The Rainforest Wisdom of Moises Chavez


The Rainforest Is a Nice Place to Save, But I Wouldn’t Want to Live There

This film, made in 2000 for Outside Television, originally aired on the Outdoor Life Network (now Versus). I wrote and narrated it and co-starred with my extraordinary guide, Moises Chavez. You can watch it for free on the documentary-film website SnagFilms. Following is an excerpt from the script.

Robert Earle Howells in the Amazon

Robert Earle Howells in the Amazon

Hmm. Only grubs to eat…Well, it’s amazing how appetizing juicy morsels of beetle larva can be under certain circumstances. If you’ve been tromping the jungle for several days, subsisting on scrawny fish and few bits of fetid fruit, a fresh grub looks pretty good. Don’t worry: One bite and the suckers stop wriggling. In fact, they leave you wanting more.

On a survival trip in the deep green heart of Peru’s upper Amazon rainforest, necessity and reason cut some weird deals in your brain.

I’d had it with hunger. I’d had it with wet. My own scent offended me. My arms ached from waving off kamikaze flotillas of mindless mosquitoes. I was a starved sweat machine, a giant itch, a pathetic, sleep-deprived gringo who couldn’t even catch a guinea pig for dinner. But at least I’d developed a yen for grubs.