A few years ago my partner and I were travelling through Peru. My partner Jess has a special interest in the Amazon rainforest so we took guided tours and stayed at an eco-lodge in the jungle. During our travels, we didn’t come into contact with any indigenous in the forest but we did come into contact with something we were not expecting… an abandoned child living among the trees.
The child is now sitting in my living room. She’s had a heck of a time trying to adapt. Unfortunately now she’s having to grapple with the house painters. Around Melbourne, where we live, has a lot of old houses like ours that need renovations. So our adopted daughter has been disturbed by the whole newness of the thing. When we found her, she had been living in the rainforest for at least a year according to the doctor and child psychologist. We don’t know how she got there; whether she ran away or was abandoned by a villager living near the forest. The only reason why she survived is because she was raised by monkeys. The chimps must have discovered that she was no threat to them and then invited her into their clan. She still carries some of the mannerisms from time to time, such as walking on all fours from and gripping things that are handed to her with both thumbs. I was slightly concerned that the house painters would lift an eyebrow at some of her strange behaviour but they just focused and got on with their work. I guess the company we hired was pretty good for painters in Melbourne.
Our adopted daughter is now learning to integrate with fellow humans. She’s very happy and smiles a lot but I can see that the trauma of moving back into the city has been hard on her. She remembered little Spanish from before she was lost in the Amazon and now she’s learning English and becoming Australian. Hopefully she integrates fully.