New settlement in Amazonia: Three Borders Community
We sailed from the port of Manaus on 4 May 2016 at 3 pm. Among the 101 passengers were many children and elderly people returning from medical appointments in Manaus. Our boat also carried important cargo: rice, sugar, beer, animal fodder, watermelons, mineral water, settees...
The following afternoon, we sat together and watched the landscape sailing past. We saw river-dwellers working with jute (a material used to make canvas bags). We saw a wide variety of palm trees and fruit, lakeside villages and floating huts close to the shore. We talked about our joy at making this journey together, giving us the opportunity to get to know each other better and to meet other passengers.
The Solimões River, a huge expanse of water which, in flooding season, opens up shortcuts for boats, saving them many hours on their journeys.
On 6 May the boat made its first stop at Fonte Boa . That afternoon, we met as a team to plan the logistics of our arrival.
By 7 May we had already met several other passengers: two Colombian friends, a young Norwegian man, a family who lived 11 km from Tabatinga… In the course of that day, our boat stopped at Jutaí and during the night it made a stop at Tonantins.
On 8 May, Mothers’ Day in Brazil, we were woken by the captain wishing all mothers on board a Happy Mothers’ Day. That same day we arrived at Santo Antonio do Içá and then at Amaturá. At dawn on 9 May we drew in to São Paulo de Olivença, in the diocese of Tabatinga. And we changed time zone, moving the clocks back to one hour behind Manaus and two hours behind Brasilia. We enjoyed talking with the crew of the ship. They told us that when sailing up the river, they navigate the vessel close to the riverbank to take advantage of the weaker current. They also explained that the optimal depth for sailing large vessels is between 6 and 16 metres. Our average speed was 14 km/h. At last, after 6 days’ sailing, we arrived in Tabatinga, our final destination, on 9 May at 5 pm. We unloaded our considerable amount of luggage, and made our way to the Maison de l’Immigrant (Migrants’ House), which belongs to the Diocese. This is where we will stay until we find a suitable house for our team.
"Frontière communautaire Amazonia"