessed with a kind and pleasant nature, invaluable traits for this kind of journey. Next in line comes Mr. de Schütz, a young German appointed by the government to be the governor’s first aide, and to lead the present group of German emigrants and those to follow. In third and forth place, a Spaniard and an Italian, about 45 and 55 years old respectively, both old seamen. While I don’t know these men well, it seems that the Spaniard is the more knowledgeable one. In fifth place I present Don Pedro, an old Spanish seaman from the merchant marine with an expertise in coastal navigation. He left the salt water of the Ocean for the fresh water of the Amazon, upon which he hopes and dreams of finding a wife. Don Pedro is no longer young, or handsome or wealthy and yet he wants a wife who is young, beautiful and rich. As women often have more ambition in the affairs of the heart, if Don Pedro does not make his desires a bit more realistic he may be dreaming alone on the riverbanks of the

To learn more about my film project please view an intro trailer here.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jean,

    I saw your comment at npr. Your grandfather's excerpt is pretty amazing. Your endeavor is quite intriguing. Have you applied for or received any grants?



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